Miami Marlins

Pitching struggles, former Marlins first-round pick excels as Pirates shut out Miami

Miami Marlins starting pitcher Trevor Richards (36) pitches in the first inning as the Miami Marlins host the Pittsburgh Pirates at Marlins Park on Friday, June 14, 2019.
Miami Marlins starting pitcher Trevor Richards (36) pitches in the first inning as the Miami Marlins host the Pittsburgh Pirates at Marlins Park on Friday, June 14, 2019. adiaz@miamiherald.com

Trevor Richards held his own through the first four innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates as he looked to add on to his recent stretch of solid pitching performances.

And then came the fifth inning.

Richards gave up four runs on five hits in that decisive inning, all but sealing the Marlins’ fate in an eventual 11-0 loss to the Pirates on Friday to start a three-game series.

The Marlins (24-43) have lost six of seven games so far on this homestand with two more games remaining against the Pirates (31-38) before going back on the road. Miami has been shut out 12 times this season. Seven of those games have been at Marlins Park.

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Richards’ fifth-inning trouble began when Pirates pitcher Steven Brault and Kevin Newman hit back-to-back one-out doubles to left field. A Bryan Reynolds single put runners on the corners before Starling Marte hit a sacrifice fly to right field. Newman scored on that play with Brian Anderson’s throw home being off the mark. A Josh Bell RBI triple and Colin Moran RBI single wrapped up scoring in the inning.

Moran, the Marlins’ first-round pick in the 2013 MLB Draft, opened scoring for the Pirates with an RBI single in the fourth and also added a three-run home run off Jeff Brigham in the seventh to finish the game 3 for 5 with a career-high five RBI.

Jose Osuna extended the Pirates’ lead to double digits with a pinch-hit two-run home run to left-center field off Jarlin Garcia in the eighth. Josh Bell made it 11-0 with a sacrifice fly.

The Marlins pitching staff gave up a season-high 18 hits.

Richards’ night ended after the fifth. He gave up a career-high 11 hits, struck out one and allowed five Pirates to score before being replaced by Adam Conley in the sixth. Richards threw 78 pitches, 54 of which went for strikes.

Richards had given up three total earned runs over his last four starts, which spanned 24 2/3 innings.

The Marlins had their scoring opportunities, putting up eight hits — all singles — and had 10 total base runners through the first six innings.

Miami, however, finished the game 3 for 15 with runners on base, grounded into two double plays, struck out eight times and left 10 runners on base. The Marlins had one hit in the final three innings, a two-out single by JT Riddle in the ninth.

Miami’s nine hits are a season-high in a shutout loss.

Jordan McPherson covers the Miami Marlins and high school sports for the Miami Herald. He attended the University of Florida and covered the Gators athletic program for five years before joining the Herald staff in December 2017.
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