Miami Marlins

Close calls cost Miami Marlins in 1-run loss to Cleveland Indians

First it was the third base umpire. Then it was the home plate umpire.

Marlins manager Mike Redmond stomped out of the dugout to dispute a pair of important calls in Saturday’s seventh inning, and both times he was unable to change the verdict.

Not that he had a strong case.

Replays confirmed the two umpires’ safe calls, and the Cleveland Indians used them to their advantage in a 4-3 win at Marlins Park.

The loss prevented the Marlins from recording their first four-game winning streak since the middle of last season.

“Busy night out there,” Redmond said. “A lot of close plays there that didn’t go our way, could have, could have kept us from going down a couple of runs.”

Jason Kipnis drove in three runs, including two with a bases-loaded single in the decisive seventh, as the Indians evened the series after being blown out 10-0 on Friday night.

The Marlins didn’t go down quietly, pulling to within a run in the ninth and placing runners at second and third with one out. But Indians closer Chris Perez got Rob Brantly on a ground ball to first and Placido Polanco on a fly ball to center to end it.

Redmond was upset on a safe call at third on a double steal by the Indians.

And he was angry on a play at the plate when Michael Bourn slid across on Kipnis’ one-out single off Marlins reliever Dan Jennings.

He didn’t get his way, as the Marlins didn’t get either the pitching or hitting performances they received the night before when rookie Jose Fernandez whiffed 14 and the Marlins totaled 16 hits.

On Saturday, the Marlins didn’t get their first hit off Zach McAllister until the sixth inning and finished with only six. Nor did Jacob Turner exactly mirror Fernandez’s lights-out start on Friday.

Turner’s strike-zone command was reminiscent of his poor spring. He walked a pair, uncorked two wild pitches, and labored for six innings in which he somehow managed to hold the Indians to two runs.

Kipnis drove in the first of those with a RBI single in the first. The Indians utilized Bourn’s speed to produce their second run. Bourn, who stole second base in the first inning to set up Cleveland’s first run, stole second again in the third, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on Brantly’s overthrow of third and into the outfield.

Meanwhile, McAllister retired the Marlins’ first 11 batters before Giancarlo Stanton walked with two outs in the fourth. McAllister was in such complete command early that he struck out seven in the first four innings, and the Marlins were unable to hit the ball out of the infield during that time.

But, all at once, they got things going in the sixth. Brantly singled to open the inning. One out later, Christian Yelich put the Marlins on the board with a RBI double to left-center, followed immediately by a game-tying RBI single by Ed Lucas. The Marlins had a chance for an even bigger inning in the sixth by loading the bases with two outs.

Adeiny Hechavarria ripped a line shot to center, though, that was caught by Bourn for the final out.

What life the Marlins brought to the crowd of 22,997 in the sixth was snuffed out in the seventh by the Indians. Jennings gave up a one-out single to Drew Stubbs, who quickly stole second.

After a pair of walks to Bourn and Nick Swisher, Kipnis came through again with his two-run single to make it a 4-2 game.

It was a long night behind the plate for Brantly. Not only was he charged with a throwing error that led directly to a run, but the Indians challenged him on the base paths, stealing six bases without being thrown out.

That matched the Marlins record for most stolen bases allowed in a game. The Dodgers on Aug. 1, 1996, and Braves on Sept. 13, 2000, also stole six bases against the Marlins.

Related stories from Miami Herald