Last night the Pittsburgh Pirates dropped their second straight loss to the Miami Marlins. Miami took the lead early in the 3rd inning and never gave up the lead to gain the 3-1 victory.
For the first time since August 10, the Pirates looked flat and failed to score multiple runs. As a matter of fact, only two Pirates were able to get in the hit column. Josh Harrison was the highlight of the game as he tallied three total hits which included a 6th inning double. Mecer’s only hit was a double as well.
Miami’s offense was limited in their own right as well as they only had six hits in the contest, though the timing and errors by the Pirates ultimately earned them the victory. Miguel Rojas, who came off of a three hit performance the night before, was the only player for the Marlins with two hits.
Xavier Scruggs, who became a Marlin after the St. Louis Cardinals released him last season, hit a two run home run in the 4th inning to give Miami a 3-0 lead off of Chad Kuhl. It was his second hit of the year as well as this series.
The pitching was solid on both ends. Chad Kuhl allowed just a single to J.T. Realmuto in the first 2 innings while recording outs to the remaining six batters. It was until the 3rd inning that things unraveled a bit. Miguel Rojas hit a lead off single in the 3rd inning. Pitcher, David Phelps, then hit a liner to Gregory Polanco which was called an out but then later overturned due to replay.
With two men on and no outs, Dee Gordon hit a ball to Andrew McCutchen that should easily have been caught. Cutch jogged over to his right and had the ball in his glove, but then it popped out allowing Miguel Rojas to score from second on an error. With Kuhl getting the remaining two batters out, you can see that this inning was not credited to Kohl’s performance.
It was then the very next inning that Ichiro Suzuki hit a line drive double to Gregory Polanco with two outs. With Xavier Scruggs up to bat next, Scruggs took Kuhl deep on a line drive to straight away center. Kuhl would eventually go 6 full innings and allow just two earned runs on five hits and no walks. He did fail to strike anyone out in this game, though.
The story in this contest was David Phelps. Being a reliever since the beginning of this season, Phelps entered the rotation on August 5 and was making just his fourth start of the season last night. As we mentioned in the preview, Phelps fastball has gained three MPH and his K/9 rate it as an all time high of 11.22. Last night he built upon that going 6 innings while allowing just two hits, two walks, and striking out nine. He lowered his ERA even further now to a 2.28 mark.
The Pirates will try to avoid the sweep today as they play at 1:35 PM.