Originally posted on MarlinsBaseball.com  |  Last updated 3/19/12

The Miami Marlins dropped their fourth consecutive game on Monday as Anibal Sanchez was unable to make it out of the third inning.   On a limited pitch count due to making only his second start of the Spring, Sanchez was lifted with two outs in the third.     The Houston Astros came away 7-4 winners with most of their damage coming early.

Sanchez who had a late start to the Spring due to soreness in his shoulder gave up six runs on seven hits in his time on the mound.  Two of those runs scored on a homerun off reliever Wade LeBlanc but were charged to Sanchez.   The righty showed fantastic command throwing 38 of his 49 pitches for strikes which could explain the amount of hits.    Sanchez also did strike out four while walking none as further evidence of his exceptional command on the day.    Wade LeBlanc who has been the biggest pitching story of the Spring for Miami threw four and a third innings of relief in which he struck out six, walked two and allowed one run.   That run was off the bat of the first hitter he faced, Brett Wallace on a three run homerun.  LeBlanc now has a sparking 0.61 E.R.A and barring a complete collapse will be a member of the team on Opening Night.    Non-roster invitee Gary Glover pitched a scoreless ninth.

The Marlins had a rare offensive explosion putting together four runs on eleven hits.     Three of those came off the bat of Jose Reyes who had been mired in a below average Spring thus far.    Reyes also stole his first base of the Spring in what was his first attempt as a Marlin.   Reyes along with the other baserunning threats had been held back from steal attempts up to this point to avoid a potential injury.     The Marlins had four doubles in the game, one each from Reyes, Hanley Ramirez, Gil Velazquez and Aaron Rowand.

On Tuesday the Marlins will take on the Tampa Bay Rays in Jupiter with Josh Johnson scheduled to make the start.  For the Rays, it will be Wade Davis on the mound.

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