NEW YORK (CBMiami/AP) — Miami Marlins pitcher Wei-Yin Chen got his first major league hit in the Marlins’ 7-2 win over the rival New York Mets.
Chen hit a slow, four-hopper that Mets shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera picked up without a throw in the fourth inning Friday night.
After crossing first base, Chen stuck out his tongue. The Marlins saved the ball for him.
The ball came off the bat at 65 mph, according to Major League Baseball’s Statcast.
The hit came against Zack Wheeler, who returned from Tommy John surgery to make his first major league appearance since September 2014.
The 26-year-old right-hander started strongly and was given a lead when Curtis Granderson singled in a run in the first against Chen.
Then Wheeler’s adrenaline appeared to dissipate on a raw night with the temperature in the 40s.
The Marlins took a 3-1 lead in the second, and Yelich broke open the game in the third when he drove a pitch off the right-field foul pole, his fourth straight game at Citi Field with a home run.
Wheeler (0-1) allowed five runs, six hits and one walk with four strikeouts, throwing 54 of 80 pitches for strikes.
Chen (1-0) gave up one run and seven hits in six innings with five strikeouts and one walk. He threw 86 pitches.
His 0-for-51 slump was the fourth-longest for players who debuted in 1900 or later, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Chen trailed Jon Lester’s 0-for-66 slide, Joey Hamilton (0 for 57) and Ron Herbel (0 for 55).
Chen not reached base in all 57 of his previous big league plate appearances.
“Fifty at-bats is a lot of at-bats,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said before the game. “You’d think somehow, some way — and he had a few of them that were really close.”
Chen had just six at-bats in his first four big league seasons with Baltimore, then signed an $80 million, five-year contract with the Marlins before the 2016 season.
With only a few hundred fans remaining, Yoenis Cespedes hit his first home run of the season in the eighth, a drive to left off Nick Wittgren.
A.J. Ellis made Marlins debut behind plate and went 0 for 4 with a walk. J.T. Realmuto was rested after a 7-for-12 start.
Marlins: LHP Jeff Locke (biceps tendinitis) is making progress but is not likely to pitch until May, according to Mattingly. … 3B Martin Prado (right hamstring) will be evaluated next week and could go on a minor league injury rehabilitation assignment.
New York completes the first turn of its rotation Saturday when RHP Robert Gsellman starts against Adam Conley, the third straight left-handed starter to face the Mets.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)