Miami Marlins

Marlins edge Pirates 3-2 on Hechavarria’s late double

Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, left, and relief pitcher A.J. Ramos congratulate each other after the Marlins defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 in a baseball game, Wed., June 1, 2016, in Miami.
Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, left, and relief pitcher A.J. Ramos congratulate each other after the Marlins defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 in a baseball game, Wed., June 1, 2016, in Miami. AP

For the second time in four days, Derek Dietrich was on the ground during a game after getting hit by a baseball.

On Wednesday night, Dietrich’s painful predicament sparked a winning rally by the Marlins.

Following Dietrich’s latest run-in with a baseball, Adeiny Hechavarria belted a go-ahead double into left-center field that scored pinch-runner Miguel Rojas and lifted the Marlins to a 3-2 victory at home over the Pirates.

Adam Conley pitched six shutout innings and A.J. Ramos sealed the Marlins’ second consecutive win as he picked up his 17th save in as many opportunities following a strong hold by David Phelps.

Hechavarria had been 0 for his previous 10 at-bats before his game-winning double.

“I was thinking a little bit about the first few innings when I couldn’t come through,” Hechavarria said. “With two outs, I was hoping Derek would get on any way he could. Unfortunately, he got hit by a pitch, but I’m just happy I could help the team.”

A 92-mph fastball from Pirates reliever Tony Watson rode in on Dietrich and hit him square on the left wrist area, sending him to the ground in pain.

Dietrich left the game quickly and walked into the Marlins’ clubhouse with team trainer Dustin Luepker to be examined.

Last Sunday, Dietrich was hit by a line-drive foul ball that ricocheted off the dugout wall and hit him on the back of the head. Dietrich spent that night in Atlanta under observation but returned to the team Monday after being cleared to play.

Dietrich was hit by a pitch for the ninth time this season, which ties him with Anthony Rizzo for the most in the National League, and for the 39th time in his career.

Marlins manager Don Mattingly had no update on Dietrich’s status after the game, but Mattingly said he had an X-ray taken and that “it didn’t sound good.”

“Derek said he felt like something happened [when he got hit] right away, which is not good,” Mattingly said. “Hopefully, we get some good news.”

While not one of the team’s most prolific hitters, Hechavarria has been one of the most clutch. His double was his third game-winning RBI of the season, which is tied for the team lead.

Hechavarria’s batting average dipped as low as .177 on April 27.

He has since steadily raised it after hitting .274 in May, often being in the No. 8 spot in the lineup. After Wednesday’s game, Hechavarria is hitting .251 with three home runs and 16 RBI.

“I honestly haven’t changed much in my approach,” Hechavarria said. “I think you just look at the video, and I’ve picked up a few little things like leaning forward too much or waiting too much to get it going. I still don’t feel 100 percent as I did last year, but it’s just about making adjustments little by little with each at-bat.”

Although he did not earn a decision after the Pirates tied the game in the seventh inning, Conley was working on a no-hitter for the first  5 2/3 innings.

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Conley matched a career high for strikeouts with nine and didn’t allow a hit until Andrew McCutchen singled with two outs in the top of the sixth.

In Conley’s near no-hitter in Milwaukee earlier this year, he threw  7 2/3 hitless innings on 116 pitches before being pulled. Conley didn’t allow a hit in his next start for the first  3 2/3 innings, giving him  11 1/3 innings in a row without allowing a hit to set the club record for a starting pitcher.

Conley gave up a double to David Freese right after McCutchen’s hit, but he kept the Pirates from scoring when he got Starling Marte to ground out to end the inning.

Conley walked three and threw 105 pitches but looked sharper than his past two starts, as he worked more at the quick pace that’s made him more effective.

“I felt my timing and the life on my fastball was a lot better,” Conley said. “The angle I had to the plate made the changeup and the slider down in the zone and more effective.”

Kyle Barraclough ran into trouble in the seventh, loading the bases with one out on two walks and a single. Pinch-hitter Matt Joyce drove in two runs on a single off Mike Dunn, who made his first appearance of the season.

Phelps replaced Dunn and needed only two pitches to prevent the Pirates from taking the lead, inducing Jordy Mercer to ground into an inning-ending double play. Phelps followed that up by striking out the side (McCutchen, Freese and Marte) in the eighth.

“I feel like I have good command of my stuff right now,” Phelps said. “I’ve got a lot of confidence right now built up from the year and in everything J.T. [Realmuto] is calling behind the plate.”

▪ Phelps said he and some of his teammates got texts from reliever Bryan Morris on Wednesday saying his back surgery went well.

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