Niese solid in Pirates' 3-2 loss to Marlins
Jun. 02, 2016
MIAMI (AP) — Jonathon Niese kept the Pirates within striking distance against Adam Conley and the Miami Marlins before eventually coming up short.
Niese allowed two runs in five innings for the Pirates, who allowed a tiebreaking RBI double to Adeiny Hechavarria in the bottom of the eighth in a 3-2 loss to the Miami Marlins on Wednesday night.
"I thought he pitched a very good game," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "A solid effort."
Niese had a different take on his outing.
"Any time I go five or less it's not good," Niese said. "I want to go six or more. Realistically, I want to go seven. Any less than that is not a quality outing."
The Marlins opened the scoring in the fifth when J.T. Realmuto reached on a double and scored on a ground ball by Christian Yelich to first baseman John Jaso, whose throw home was late.
A wild pitch by Niese gave the Marlins a 2-0 lead.
"That fifth inning snowballed and a lot of things didn't go our way," Niese said.
Pittsburgh's Matt Joyce tied the score with a two-run single in the seventh.
Marlins' closer A.J. Ramos walked Francisco Cervelli to begin the ninth, but got the next three batters out to convert his 26th consecutive save dating back to last season.
Hechavarria was unable to give the Marlins an early lead, but he delivered when it mattered most.
"I was thinking about my previous at-bats in the game and how I wasn't able to come through for the team especially with bases loaded in my first at-bat," Hechavarria said. "I just wanted (Derek) Dietrich to get on base in any way. ... I just wanted to come up again and help the team."
Pittsburgh's Tony Watson (1-1) hit Derek Dietrich with a pitch with two outs in the eighth. Pinch-runner Miguel Rojas scored on Hechavarria's double to left-center field that bounced once before hitting the wall.
"Hechy battles and fouls some balls off and then finally got something he could hit in fair territory," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "Obviously a huge hit for us at that point."
Hechavarria bounced into a fielder's choice in the second inning with the bases loaded and nobody out.
Miami starter Adam Conley took a no-hitter into the sixth until Andrew McCutchen singled to center and tied a career-high with nine strikeouts in six scoreless innings.
"Pretty good," Mattingly said. "I thought he drove the ball in better tonight. His stuff held, he kept everything together, and just attacked all night."
David Phelps (4-3) pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings in relief for the win and A.J. Ramos got the last three outs for his 17th save.
"It's what good teams do, they find ways to win games like that when you may have one aspect that kind of struggles and another part picks them up," Phelps said. "That's what we've been doing all year."
Giancarlo Stanton, back in the Marlins' lineup after missing seven games with soreness in his right side, went 0 for 3 with a walk and two strikeouts.
Conley left after the inning with a 2-0 lead, giving up two hits and walking three. He came into the game 1-2 with a 5.95 ERA over his last four starts.
"I thought my rhythm and timing was a lot better," Conley said. "The life on my fastball was a lot better."
Kyle Barraclough came on to start the seventh and immediately loaded the bases. Joyce delivered a two-run single to right off Mike Dunn, who was making his season debut after a forearm injury that kept him on the disabled list until this week.
Pittsburgh's Josh Harrison extended his hitting streak to eight games with a single in the seventh. Harrison is hitting .480 (12 for 25) during the stretch.
RAMOS CONVERTING OPPORTUNITIES
Ramos' 17 consecutive saves to start the season is one shy of the club's longest streak to start a season. Juan Carlos Oviedo had 18 straight in 2011.
The 26 straight saves dating back to last year is the third-longest streak in franchise history. Steve Cishek converted 33 straight over the 2013-14 seasons.
Miami: 2B Dietrich left the game in the eighth after being hit by a pitch in the left wrist. "It didn't sound good from him," Mattingly said. "He felt like something happened right away. Usually guys hang in there and say, 'Wait, wait,' but he knew something right away, which is not great, but hopefully we get some good news." ... RHP Bryan Morris underwent back surgery earlier in the day. "It was a really big lift for us," Phelps said. "We were thinking about him all day."
Pirates: RHP Juan Nicasio (4-4, 4.79 ERA) will start the finale of the four-game series on Thursday. Nicasio is 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA in his last four starts.
Marlins: LHP Wei-Yin Chen (3-2, 4.37) has pitched at least five innings in all 10 starts this season. He gave up one run in five innings in a 7-2 loss at Atlanta in his previous outing.