The Marlins put an end to a pair of dubious streaks Monday night as an organization.
First, the New Orleans Zephyrs, the club’s Triple A affiliate, snapped a club-record 15-game losing streak with a 5-0 win over the Las Vegas 51s.
And then, the big-league team, the one tied with the Philadelphia Phillies for the worst record in baseball, mercifully ended a season-long 21-inning scoreless streak when Marcell Ozuna scored on J.T. Realmuto’s groundout in the seventh inning.
Those were the highlights. The overall lowlights, meanwhile, continued.
The Pittsburgh Pirates, a team the Marlins were supposed to be battling for a wild card spot before the season went crooked, sent Miami to its fourth consecutive loss with a 5-2 decision at Marlins Park.
Marlins starter Tom Koehler threw a season-high 112 pitches, one shy of his career high, and tossed six gutsy innings of two-run ball. He even evaded a bases-loaded, nobody out situation in the fifth without giving up a run. But with an offense ranked 28th in runs scored entering the day – and a struggling bullpen – it meant little.
The Marlins bullpen allowed the Pirates to score a run in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings – marking the seventh game in a row Miami’s relief staff has given up at least one run, tying a season-high.
The Pirates weren’t happy with the location of quite a few late inning pitches by the Marlins bullpen, which hit two batters and nearly hit two others.
Marlins reliever Erik Cordier was ejected in the eighth inning after his second pitch of the game, a 98 mph fastball struck pinch-hitter Sean Rodriguez on the hand. It happened an inning after teammate Brian Ellington hit Pirates left fielder Starling Marte to open the frame and Marte stared Ellington down on his way to first base.
“I thought it was too quick,” manager Dan Jennings said of the ejection.
Cordier, who was with the Pirates organization in 2013, said he had no intent to hit Rodriguez. Jennings said warnings to both teams wasn’t given until after Cordier was ejected.
“I was just trying to get back into the count, just missed the slider,” Cordier said. “The ball got away from me a little bit. Look at my minor league stats -- it happens from time to time. There was no malicious intent at all. I’m friends with a good portion of the guys in there. I’m not quite sure why he pulled the trigger like that.”
YELICH EYES RETURN
Christian Yelich, sidelined since Aug. 10 with a bruised right knee, is hoping to be back in the Marlins lineup Tuesday night, the first day he’s eligible to come off the disabled list.
Yelich has kept himself busy taking batting practice over the last two weeks, but said he has avoided running and shagging fly balls to give his knee some rest and regain his range of motion. Sunday, he ran for the first time, and Monday was the first time he tested his knee in the outfield.
Yelich was red-hot at the plate when he was hurt banging against the outfield wall in Atlanta. After starting the season ice cold, he’s hit .345 with two homers and 14 RBI since June 27 with 14 multi-hit games in a 37-game span.
Yelich said he’s looking forward to playing alongside center fielder Marcell Ozuna again. The two haven’t played together since Ozuna was sent down to the minors on July 5 -- about 10 days after right fielder Giancarlo Stanton went on the disabled list with a broken hamate bone in his right hand. Stanton is hoping to return early next month.
The Marlins starting outfield trio, pegged the best in baseball by ESPN prior to the season, has made a grand total of 44 starts together this season. The Marlins were 15-29 when all three were in the lineup together this season. Miami was 58-56 last season when Yelich, Ozuna and Stanton was the team’s starting outfield.
“It’s been rare for us to all be out there at the same time,” Yelich said. “It’s been one of those years we’ve had to overcome a lot of injuries and it’s taken its toll a little bit. For everybody to come back and be healthy for the last month of the season it will be a good thing. Maybe, we can get some chemistry going and take that into the off-season.”’
▪ Reliever Carter Capps, on the DL with a right elbow strain since Aug. 3, said Monday he’s still feeling discomfort in his throwing elbow. “I’ve had a few bullpen sessions. I’m just trying to get beyond healthy and be able to throw like I have been all year,” he said.
“Right now I don’t feel anything on the slider. The long toss has been great. Little discomfort still on some of the fastballs once I’m off the mound. Other than that, probably just a few more days and that will go away, and then I’ll really start amping it up.”
▪ Marlins rookie Kendry Flores was scratched from Wednesday’s start.
Tuesday: Marlins LHP Brad Hand (3-3, 4.46) vs. Pirates RHP Charlie Morton (8-4, 4.06), 7:10 p.m.
Wednesday: Marlins LHP Chris Narveson (1-0, 3.86 ERA) vs. Pirates LHP Jeff Locke (6-8, 4.56), 7:10 p.m.