Urena falters in first start as Marlins fall to Pirates 5-1
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Miami Marlins reassigned third base coach Brett Butler on Tuesday morning and gave the job to Lenny Harris. Manager Dan Jennings promised a smooth transition while believing Butler would better serve the team in the dugout.
There were no major issues for Harris on Tuesday night against Pittsburgh. Then again, he really didn’t have much to do. The Marlins packed the bases for much of the night, but only one crossed home plate in a 5-1 loss.
Miami left 10 men on and went 1 for 6 with runners in scoring position to fall to 3-13 in its last 16 games, including just 2-7 since Jennings replaced Mike Redmond. Pittsburgh scored all five of its runs against rookie Jose Urena (0-1) with two outs while winning its fifth straight.
“The difference was the two-out runs,” Jennings said. “They were able to capitalize on it. They had opportunities and took advantage. We hit some balls hard but we didn’t get them to fall with two outs.”
Urena failed to make it out of the fifth inning in his first big league start, yielding 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings. Martin Prado had an RBI double and Christian Yelich added two hits for Miami.
The Marlins recalled the 23-year-old Urena from Triple-A earlier in the day to make a spot start for a rotation beset by injuries. Urena was an impressive 4-0 with a 1.22 ERA in the minors, but the Pirates made quick work of his mid-90s fastball.
“These are things that just happen in a game,” Urena said. “I was confident in what I was doing today. It didn’t work out for me.”
.Jeff Locke (3-2) struck out six and walked four in 5 2/3 shutout innings for his first victory this season against a team other than last-place Milwaukee. Neil Walker hit a two-run homer for Pittsburgh, and Josh Harrison and Jung Ho Kang had two hits apiece.
“When we play baseball like this, we’re gonna have a lot of success,” Walker said.
Kang singled home Harrison to give Pittsburgh the lead in the first. Harrison — who has multiple hits in six of his last 11 games — doubled home Jordy Mercer in the third and Walker then sliced his third homer of the season into the seats in left field.
“You can’t miss upstairs here in this league,” Jennings said. ”(Urena) made some pitches where he missed up and they made him pay. That put us in a little bit of a hole.”
Locke came in winless in his previous six starts as his ERA ballooned to 5.28, easily the worst on the starting staff. He seemed to find something during a no-decision against Minnesota last week, settling down after giving up three runs in the first.
The 2013 All-Star kept it going against Miami, pitching carefully to Giancarlo Stanton and taking his chances with the rest of Miami’s struggling lineup. Stanton went 1 for 2 with a double and two walks but couldn’t stop the Marlins from falling to 1-10 in their last 11 games at PNC Park.
Marlins: 1B Michael Morse was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained ligament in his right ring finger to make room for Urena. ... RHP Jose Fernandez will throw a simulated game on Wednesday as he continues his comeback from Tommy John surgery. ... RHP Henderson Alvarez is focusing on strengthening his ailing right shoulder and has not been cleared to throw. ... RHPs Jarred Cosart and Mat Latos will work off the mound later this week.
The Pirates go for their second straight series sweep and third of the season on Wednesday when Gerrit Cole (6-2, 2.05 ERA) tries for his seventh win of the season. Cole tossed a career-high 8 1/3 innings and struck out 10 in a victory over the New York Mets last Friday. The Marlins, who have already been swept five times, will give left-hander Brad Hand (0-1, 5.48 ERA) his first start of the season.