Caleb Smith goes 7 innings to help Marlins beat Arizona 11-6
MIAMI (AP) — By the second inning, Caleb Smith had infield dirt on his jersey, his knee and the backside of his pants, which is why his third inning of pitching was less than clean.
Smith endured a bad stretch after a baserunning adventure but recovered to pitch seven innings and help the Miami Marlins beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 11-6 Monday.
Smith laid down a bunt in the second and wound up at third base thanks to two errors on the play. The next inning he gave up three hits, including a three-run homer by Ketel Marte, and acknowledged his jaunt on the bases took a toll.
“We need to keep oxygen tanks in the dugout,” Smith joked. “My legs were definitely tired. It took probably two innings to get my legs back under me.”
Smith (7-4) allowed only one other run, struck out nine and retired his final 10 batters. The left-hander has won his past four decisions for the team with the National League’s worst record.
The Diamondbacks (53-54) lost three of four in the series, making it more likely they’ll be sellers at this week’s trade deadline. They’re outscored opponents by 61 runs but are below .500 for the first time since July 5.
“We’ve watched a lot of frustrating baseball these past four games,” manager Tony Lovullo said. “The four games here in Miami was clumsy baseball, and we’re not a clumsy team.”
Miami’s Miguel Rojas homered for the third game in a row, increasing his season total to four. Teammate Brian Anderson added his 15th homer and his second in two games.
Both homers came off rookie Merrill Kelly (7-11), who allowed seven runs in six innings. He has lost his past five decisions, and in the past two starts his ERA has climbed from 3.77 to 4.52.
“Unacceptable,” he said.
Carson Kelly hit his 13th homer for Arizona, which totaled 24 hits in the series.
Rojas’ homer came in the Marlins’ six-run second, which also included the errors on Smith’s bunt that scored two runs. Kelly fielded the bunt and made a wild throw to first. Smith then continued to second, where he slid and then continued to third when the throw there eluded left fielder Tim Locastro as he tried to cover the base.
“That was brutal,” Smith said of his workout. “Next time I’m going stay at first, I don’t care if the ball goes all the way to the wall.”
It was brutal for the Diamondbacks, too.
“We just have to tighten things up,” Lovullo said. “They ran a play we were prepared for. We talked about and practiced. And it turned into four or five extra runs.”
STILL THROWING INSIDE
Marlins right-hander Tayron Guerrero hit pinch hitter David Peralta in the right foot with a 90 mph slider in the ninth inning.
Peralta stayed in the game, and there was no repeat of Saturday’s confrontation when both benches cleared after Christian Walker was plunked by Guerrero.
Diamondbacks right-hander Greg Holland, who lost the closer’s job last weekend, entered in the seventh and allowed four runs in one-third of an inning. That hiked his ERA to 4.54.
The Marlins improved to 10-9-1 in their past 20 series. They started the year 1-10-3.
“We’re playing better, and we’re looking forward to what we can do from now on,” Rojas said.
Marlins: C Jorge Alfaro (tight quad) was held out of the starting lineup, but is expected to return Tuesday.
Diamondbacks: RHP Taylor Clarke (3-3, 6.10 ERA) is scheduled to start the opener of a two-game series at the Yankees on Tuesday. The game will be Clarke’s first since his wife gave birth to a daughter Thursday. The visit will the Diamondbacks’ second to Yankee Stadium, and their first since 2013.
Marlins: Rookie RHP Zac Gallen (1-2, 2.76 ERA) is scheduled to make his seventh start Tuesday to begin a three-game series against the Twins. In his last start, Gallen pitched seven shutout innings to beat the White Sox for his first career win.
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