Miami Marlins

String of quality starts ends as the Atlanta Braves bash Miami Marlins’ pitching

Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jose Urena (62) faces Atlanta Braves at Marlins Park in Miami, Monday, July 23, 2018.
Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jose Urena (62) faces Atlanta Braves at Marlins Park in Miami, Monday, July 23, 2018. snavarro@miamiherald.com

Quality starting pitching played a role in the Marlins’ recent winning stretch.

Jose Ureña couldn’t keep it going on Monday night.

The Braves’ batters chased Ureña after four innings and belted eight extra-base hits – including two home runs – to hand the Marlins a 12-1 defeat in front of a crowd of 8,259.

A day after a ninth-inning collapse kept them from securing what would have been a season-best win streak the Marlins (43-59) dropped their third in a row to the Braves (54-43) and have lost six of their first eight meetings with Atlanta this year.

After three consecutive quality starts from Dan Straily, Pablo Lopez and Trevor Richards following the All-Star break, Ureña lasted only four innings and gave up five runs for the second consecutive outing.

Ureña allowed five runs on six hits, walked two (one intentional), hit a batter and struck out four on 83 pitches.

In four starts since returning from a right shoulder impingement, Ureña is 0-1 with a 5.78 ERA allowing 12 earned runs in 18 2/3 innings with 18 strikeouts and nine walks.

“It’s something we should talk about with him to make sure he’s feeling 100 percent ,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “It’s been a little different since he came back. Just doesn’t seem as aggressive in the strike zone. The last couple have been fairly rough.”

Ureña surpassed a club record held by former Marlins’ pitcher Anibal Sanchez by failing to record a win in 14 consecutive home starts. Ureña has received only one run of support in 12 of his starts this season and 13 runs in his 13 home starts. His 2.73 run support average entering the game was the lowest among National League starters that have made a minimum of 19 starts.

Ureña (2-10, 4.63 ERA) does not have a win at Marlins Park since Sept. 20, 2017.

Ureña, who had given up only three home runs in his previous eight starts, allowed two over the first two frames on Monday.

“They made good approaches,” Ureña said. “I feel good. I feel fine.”

Freddie Freeman connected on an 85.9 mph slider from Ureña for a two-run home run to left center to give the Braves a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. The other – a solo homer - came off the bat of Dansby Swanson.

Justin Bour blasted a solo home run 431 feet into the hedges behind the center field wall for his 16th of the season and the Marlins’ lone run.

In Ureña’s previous start on July 15, the Marlins erased the early damage with an eight-run offensive outburst that led to a 10-5 victory over the Phillies.

The Marlins’ best chance to mount a comeback Monday came in the fourth inning when they loaded the bases with one out on three consecutive singles. But Braves starter Sean Newcomb struck out Yadiel Rivera and pinch hitter Derek Dietrich in succession.

The Braves tallied four more runs off reliever Ben Meyer and three more off Brett Graves, finishing with 16 hits overall.

Shortstop Miguel Rojas exited the game after seven innings with back spasms. It’s unclear whether Rojas will be available for Tuesday’s game.

“After practice I was feeling something, but I didn’t think it was a big deal,” Rojas said. “I have to wake up [Tuesday] and see how I feel.”

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