Miami Marlins

Finally, a victory both for the Marlins and their previously winless starting pitcher

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 4:  Jose Urena #62 of the Miami Marlins delivers a pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals in the first inning at Busch Stadium on June 4, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 4: Jose Urena #62 of the Miami Marlins delivers a pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals in the first inning at Busch Stadium on June 4, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

So 13 ended up being Jose Urena’s lucky number.

That’s how many starts it took for the Marlins’ Opening Day starter to finally crack the win column this season as he and his teammates both snapped prolonged losing streaks Tuesday night with a 7-4 victory over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium.

Urena picked up his first pitching win since Sept. 20 against the Mets at home last season, snapping a 14-game losing streak for the Marlins when he starts, which was a franchise record. Urena had gone 0-8 since that last winning start.

"It's good to get Jose on the board, honestly," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "He's pitched pretty good. Tonight, it seemed like one of those nights he didn't have his great stuff, but he hung in there enough, and the boys were swinging the bats a little bit, so it ended up being big for him."

The scoring output was the most run support Urena has received in any of his 13 starts this season surpassing the previous high of four. It was also the most runs the Marlins scored since their prior victory on May 28 at San Diego, snapping a season-worst six-game losing streak.

Urena’s average run support of 2.86 entering the game ranked lowest among National League starters with at least 12 starts.

"It felt good," Urena said. "We tried to put everything together to get a win. It was a good job from the boys tonight."

But even with the offensive help, getting through five innings was a struggle at times for Urena, who gave up four runs on 10 hits with one walk and three strikeouts on 98 pitches.

A critical pickoff play in the fifth inning likely saved Urena, and kept the Marlins (21-39) from what would have been their ninth loss in their past 10 games.

After the Cardinals plated two runs on a fielder’s choice grounder with the bases loaded by Tommy Pham and a single by Marcell Ozuna, Urena picked off Pham at third with runners on second and third and one out.

"That's something we have in the back pocket," Rojas said. "We don't run those kinds of plays every day but we're trying to keep it for a special moment in the game, an important moment. All the credit to Jose, to be pitching and trying to get guys out but be aware of the situation too and catch a sign and execute the play. It's not easy. At that moment, you're just trying to get the guy out at the plate and we're happy to catch that guy sleeping there."

Urena then induced an inning-ending grounder from Yadier Molina, who was playing in his first game in a month after undergoing surgery to his pelvic area.

"That was a big moment in the game right there It was real big," JT Riddle said. "Miggy and Jose did a great job. That’s between them on that play. Great timing and the play was huge for us. Maybe, they score that run there, maybe not. But that was huge for us."

Brian Anderson continued his clutch hitting and provided the difference-making hit when he hit a three-run home run to right field off reliever Preston Guilmet, who was making his first appearance in the majors since 2015.

Anderson entered the game with the sixth-best average in the National League with runners in scoring position and recorded two of his three hits in such situations.

Riddle hit his fifth career homer and second of the season with a solo blast to lead off the sixth inning.

"That one felt good and not to have to run around the bases as hard felt good," Riddle said. "I felt I had been missing some balls and getting into some tough counts and good to square one up at a big time in the game."

Riddle, who was playing in his 10th game since coming off the disabled list, entered the game hitting .207 with six hits in 29 at-bats.

"I think just getting comfortable is the big part of it," Riddle said. "I was kind of just pressing there early on trying to get that first hit out of the way and just get more relaxed and more comfortable at the plate."

JB Shuck, who started in center field for Lewis Brinson, walked three times and scored later that inning on a sacrifice fly by Derek Dietrich (2 for 3).

Adam Conley, Drew Steckenrider, Brad Ziegler and Kyle Barraclough each pitched a scoreless inning in relief. Barraclough, who was recently moved into the closer’s role, recorded his second save of the season.

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