Miami Marlins makes playoffs year after 105-loss season


NEW YORK — The Marlins clinched an improbable playoff berth in their coronavirus-decimated season, beating the New York Yankees 4-3 in 10 innings Friday night to seal a postseason trip on the field of the team that Miami CEO Derek Jeter and manager Don Mattingly once captained.

Miami earned its first postseason trip since 2003 when it won the World Series as the Florida Marlins, capped by a Game 6 victory in the Bronx over Jeter and his New York teammates at the previous version of Yankee Stadium.

The Marlins had the worst record in the NL last year at 57-105, then was beset by a virus outbreak early this season that prevented it from playing for more than a week.

After Jesus Aguilar hit a sacrifice fly in the top of the 10th, Marlins reliever Brandon Kintzler got major league batting leader DJ LeMahieu to ground into a game-ending double play with the bases loaded.

Miami players ran onto the field, formed a line and exchanged non socially-distant hugs.

The Marlins became just the second team in MLB history to reach the postseason the season after losing at least 100 games, joining the 2017 Minnesota Twins. Their 16-season playoff drought was the second-longest active streak in majors, behind the Seattle Mariners (18). Miami has only been to the playoffs twice before in franchise history; they won the World Series both times.

Miami was one of baseball’s great doubts at the start of the shortened season, forced off the field when 18 players tested positive for COVID-19 following the opening series in Philadelphia.

Mattingly captained the Yankees from 1991-95 and is in his fifth season managing the Marlins. Jeter captained the Yankees from 2003-14 as part of a career that included five World Series titles in 20 seasons and is part of the group headed by Bruce Sherman that bought the Marlins in October 2017.

Miami is second in the NL East at 30-28 and improved to 19-13 on the road. The Marlins will play 34 road games due to the schedule disruption caused by the coronavirus. They arrived at their hotel at 5:30 a.m. ET on Friday following a rain-delayed win in Atlanta.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.



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