Miami Marlins

Needing a lengthy start, the Marlins' Jose Ureña delivered against the lowly Orioles

BALTIMORE, MD - JUNE 15: Jose Urena #62 of the Miami Marlins pitches in the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on June 15, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - JUNE 15: Jose Urena #62 of the Miami Marlins pitches in the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on June 15, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

They needed length.

Jose Ureña gave them quality.

A day after the Marlins played 16 innings against the Giants before flying out to Baltimore, Ureña gave them an ace-caliber performance tossing eight shutout innings to lead Miami to a 2-0 shutout win over the Orioles.

"That was incredible when you talk about a spot where we needed a start like that," said Brian Anderson, who drove in the Marlins' first run of the game in the fifth inning. "[Ureña] set the tone from the first few innings. He kept running that sinker in there and wasn't giving in and it seemed like he always got the ground ball he needed and our defense was there to make the plays."

Ureña became the first Marlins starter this season to pitch eight innings and threw a career-high 112 pitches.

And it was his longest scoreless start since Sept. 11, 2016 when he threw 8<AF>2/3 shutout innings against the Dodgers and the third outing of his career that he pitched five or more shutout frames.

"It felt like the sixth [inning] there he was in cruise control hitting 97-98 [mph]," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "The ball was sinking and then it got a little rough in the seventh and eighth, but got out of it. He threw the ball well all game long."

The Marlins (27-43) won for the fourth time in their past five games and are 7-7 so far in June. The Orioles (19-49) lost for the eighth consecutive time, marking their worst losing streak since July 2011.

Ureña commanded his two-seam fastballs, sliders and changeups effectively as he walked one batter, hit a batter, and allowed three hits while striking out four.

"We tried tonight a little bit different with the offspeeds, and that’s the one pitch that has helped a lot, and that we've been using," Ureña said.

Mattingly added about Ureña's slider: "It’s been an improving pitch for him. The numbers have shown it, but it’s something you always want to get better."

Mattingly was so confident in Ureña he had no plans to take him out in the seventh inning despite Adam Jones leading the inning off with a bunt single and Manny Machado following with another. Ureña induced a double play grounder from Danny Valencia and then struck out Trey Mancini.

"He’s a strong kid and really if we had a bigger lead I’d have sent him back out," Mattingly said. "I’m sure he’d get tired, but you don’t always say that. He’s an extremely hard worker. He’s in great shape. He just keeps coming. The velocity was there. He holds it all game long."

Closer Kyle Barraclough recorded his fifth save of the season and extended his scoreless streak to 15 2/3 innings in what was his 16th consecutive scoreless appearance.

The Marlins didn’t score much but gave Ureña just enough support.

Lewis Brinson tripled twice, which marked the eighth time in Marlins history that a player has tripled twice in a game and the first time since Don Kelly on July 27, 2016. Brinson’s triple in the sixth scored J.T. Riddle.

"The first one I hit it to the right spot, the deepest part of the park," Brinson said. "And that one, the ball getting away from the center fielder. I saw that and I told myself I'm going three again."

Miguel Rojas left in the sixth with a left-hand contusion after he was hit by a 97 mph fastball from Orioles starter Kevin Gausman. The ball ricocheted off Rojas’ hand and caught him in the face.Rojas was listed as day-to-day, and X-rays on his hand came back negative for any fractures.

"It hurt bad and I thought it was going to be worse," Rojas said. "I can move my hand normally. Last year when I had the broken bone [in my hand], I couldn’t do that. So I feel blessed that it wasn’t anything worse."

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