Miami Marlins

Marlins fall 6-4 to Reds and sharp Castillo, fail to complete four-game sweep

The Marlins' A.J. Ellis (17) is tagged out at third base by Cincinnati's Eugenio Suarez in the sixth inning as the Mami Marlins host the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday, July 30, 2017.
The Marlins' A.J. Ellis (17) is tagged out at third base by Cincinnati's Eugenio Suarez in the sixth inning as the Mami Marlins host the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday, July 30, 2017. pfarrell@miamiherald.com

Whether Dan Straily pitched his final game for the Marlins on Sunday remains to be seen. But if the Marlins end up dealing him before Monday’s 4 p.m. deadline, you can bet they’ll demand a young, quality arm like the one belonging to the pitcher who beat them at Marlins Park.

The same pitcher the Marlins traded to Cincinnati to get Straily in the first place.

Luis Castillo held the Marlins to only three hits over eight innings as the Reds avoided a four-game sweep with a 6-4 victory.

The Marlins traded Castillo not once, but twice.

The first time came last year when they included him in a package for San Diego’s Andrew Cashner and Colin Rea. But part of the deal was rescinded when Rea was discovered to have a preexisting injury, and Castillo was returned to the Marlins.

In January, the Marlins dealt him to the Reds for Straily.

Now the Marlins are shopping Straily in advance of Monday’s non-wavier trade deadline, most likely looking for a package of young prospects in return. The Brewers, Rockies and Royals are among the teams with interest in the Marlins’ best starter.

Straily was the victim of some tough luck in the loss, as the Reds manufactured their only two runs off him with soft hits and a nicely placed safety squeeze bunt by Castillo.

The Marlins, meanwhile, were no match for Castillo.

The 24-year-old right-hander retired 13 of the first 14 batters he faced and became only the fourth starter this season for the Reds to make it through eight innings. He struck out six and issued just one walk.

Marcell Ozuna hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth off Reds reliever Raisel Iglesias for the final margin

KEEPING TABS

Ever wonder what Dan Uggla is up to these days? Or Brad Penny? Or even Heath Bell?

The former Marlins have been out of professional baseball for a few years. But they haven’t hung up their spikes.

Uggla, Penny and Bell are members of the Kansas Stars, a collection of former major-leaguers taking part in the National Baseball Congress World Series in Wichita, Kansas.

Josh Beckett and Roger Clemens played for the Stars last year.

This year’s roster includes such names as Chipper Jones, Roy Oswalt, Roy Halladay, Jonny Gomes, Jake Peavy, Ben Sheets and Tim Hudson.

“I don’t think anybody’s prepared the way you should be,” Penny said. “But it’s fun to see. It’s like a week’s vacation, really.”

The NBC is in its 83rd year and features mostly college-age teams from around the country.

The Stars’ game at 8 p.m. Monday will be televised live on ESPN2.

NEW ROLE

When Brad Ziegler landed on the disabled list in June, he was one of the Marlins’ early inning relievers. The moment he returned, everything had changed. He was their closer.

“[Justin] Bour was saying [Saturday], ‘You went on the DL as a sixth-inning guy and you came back as a closer,’ ” Ziegler said. “I said I don’t even know if I was a sixth-inning guy when I went on the DL.”

Manager Don Mattingly was left with few options for the role after the Marlins traded A.J. Ramos and David Phelps, and both Kyle Barraclough and Nick Wittgren landed on the DL.

But even though Ziegler struggled before going on the DL with a back injury, he gives the Marlins’ bullpen back-end experience. He saved 30 games for Arizona in 2015 and 22 in 2016 with the Diamondbacks and Red Sox.

“They just told me you’ve got a lot of experience pitching the ninth. That’s part of why we brought you in, in case we got into a circumstance like this,” Ziegler said. “I told them I was fine with it.”

Ziegler said the certainty of knowing when he’ll pitch should help him physically and mentally, as it would with any reliever given a specific role.

“No question,” Ziegler said. “It’s easier to mentally prepare. It’s easier to physically prepare, especially when I’m trying to do everything I can to keep my back loose and keep my arm ready.”

KOLEK STRUGGLES

Tyler Kolek — the Marlins’ top draft pick (second overall) in the 2014 draft — had an eyesore of a pitching line Sunday for the Gulf Coast League Marlins.

In what was his fourth outing since returning from Tommy John surgery, Kolek walked five of the seven batters he faced, uncorked two wild pitches, and surrendered six runs (five earned).

Overall, Kolek has walked 10 batters in only 3 1/3 innings while striking out just one.

Meanwhile, Trevor Rogers, their first-round pick in June, has yet to appear in a game.

COMING UP

▪ Monday: Marlins RHP Jose Urena (9-4, 4.04) vs. Washington Nationals LHP Gio Gonzalez (8-5, 2.81), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.

▪ Tuesday: Marlins LHP Chris O’Grady (2-1, 3.68) vs. Nationals RHP Max Scherzer (12-5, 2.23), 7:10 pm., Marlins Park.

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