Miami Marlins

Marlins’ skid hits four in a row as offense stifled in 4-0 defeat

Miami Marlins' Martin Prado follows through with a double during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Saturday, April 29, 2017, in Miami.
Miami Marlins' Martin Prado follows through with a double during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Saturday, April 29, 2017, in Miami. AP

A day after enduring an offensive onslaught from the Pirates, the Marlins couldn’t figure out Ivan Nova.

Nova tossed a three-hitter and struck out seven without issuing a walk on 95 pitches as Pittsburgh dealt the Marlins their fourth loss in a row with a 4-0 shutout in front of 33,152 at Marlins Park.

After dropping a pair of games to the Phillies to cap their longest-ever road trip, the Marlins have hit their first prolonged rough patch of the season.

It was the first time this season the Marlins (10-12) were shut out.

"This is the first really rough-feeling patch where you feel like you missed opportunities," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said.

Nova recorded his third career shutout with the previous two coming in 2013 as a member of the New York Yankees.

Nova’s shutout was the last by a Pirates’ pitcher since May 30 last season when Jeff Locke blanked his current team at Marlins Park.

"[Nova] made good pitches and had a good sinker and kept the ball down," Yelich said. "We couldn’t really do anything. We just haven’t been playing well. He did a great job and we didn’t."

Nova outdueled Dan Straily, who pitched 5 1/3 innings, but ran into trouble in the sixth inning which led to his exit from the game. Nova also pitched a complete game the last time the two pitchers faced each other on Sept. 8 last season while Straily was a member of the Cincinnati Reds.

“Sometimes you have to go out there and the only way to win is to put up all zeros,” Straily said. “Tonight was one of those nights and we just couldn’t get it done.”

Straily, who had a career-best 14 strikeouts in his previous start in San Diego a week ago, gave up three runs on only four hits, walked three and struck out five.

After a one-out single by Josh Bell, Straily walked three consecutive batters forcing in a run in the sixth that gave the Pirates a 2-0 lead.

Brad Ziegler made it four walks in a row when he issued a free pass to John Jaso to extend the Pirates lead to 3-0. But Ziegler then got Jordy Mercer to ground into an inning-ending double play. Jaso added a late run on a solo home run off A.J. Ramos.

Straily couldn’t escape the second inning unscathed either when Gregory Polanco led off with a double. Mercer’s single with two outs gave the Pirates a 1-0 lead.

Straily gave up another double in the fourth to Polanco, but that was the only baserunner he allowed over the next three innings until running into trouble in the sixth.

"They laid off some good pitches," Straily said. "I wouldn’t say I lost command. I was trying to get them to offer at some pitches and they never took."

Following Martin Prado’s double in the first inning, Nova retired 11 consecutive batters until Justin Bour led off the fifth with a single.

The Marlins failed to push the run across as Nova struck out Marcell Ozuna, got J.T. Realmuto to ground into a fielder’s choice and retired Adeiny Hechavarria on a ground ball.

Nova retired the next nine before Ozuna led off the eighth with a single.

But again, the Marlins failed to capitalize as Realmuto grounded into a double play on the ensuing at-bat.

"[Nova] gave us a lot of trouble with that sinker and some four-seamer [fastballs]," Mattingly said. "I think he’s a guy you know you’re not going to walk against. You just try to have some type of game plan as far as what pitch do you want to hit."

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