Long County native and Miami Marlin pitcher Dustin McGowan was back on the mound Friday and picked up a save against the Braves in Atlanta.
The game went late into the night with the score tied 5-5 at the end of nine innings. After two scoreless innings in the top of the 12th, Miami’s Jose Fernandez nailed a pinch-hit double to put the Marlins ahead by two runs.
In the bottom of the 12th, McGowan was called to see if he could close out the game for the visitors. The first batter he faced was Adonis Garcia, who grounded out to shortstop. Atlanta’s next batter, Nick Markakis, lined out to first base.
With two outs, the only player in the way of a save was Casey Kelly. McGowan’s first pitch was low. The second pitch was a 96 mph fastball strike.
His third pitch was another 96 mph fastball that Kelly swung at and missed. McGowan followed up with a third 96 mph fastball that Kelly swung at and missed.
The 7-5 Marlins victory was McGowan’s first save of the year.
For the night, McGowan threw 12 pitches, including eight strikes. For the year, the former Blue Tide ace has a 1-2 record, an ERA of 3.45, one HLD, and one save. In 31 innings, McGowan has struck out 30 batters and walked 13.
McGowan was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays as a first-round selection in 2000, being the 33rd overall pick. He signed with the Blue Jays that year and remained with the organization through 2014. Last year, he played with the Philadelphia Phillies, and joined the Marlins earlier this season.
As of Monday, the Marlins record was 43-39, while the Braves stood at 28-54.