MIAMI — Between innings, Miami Marlins left fielder Austin Dean gestured to the crowd for more noise, and rewarded the loudest fans by tossing a warmup ball their way.
For a rookie like Dean, meaningless late-season games can still be fun.
Dean homered and drove in three runs, and Miami won a battle of last-place teams by beating the Cincinnati Reds 5-1 Saturday.
Dean singled home a run in the fourth inning and hit his fourth homer in the sixth, raising his average to .219 in 96 at-bats. He was chosen the Marlins’ minor league player of the year earlier this week.
“Words can’t describe how much fun it is to be up here,” the 24-year-old Dean said. “It’s everybody’s dream as a kid. To finally be up here is unreal. I’m one of those guys who is always going to have a smile on my face. Whatever happens next year, just count on me playing the game hard and trying to win every single game.”
Another rookie, pinch hitter Gabriel Guerrero, hit his first career homer in the eighth for the Reds, ending their 19-inning scoreless streak. Guerrero is the nephew of 2018 Hall of Fame inductee Vladimir Guerrero.
“It was amazing running the bases,” he said. “I was floating.”
Jose Urena (8-12) pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings to win his fourth start in a row. He said he was bothered by leg cramps but expects to make his next start, which will be his final outing of the season. In his past six starts, Urena has an ERA of 1.85, lowering his ERA for the season to 4.07.
Drew Steckenrider came on to get the final out and strand two runners for his fifth save. The Reds fell to 8-24 on the road since mid-July.
Anthony DeSclafani (7-7) tied a career high with 10 strikeouts but allowed five runs, three earned, in 5 2/3 innings.
“I don’t really care about strikeouts,” DeSclafani said. “I’ll take 20 balls smoked right at me if it means zeroes.”
DeSclafani committed a pair of errors in the fourth, which led to two unearned runs. It could have been a 1-2-3 inning, but he mishandled a dribbler by J.T. Realmuto, and Lewis Brinson and Dean delivered two-out RBI singles.
Urena said Dean has been a welcome addition.
“It’s really good when you see a young player like that give it everything they have,” Urena said.
Slumping Miami rookie Brian Anderson singled in the sixth for his first RBI in nine games.
The crowd of 12,559 was the Marlins’ largest at home this month.
Marlins second baseman Starlin Castro made a diving catch of Scooter Gennett’s two-out liner to rob him of an RBI hit in the sixth.
Miami improved to 4-2 against Cincinnati in 2018 and won the season series for the fourth consecutive year.
Reds: SS Jose Peraza was back in the lineup after missing Friday’s game due to illness.
The Marlins play their home finale Sunday when RHP Trevor Richards (3-9, 4.95) pitches against Cincinnati RHP Michael Lorenzen (3-1, 3.03), who will make his second consecutive start after beginning the season with 42 relief appearances.