Double plays doom Marlins in 4th straight loss
PHOENIX (AP) — Every time Miami got some offense going, it seemed as if the Marlins would hit into a double play.
It was that kind of frustrating night for the visitors in the series opener in the desert.
Derek Dietrich homered for the only run Monday night in Arizona’s 3-1 victory, snapping a six-game losing streak for the Diamondbacks and handing the Marlins their fourth straight loss.
“The double plays were definitely a nemesis tonight,” said Miami manager Dan Jennings, whose team hit into four of them. “We couldn’t deliver with two outs, and the difference in the game was, honestly, they did and we didn’t. (David) Phelps pitched well enough to win. He had the one problem in that one inning where we mishandled a bunt, then walked a guy, but he battled, kept us in it and gave us a chance.”
Shortstop Nick Ahmed paced Arizona’s defense, barehanding the ball and in one motion barely getting a force at second for the crucial second out of the eighth inning. Another time, he did a 360-degree spin to convert one of the four double plays for the Diamondbacks, who snapped a six-game losing streak and handed the Marlins their fourth straight loss.
Ahmed finished with 10 assists, one shy of Stephen Drew’s club record.
Miami loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth, but closer Brad Ziegler got Dietrich to ground out to the Arizona shortstop, who was perfectly positioned with the shift on. Ziegler got the last five outs for his 15th save of the season and 13th in a row.
Rubby De La Rosa went seven innings for his first win in five starts and David Peralta singled in two runs.
De La Rosa (7-5) allowed a run on five hits, overcame a season-high five walks and got his second RBI of the season by hitting into a bases-loaded fielder’s choice.
Peralta’s two-out, bases-loaded single off David Phelps (4-6) in the third provided the only runs needed by the Diamondbacks.
Phelps went 5 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on seven hits with four walks and three strikeouts.
He bristled at the suggestion he had a good game on the mound.
“We have a little different opinion what pitching well is,” Phelps said. “Fastball command is usually what I am best at and tonight it was just off the plate, off the plate, off the plate. I just put myself in bad counts. I’ve got to do a better job of getting ahead of guys.”
Ahmed led off Arizona’s third with his second triple of the season, a shot to deep center. Phelps struck out De La Rosa and got Ender Inciarte to ground out to second before A.J. Pollock and Paul Goldschmidt walked to load the bases. On the next pitch, Peralta’s opposite-field single to left brought two runs home.
De La Rosa escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first, inducing Adeiny Hechavarria to hit into a double play.
In the sixth, the Diamondbacks loaded the bases and De La Rosa’s broken-bat blooper brought in a run. Ahmed, uncertain if the ball would be caught, was forced out at second on a throw from right fielder Ichiro Suzuki.
Leading off the seventh, Dietrich homered just over the glove of Inciarte in right field, the ball bouncing off the top of the fence and over, to cut the lead to 3-1.
A BASEBALL ‘FLOP?’
Three pitches into the game, Suzuki went to the deck emphatically as the umpire ruled he was hit by a pitch. The trainer rushed out to see if he was all right. But the Diamondbacks challenged and the video replay clearly showed the ball hit the bat, not him.
Muhammad Ali watched the game from the owner’s suite. The boxing great, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, lives in suburban Phoenix.
Marlins: Jennings said OF Giancarlo Stanton has been cleared to begin “dry swings” of the bat. The slugger has been out since June 27 after fracturing a bone in his left wrist. He still is tied for the NL in homers (27). ... RHP Jarred Cosart’s recent bout of dizziness was caused by vertigo, Jennings said, and more tests are planned, with the results likely later this week.
Marlins: RHP Mat Latos (3-6, 4.90 ERA) gets the start. He is 1-3 with a 2.57 ERA on the road, 2-3 with a 6.92 ERA at home.
Diamondbacks: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (6-5, 5.04) goes for Arizona. He has allowed three runs in his last 11 innings.