Marlins right-hander Nathan Eovaldi, competing for the No. 2 or 3 spot in the rotation, struggled with his command but was able to minimize the damage in four innings. The right-hander allowed just one run, while giving up four hits with three walks and a hit batter.
New York's Adam Warren, in four innings, was tagged for four runs. Donovan Solano and Rob Brantly each had two hits for Miami.
In the first inning, the Marlins scratched out a run on one hit. Juan Pierre tapped a slow grounder to first, and was able to avoid a collision while sneaking in to touch the bag for an infield hit. He moved to second on a wild pitch, and advanced to third on Solano's groundout to second. Downs' sacrifice fly opened the scoring.
In the second inning, Hechavarria singled and scored on Gorkys Hernandez's groundout. Miami added to its lead on Downs' two-run double in the third inning.
The Yankees missed opportunities in the first three innings, despite Eovaldi issuing walks in all three frames. But in the fourth, New York used a two-out single by Melky Mesa and an RBI double by Thomas Neal to make it 4-1. Mesa had two hits for the Yankees.
Miami tacked on two more runs in the fifth inning on Christian Yelich's RBI groundout and Hechavarria's two-out triple.
Up next: The Yankees return home Saturday for a game against the Braves in Tampa at 1:05 p.m. ET on MLB.TV. Juan Ramirez will take the mound against Atlanta's Mike Minor, but it's going to be Mariano Rivera's day. The veteran closer is one of the relievers slated to pitch, and he's also expected to announce before the game that he will retire after the 2013 season.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.