PITTSBURGH -- Perhaps a foot higher and Logan Morrison’s second-inning shot off the right-field wall at PNC Park on Tuesday night would have been a three-run home run instead of a long single.
“[Last night], I wish [ Roberto] Clemente had worn No. 20 instead of 21 and it might have gone out,” joked Morrison about the right-field wall designed 21 feet high in honor of the late Pirates’ legend’s jersey number.
Morrison is pleased he’s getting hits consistently so far this month, something that has been a welcome sight for the Marlins as well.
“Here’s a guy that was out for an extended period of time and just now starting to feel more comfortable,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. “Hopefully, he can finish this last part of the season strong. [Before] he was playing through the knee and fighting the bad back. When you go a year or two where you play sporadically, it affects you.”
Morrison entered Wednesday’s game having gone 10 for 21 with two doubles, a triple and six RBI since the beginning of August. This included a four-hit game against the Indians on Aug. 2.
Morrison said he recently adjusted his swing to help him drive the ball better.
“It was a mechanical thing just getting synched up again and keeping the barrel of the bat moving and staying behind the ball,” said Morrison, who raised his average from .252 to .285 over the first six days of August. “I just had to find a way to delay my hands so I can keep the barrel of the bat moving the whole time I’m swinging in order to build up more speed and drive balls into the gaps.”
Andrew Heaney has had a spectacular July that was recognized Wednesday when he was named the Marlins’ Minor League Pitcher of the Month.
But his 33-inning scoreless streak came to an emphatic halt Tuesday night as did Double A Jacksonville’s 11-game winning streak when the Suns were no-hit by Cubs prospect Eric Jokisch.
Heaney gave up three runs on four hits in the first and ended up yielding five earned runs in a start that lasted only three innings. It was the first runs given up by Heaney since June 29.
Second baseman Avery Romero, the Marlins’ third-round pick in 2012, was named the Marlins Minor League Player of the Month.
• Redmond said first baseman Casey Kotchman, out since June 9 with a strained left oblique, was close to playing some rehab games.
• Thursday: Marlins RHP Jose Fernandez (8-5, 2.54 ERA) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates RHP Gerrit Cole (5-5, 3.69), 12:35 p.m., PNC Park.
• Friday: Marlins RHP Jacob Turner (3-3, 2.68) vs. Atlanta Braves RHP Brandon Beachy (0-0, 9.00), 7:30 p.m., Turner Field.
• Scouting report: Fernandez struck out 13 batters when he last faced the Pirates, on July 28 at Marlins Park in a matchup with Cole, who allowed three runs in seven innings that day. Fernandez’s 1.67 ERA since June 1 is the best in the majors.