DENVER -- The final two innings reminded Mike Redmond of the classic Coors Field games from his playing days, full of lead changes and high-scoring frames. The Marlins scored four runs in the top of the ninth, only to see the Rockies score three in the bottom of the inning, as they eventually held on for the 5-3 victory Thursday afternoon.
After the Marlins woke from their seven-inning slumber, recording just two hits, they finally scored the game's first run in the eighth. Catcher Rob Brantly slid home from third when an Adam Ottavino (0-2) wild pitch careened off catcher Wilin Rosario's glove and rolled to the backstop.
Miami matched its hit total to that point in the eighth with consecutive singles from Brantly and pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs, the second one slipping past first baseman Jordan Pacheco's glove to keep the inning alive.
The lineup returned with renewed energy in the ninth, tearing up Colorado reliever Wilton Lopez for four runs in just five at-bats. Christian Yelich started the hit parade with a ground-rule double to deep left field, and Giancarlo Stanton plated him with a liner to left.
An Ed Lucas single scored Stanton before second baseman Donovan Solano blew the game open with a two-run homer into the left-field seats. The 92-mph sinker was the first pitch Solano saw -- and he knew what was coming.
"The only information I had is that he's got a sinker, he's got a changeup, curveball," said Solano, who is batting .338 with six extra-base hits and six RBIs on the road this year. "But I saw the guy in front of me, with Lucas, he's working a lot of sinkers. So with a man on first, he tried to make a double play, so the pitch was in. [I was] waiting for that pitch."
It gave the Marlins their first series victory of the second half, taking three of four from the Rockies. They return to Miami for a 10-game homestand that starts with three games against the Pirates on Friday night.
The Rockies threatened a dramatic comeback with a three-run ninth, all of them scoring off reliever Kevin Slowey. After a perfect inning each from Dan Jennings (1-1) and Chad Qualls, Slowey failed to record an out, Colorado tagging him for three hits and three runs, two earned.
Closer Steve Cishek quickly recorded the first out before a Nolan Arenado single pulled cut the Marlins' lead to two. But Cishek silenced any further hopes for a ninth-inning rally by forcing Jonathan Herrera into a game-ending double play and picking up his third save of the series.
"All the years I've come here, those are the kind of games you play," Redmond said. "You score two or three or four and you give up two or three. In that situation, we got a five-run lead, Slowey hasn't pitched for awhile, thought it was a perfect situation to get him in there and get him an inning of work."
That no Colorado player crossed home until the ninth inning can be credited largely to Nathan Eovaldi, who allowed just three hits over six innings.
Though a 93-minute rain delay cut his outing short, Eovaldi was dominant enough to match Rockies starter Juan Nicasio's two-hit, seven-inning effort. Three singles were all the Colorado offense could muster off Eovaldi, only one of those runners making it past first base. Arenado dropped a single into right field in the second inning to push Charlie Blackmon to third, the closest the Rockies came to scoring until the ninth.
Eovaldi and Nicasio both pitched through an inning of strong gusts and growing thunder before the grounds crew rolled out the tarp following the top of the seventh.
"I was trying to get out there, try to get another inning in really quick before they stopped it," said Eovaldi, who notched his second scoreless start of the year. "I was hoping it would be a [short delay], but it happened to be like an hour long. It's disappointing, since I was throwing so good, but still pleased with the outing."
It was an impressive return to his earlier form for Eovaldi, who allowed six earned runs and 10 hits in just four innings in his last start, a 6-0 loss to the Brewers.
The Marlins' scuffling offense managed just the two hits through seven innings off Nicasio.
"I was not looking for the strikeout," Nicasio said. "I tried to throw more strikes, locate the fastball and try to go deep in the game."
The Marlins' eight-hit effort came a day after they became the first visiting team in more than 11 years to collect 10 hits without a single extra-base hit. It was enough to turn the tides on a road trip that began with three consecutive shutout losses to the Brewers and left them without a run in 37 innings when they arrived in Denver.
"Great job to salvage what looked like was going to be a really rough road trip," Redmond said. "Win three games here in Colorado, in a tough place to win."
Ian McCue is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.