One of the strengths for Double-A Jacksonville this season has been the top-to-bottom quality of the lineup, and that was on display again Wednesday in a nine-run, 11-hit performance.
It did not come without a cost, however, as leadoff man and center fielder Jake Marisnick -- the Marlins' No. 2 prospect -- was hit by a pitch twice, the second time on the same hand he broke during Spring Training this year.
The Suns went on to defeat the Huntsville Stars, 9-4, and Marisnick left for a pinch-runner after he was struck on his left hand leading off the top of the eighth inning.
Jacksonville manager Andy Barkett said after the game that the 22-year-old had experienced some swelling and was pulled as a precautionary measure.
"He'd broken his hand on a hit by pitch in Spring Training and he got hit in the same spot. ... We had to get him out of the game, get some ice on him and get an X-ray to see what it looks like," he said of Marisnick, who's been hit nine times by a pitch this season. "He's on the plate, being aggressive, and they're pitching inside and he doesn't get out of the way, so he's caught some. Hate to see a guy of that caliber get hit by a pitch and have to come out of the game, especially with the year he's having, hopefully it's not a big deal."
Marisnick had really come on as of late for Jacksonville, with a .367 average in 15 games in June. On Wednesday, he was 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored.
For the season, the 2009 third-rounder is hitting .289/.349/.532 with nine homers and 36 RBIs in 43 games.
Suns catcher J.T. Realmuto -- Miami's No. 9 prospect and Marisnick's roommate -- said he saw Marisnick briefly after the game before he headed to the hospital.
"I could tell he was pretty upset when it happened. That's the same hand he broke right at the end of Spring Training, but he seemed in a little higher spirits. They don't think it's broken, so hopefully it's OK," he said.
The 22-year-old Oklahoma native was one of the big contributors to Jacksonville's nine-run output Wednesday, going 3-for-3 with a walk, an RBI and a run scored.
After ending May with a .204 average, he's also had a nice June, hitting .291 in 15 games this month to give him a .227/.290/.324 line overall in 58 games.
"Obviously, I've struggled this year at the plate so far. It's just about trying to figure out your swing, make adjustments. The last few games I've started to figure it out a little bit more, and hopefully I can carry it on," he said.
In 68 games this year, the Jacksonville offense has managed to string together a team OPS of .707, good for third in the league.
Daniel Pertusati homered and drove in four runs and Kyle Jensen added a two-run homer.
"We came out swinging the bats tonight and just had some energy in the dugout," Barkett said. "There's always optimism going into the second half, it's a new beginning. Got some timely hits and it was a nice win."