SAN FRANCISCO -- Cruising through five innings on just 60 pitches, Jose Urena was on pace to go the distance, or at least go seven or eight innings. But in the sixth inning, the right-hander encountered command issues, and his promising start eventually unraveled.
The Giants scored five times in the sixth inning, with Gorkys Hernandez capping an epic, 14-pitch at-bat against Urena with a two-run single, that factored into the difference in the Marlins' 6-5 loss on Wednesday afternoon at AT&T Park.
After rallying to win on Monday, the Marlins dropped the next two, and the Giants claimed the series. These teams met seven times over the past week, with the Marlins winning four of seven.
"You're feeling like he's left his pitch count in a good place," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of Urena. "He didn't have any real battles early in the game. In that sense, fresh. It just seemed like in that sixth inning, he got out of rhythm with that first guy, and he kept getting behind in counts. When you start getting behind in counts, you usually have to pay."
Postgame, Urena said he felt a little discomfort in his throwing arm in the sixth inning, a frame in which his velocity held up at 97 mph. The club will monitor, and could make a roster move on Friday before the series opener at Colorado, if necessary. Urena's next start is scheduled for Tuesday at home against the D-backs, but that is now uncertain.
Trailing by three entering the ninth inning, the Marlins made it interesting, chipping back with two runs off Sam Dyson. Starlin Castro had a sacrifice fly, and Brian Anderson delivered a two-out RBI single. J.T. Realmuto singled, putting two on for J.B. Shuck. Reyes Moronta replaced Dyson and recorded his first career save with a strikeout.
"I love the intensity," said Marlins outfielder Cameron Maybin, who had two hits and a walk. "I've had the chance to play here in this division for four years [with the Padres]. This is one of the best places to play, as far as atmosphere. As far as things you have going against you, the fans bring it. They bring it at home. I think it was a good test for us. I like the way that we played. I like the fact that we didn't back down, especially against a veteran team like that. We had our nose in it, every game."
Wednesday's finale had no carryover of any bad blood that may have spilled over from Tuesday's 6-3 Giants win. That game featured some drama as Marlins right-hander Dan Straily and Mattingly were ejected after batters were hit by pitches on both sides.
Momentum turned for Urena quickly in the sixth inning. Of the 39 pitches he threw, 14 of them were to Hernandez, who singled. A key pitch in the sequence was the seventh pitch, which was a 97-mph two-seam fastball that appeared to be a strike up in the zone. But it was called a ball, and the at-bat extended seven more pitches.
"He was trying to cover the zone, and he did a pretty good job," Urena said of Hernandez. "I made a pitch that was right there in the zone, and they called a ball on it. You can't do anything about it."
Until the sixth, Urena was breezing along, protecting a one-run lead. Of his 60 pitches in five innings, 45 were strikes. But Kelby Tomlinson led off the sixth with a walk, and Joe Panik singled. Brandon Belt, who had three hits, delivered an RBI double that evened the game at 1.
Mac Williamson's fielder's choice gave the Giants the lead, and Hunter Pence had an RBI single, making it 3-1.
"He walks Tomlinson right there, gives up the hits to Panik and Belt," Mattingly said. "He started to get himself into bad counts, so it looks like he started to get out of rhythm, and never got back into it."
Wednesday was the seventh and final meeting of these two clubs, and it also was the first time the Marlins scored first. They got on the board in the second inning on Maybin's leadoff double, and Miguel Rojas' two-out RBI single.
Off Giants starter Derek Holland, the Marlins scored three runs on seven hits over six innings. Miami added two more runs in the seventh on Yadiel Rivera's sacrifice fly and Castro's RBI single.
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Moving the line: In all seven games with the Giants, the Marlins showed the ability to rally, especially in the late innings. All four of Miami's victories came via late rallies. In the ninth inning, the Marlins were knocking on the door again, with Castro's sacrifice fly and Anderson's two-out RBI single. Realmuto singled, but Miami stranded two.
"I think this is the type of baseball that we have to play," Mattingly said. "We have to keep the line moving, and keep putting pressure on the guy out there. Just keep the line moving, and not trying to do too much."
Even though the rally fell short, Maybin said games like Wednesday help grow character with a club.
"If we're going to grow, these are the kinds of series that you need to be in," Maybin said. "The type of series where the fans come at you. I think series like this can help a young team like us grow, more than anything."
Before allowing five runs in the sixth inning, Urena had a string of 13 straight scoreless innings, dating back to his eight shutout frames on Friday at Baltimore.
HE SAID IT
"I'm not quite sure. I don't think I've ever seen that. I've never seen the guy be the leadoff hitter and then lose count of the outs. He was hustling. He was running very hard." -- Mattingly, on Urena getting doubled up in the third inning on Castro's fly out to center. With no outs, Urena took off on contact and was around second when the ball was caught.
ELEVEN DRAFT PICKS SIGN
On Monday, Marlins second-round pick, infielder Osiris Johnson from Alameda, Calif., was a guest of the Marlins at AT&T Park. Johnson has yet to sign, but there is confidence a deal will eventually get done.
• Marlins Draft Tracker
On Wednesday, the Marlins did announce the signings of 11 more of their 2018 MLB Draft picks. Topping the list is right-hander Zack Leban from the University of Kansas (12th round). The others announced were: right-hander Eli Villalobos (14th), left-hander Alex Vesia (17th), right-hander Zach Wolf (18th), right-hander Cam Baird (20th), shortstop Luke Jarvis (25th), right-hander Tyler Jones (26th), right-hander C.J. Carter (29th), right-hander Jake Norton (32nd), right-hander Joe Strzelecki (34th) and right-hander Jackson Rose (35th).
According to MLB.com's Jim Callis, Wolf's deal is for $120,000.
Off on Thursday, the Marlins open a three-game series at the Rockies on Friday with Wei-Yin Chen making the start. Jon Gray goes for Colorado starting at 8:40 p.m. ET. Chen has had his struggles on the road, with a 1-3 record and 8.88 ERA, compared to a 1-0, 2.53 mark at Marlins Park.