If the Marlins don’t go yard, they won’t win.
That’s one of the lessons learned Wednesday afternoon at PNC Park from a series sweeping defeat to the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-4. Florida began the series red hot with an 11-1 record, a seven-game winning
streak and a 6-0 road record, only to be greeted to the cold Pittsburgh conditions being outscored 18-6.
Ricky Nolasco benefited from an awakening of four runs in support only to earn his second loss in three starts this season, allowing six runs over six innings of work.
Nolasco, like the other Marlin starters this season, fell into trouble early when Adam Laroche belted a ground rule double that hopped over the center field wall and scored Feddy Sanchez.
Two innings later, Sanchez was hit by a pitch, stole second and scored off a Nate McClouth single. Pittsburgh tacked one more run in the third off an Andy Laroche sac fly.
With the Marlins down 3-0 entering the fourth, it appeared a sweep was immentinet. That was before Wes Helms lifted a 2-for-17 skid with RISP, with an RBI double to score Hanley Ramirez.
Florida would then chip away at the defecit with a Nolasco RBI single in the fifth and Ronny Paulino’s RBI single in the sixth.
Cody Ross would tie the game at 4 with an double in the sixth and for the first time this series, the Marlins would be tied with the Pirates. But not for long.
Nolasco took the ball in the sixth inning and after a quick out, pinch hitter Delwyn Young doubled off the wall and scored off a Nyjer Morgan single, who reached second on the throw home, to reclaim the lead at 5-4. Morgan swiped third and when Paulino’s throw skipped down the
left-field line, Morgan scooted home to give the Pirates a two-run
Pittsburg tacked on another run in the seventh and Matt Capps prevented another Marlin Miracle as seen in DC.
Florida got on the board with a run against Pittsburgh ace Paul Maholm
in the top of the fourth, but probably should have had more. Emilio
Bonifacio and Jeremy Hermida kicked things off with singles. Bonifacio
stole third to put runners at the corners. Hanley Ramirez hit a
comebacker to Maholm, who turned and fired to second to force Hermida.
But Sanchez then fired home instead of to first to get Bonifacio hung
up for the taylor made 1-4-2-5-1 double play.
Despite the sweep and their first three-game losing streak of the
season, the Marlins still had a 6-3 road trip and return home 11-4 atop
the National League East.
Last time the Marlins got swept in a three-game series by Pittsburgh was May
30-June 1, 2005.
The Marlins bats came alive with runners in scoring position, going 4-for-9 Wednesday with four doubles and all runs scored with two outs. Florida hit .156 with RISP their last five games.