Miami Marlins

On gloomy day, Marlins fall flat in uninspiring loss to Pirates

Pittsburgh Pirates’ Jordan Luplow (47) leads off second as Miami Marlins starter Wei-Yin Chen pitches in the first inning of a baseball game, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, in Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh Pirates’ Jordan Luplow (47) leads off second as Miami Marlins starter Wei-Yin Chen pitches in the first inning of a baseball game, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, in Pittsburgh. AP

The Marlins matched the weather on Saturday at PNC Park.

As in dreary.

The Marlins scored their only run in a 5-1 loss on a wild pitch as the Pirates locked up the series with their second staight win.

Only one Marlins base runner managed to reach second before the eighth inning, and they avoided their 12th shutout loss only because Miguel Rojas scored from third on a wild pitch thrown by Nick Kingham. The Marlins managed only five hits all game as Pirates starter Ivan Nova held them in check over six scoreless innings in which he struck out nine.

“He’s handcuffed us pretty much every time we’ve seen him over the past few years,” said manager Don Mattingly.

Nova is now 4-0 with an 0.98 ERA in four career starts against the Marlins. The Marlins have failed to score on Nova in any of his past three starts against them.

Marlins starter Wei-Yin Chen went four innings, allowing three runs on four hits. He also walked a pair as his road record fell to 1-7.

“He kind of had to battle every inning and just didn’t seem to have that same command,” Mattingly said. “When they showed the replays, it looked like he missed his spots and ended up paying for a couple of those.”

Chen struck out three in the first inning but gave up a run in the second, two more in the fourth, and coming out for a pinch-hitter in the fifth.

Chen said the wet conditions were a factor but not an excuse.

“As a player, that’s something you have to overcome,” Chen said of the light rain that fell throughout much of Saturday’s game. “As a player you have to be able to pitch in the rain.”

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Marlins reliever Tayron Guerrero knows that in order to succeed in the majors, he can’t live on 100 mph fastballs alone. That’s why he vowed to spend the winter off-season working on improving his curve.

“For sure,” Guerrero said Friday after failing to protect a late-inning lead and absorbing the loss to the Pirates by giving up three runs in the seventh. “Next year I have to come with (a better) breaking ball. If I use my breaking ball more, I’m probably going to have more success.”

Guerrero said he intends to work out this off-season with Braves starter Julio Teheran.

“I’ve learned a lot this season,” Guerrero said. “It’s my first year. Good days. Bad days.”

It’s been mostly bad of late. Guerrero has three blown saves over the past month and has given up eight earned runs in his last three outings.

-- Magneuris Sierra drew his first unintentional walk of the season Friday in what was his 107th plate appearance.

-- Marlins starter Dan Straily, who exited Friday’s outing with a strained left oblique, said Saturday he woke up feeling okay and hasn’t ruled out a return to the mound this season. But that remains doubtful.

If Straily is out for the season, the Marlins could still go with a six-man rotation by using Jarlin Garcia, Brett Graves and others to fill in.

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The Marlins have decided not to renew the contracts of Triple A New Orleans manager Arnie Beyeler and Double A Jacksonville manager Randy Ready.

New Orleans hitting coach Tommy Gregg also won’t be returning.

Beyeler had managed New Orleans for three seasons while Ready just completed his second season at the helm of Jacksonville.

-- The Marlins’ Triple A affiliate is expected to move from New Orleans to Wichita, Kan., as early as the 2020 season.

Wichita mayor Jeff Longwell announced earlier this week than the Baby Cakes had submitted a relocation application to the Pacific Coast League. Wichita is planning to build a new, $60 million ballpark.

The move would put the Marlins’ Triple A team in closer proximity to other PCL teams.

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