Not even torrid-hitting Marcell Ozuna could energize the Marlins’ short-handed lineup Monday night.
The Marlins, who have stayed afloat despite the absence of key members of their lineup in recent weeks, couldn’t figure out Pirates pitcher Jeff Locke during a 10-0 rout at Marlins Park.
It was their most lopsided loss of the season.
The Marlins (26-25) were shut out for the second time this year. Both came at home with the other against Nationals’ ace Stephen Strasburg April 19 in a 7-0 defeat.
Locke, who pitched his first career complete game, surrendered only three hits (all singles) struck out only one batter, but did not yield any walks.
He entered Monday night with a 5.08 ERA.
“[Locke] maintained the ball in the zone and he deserves a lot of credit,” Ozuna said. “He didn’t make many mistakes and pitched a great game and he dominated us tonight.”
Ozuna, who had hit safely in 11 consecutive games and reached base safely in 36 in a row, had both streaks snapped after going 0 for 3.
Ozuna, who is wrapping up a stellar month of May in which he has hit .422 (46 of 109) entered the game hitting a Major League-best .486 against left-handed pitchers.
The on-base streak was the longest in the majors this season and was the longest by a Marlin since Logan Morrison’s 42 in a row from in 2010. Luis Castillo holds the club record with 46 consecutive games in 2002.
Ozuna also had a 15-game hitting streak at home snapped.
“You never want to focus too much on breaking individual records, but more on maintaining yourself physically and continuing to execute the adjustments you’ve made at the plate,” Ozuna said. “Thank God, I feel like I died a hero tonight. My streaks went down fighting. I had good at-bats and I hoped the ball could find the hole, but it didn’t happen.”
Ozuna was one of the few Marlins to make solid contact on Locke.
But none found the mark as twice Ozuna hit fly balls to the warning track, and he later grounded out harmlessly to second.
In the third inning, Miguel Rojas lined a ball into center that Andrew McCutchen prevented from landing for a hit with a nice sliding catch.
Rojas hurt his shoulder during that swing and exited the game.
Derek Dietrich, who was hit by line drive foul ball in the dugout Sunday in Atlanta, replaced Rojas and finished out the game.
“As soon as I took that swing, I felt something in my shoulder and I think I irritated it,” Rojas said. “Right now, I’m day to day. Hopefully, I feel OK tomorrow and can play.”
While the Marlins got Dietrich back quicker than expected, and are hoping to have Giancarlo Stanton back in the lineup soon, it’s uncertain how long Rojas will be out. Marlins manager Don Mattingly said Stanton could be available at least to pinch hit as early as Tuesday.
Rojas said he only felt discomfort while swinging the bat, but not throwing the ball.
“They’re calling it a shoulder irritation,” Mattingly said. “Obviously, we’ll know more if something would happen overnight. We just have to survive this little period of time until we get some of our guys back.”
Justin Nicolino dropped his third consecutive decision and was tagged with three of the runs on six hits in five innings pitched. He struck out four.
Nicolino threw 85 pitches and pitched relatively well as he entered the sixth inning. But with four consecutive right-handed hitters due up and a runner at first with no outs, Mattingly chose to replace Nicolino with Jose Urena.
The Pirates proceeded to break the game open with five runs in the inning.
Most of the damage came when Gregory Polanco belted his first career grand slam — a 423-foot blast to right center — off Urena, who was charged with four runs on three hits.
Urena has allowed seven earned runs on six hits in two innings pitched over his past two outings.
“[Urena’s] stuff seems pretty good, but we’re still working on creating a little bit of deception [on his delivery] and working on his breaking ball,” Mattingly said. “Those are things that will help him for the long haul.”
The Pirates added more when local product Sean Rodriguez, a graduate of Braddock High in Miami, blasted a two-run home run in the ninth off Edwin Jackson. David Freese went 3 for 3 with two doubles and has hit safely in all eight career games at Marlins Park.