Pablo Lopez’s bid for a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians ended in the bottom of the sixth inning on Tuesday when Jose Ramirez floated a one-out single to shallow right field.
Lopez’s best start of the season, however, continued on a little bit longer.
The 25-year-old right-hander threw a season-long 6 1/3 innings while giving up just two hits and an unearned run to lift the Marlins to a 3-1 win over the Indians at Progressive Field to begin a two-game series. The Marlins (7-16) will go for the sweep on Wednesday. First pitch is set for 1:10 p.m.
“I would by lying to you if I said I wasn’t thinking about it. Of course I had it in my mind,” Lopez said of the no-hit bid. “It was there, but at the same time, that’s not the main thing.”
Before that sixth-inning hit, which was erased by a double play one batter later, Lopez had retired 16 of the 20 batters he faced. The lone blemishes to that point were a Jason Kipnis walk, a Miguel Rojas error that allowed Francisco Lindor to reach first, a Carlos Santana walk and a Roberto Perez hit-by-pitch.
Lopez’s night ended three batters into the seventh. He gave up a leadoff single to Carlos Gonzalez and watched Jason Kipnis reach on a fielding error before striking out Perez to end his time on the mound. Gonzalez eventually scored on a Tyler Naquin single to give the Indians (12-10) their lone run of the game.
Lopez struck out six in the win, one shy of his season and career high. He threw 86 pitches, including 13 swinging strikes. Tuesday was the first time in Lopez’s career that he did not give up an earned run.
“You can see the last couple times out he’s been a little bit better as the game gets,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “He’s learning how to use his pitches the third time through [the lineup].”
Adam Conley, Drew Steckenrider and Sergio Romo threw 2 2/3 scoreless innings of relief. Romo earned his third save of the year by retiring the side in the ninth.
The Marlins got all the run support they needed in the fifth inning by putting up three runs against Indians relief pitcher Neil Ramirez, who entered when starter Carlos Carrasco suffered left knee discomfort after colliding with Neil Walker at first base in the fourth inning. Catcher Jorge Alfaro started off with a leadoff home run to right field — his fourth homer of the season, all to opposite field. A one-out single by Isaac Galloway and a walk by Jon Berti set up Curtis Granderson’s RBI double to right field. A Martin Prado sacrifice fly scored Berti from third.
The Marlins’ nine hits on Tuesday were a season-high for a road game.
“We’re trying to compete,” Alfaro said. “We’re trying to go out and fight every game.”
Anderson’s streak continues
Brian Anderson’s two-out single in the fourth inning not only broke up Carrasco’s perfect game. It also extended Anderson’s streak of safely reaching base to 11 consecutive games — every game since he received an off day on April 10 against the Cincinnati Reds.
In that stretch, Anderson is hitting .341 (14 for 41) with three doubles, two home runs and nine walks.
The Marlins announced prior to Tuesday’s game that they placed relief pitcher Jarlin García on the Paternity List as he awaits the birth of his first child. The team called up Jose Quijada from Triple A New Orleans to fill Garcia’s spot.
Quijada, the Marlins’ No. 26 overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline who impressed during spring training, has been used primarily in a closer role with the Baby Cakes. He converted all three of his save opportunities and had eight strikeouts over eight innings of work that spanned five relief appearances.
“I’m very happy — above happiness, I would say,” Quijada said pregame through an interpreter. “Since you sign as a professional baseball player, this is your goal, so I feel humbled and I’m very happy. The emotions are great that I’m experiencing.”
Berti’s first start
Berti, who the Marlins called up on Saturday, made his first start of the season at third base. He showed off his defensive skills two at-bats into the bottom of the first with a solid throw to first base on a Leonys Martin groundout and executed a shift on the right side against Carlos Santana. At the plate, Berti went 0 for 3 and drew a one-out walk in the fifth, eventually scoring on Prado’s sacrifice fly.
“He’s high energy for us,” Mattingly said. “He gives us that speed aspect that we want. Good baseball IQ. The whole thing. We liked what he looked like in spring, we needed a boost and it’s good to have him here.”
This and that
▪ Prado recorded the 1,500th hit of his MLB career with a two-out single in the seventh inning.
▪ Starlin Castro and Neil Walker both had multi-hit games on Tuesday.
▪ Miami native and Ransom Everglades alumnus Dan Otero pitched a season-long two innings of scoreless relief for the Indians. He gave up three hits and struck out one.