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Smith stung by HRs in Marlins' loss to D-backs

MLB.com

PHOENIX -- As he stood at his locker after the Marlins' 6-2 loss to the D-backs at Chase Field on Saturday night, left-hander Caleb Smith couldn't explain his rough outing. He allowed five runs in four innings. He gave up two home runs. Yet, he felt like he had the best stuff he's had all season.

"I don't know if I was tipping [my pitches]," Smith said, "but it's almost like they knew every pitch that I was throwing."

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PHOENIX -- As he stood at his locker after the Marlins' 6-2 loss to the D-backs at Chase Field on Saturday night, left-hander Caleb Smith couldn't explain his rough outing. He allowed five runs in four innings. He gave up two home runs. Yet, he felt like he had the best stuff he's had all season.

"I don't know if I was tipping [my pitches]," Smith said, "but it's almost like they knew every pitch that I was throwing."

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Video: MIA@ARI: Smith picks off Dyson at first base in 3rd

Smith acknowledged the costly mistakes he made. One came to Paul Goldschmidt, who sent it out of the park for a solo home run in the first inning. The other, and perhaps more demoralizing one, was when David Peralta launched a two-run homer in the third just moments after Smith hit Goldschmidt with a pitch.

Both blows occurred with two outs. Smith could have limited the damage. Instead, the Marlins trailed, 5-0, after Peralta's homer, an unfavorable deficit for a Marlins group that has struggled offensively.

As Marlins manager Don Mattingly said, two-out knocks are usually prevalent "when nights turn bad." They provide momentum.

On Saturday, the Marlins were on the wrong end of them.

"Those hits, I think, kind of hurt you more," Mattingly said. "Two outs, you think you're going to get out or maybe have a chance to, but all of the sudden you've given up two or three runs."

Saturday night marked the third consecutive game -- dating back to the series finale in San Diego -- that an opposing club has jumped on a Marlins starting pitcher. On Friday night, Elieser Hernandez allowed five runs and lasted just three innings.

Youth is in play here. Wei-Yin Chen, the Marlins' oldest starting pitcher, is 32 years old. The others are 29, 26, 26 and 23 years old.

"You're going to expect a little more inconsistency," Mattingly said of young pitchers. "You're getting guys that you're trying to build into quality, consistent big league pitchers, and I think when you do that with a guy that doesn't have the experience, they have to go through some things to learn some things."

The Marlins hit balls hard. They struck out seven times, but Mattingly said he liked their at-bats. The largest positive was Lewis Brinson notching his first career pinch-hit homer in the ninth to trim the deficit to four runs.

Smith threw 78 total pitches, 50 for strikes. He struggled a bit with command, but the Marlins didn't see it as a terrible outing.

"It looked like he had pretty good stuff tonight, honestly," Mattingly said.

Smith thought so, too.

"Every swing," he said. "Like, I couldn't get them off balance."

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
J.T. Realmuto singled off of D-backs reliever Yoshihisa Hirano to begin the top of the eighth inning. The Marlins trailed, 6-1, and needed anything to spark a rally. Hirano was yanked and Andrew Chafin replaced him. Justin Bour flied out, but Brian Anderson walked after him. With two on and one out, Derek Dietrich struck out swinging. The D-backs then summoned Archie Bradley, who got Miguel Rojas to fly out. The Marlins, who had gotten into Arizona's bullpen, couldn't capitalize.

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Starlin Castro led off the top of the sixth inning with a deep drive to right-center field that was ruled a double, but appeared it could have been a home run as it hit off the top of the wall. After a crew chief review, the call stood. Castro was only at second for a few minutes as Brian Anderson eventually drove him in with a triple to get the Marlins on the board.

Video: MIA@ARI: Castro doubles off top of wall, call stands

UP NEXT
The Marlins will send Dan Straily to the mound for the series finale against the D-backs on Sunday at Chase Field. Straily's last outing was in San Diego, where he threw 108 pitches and allowed five runs, both season highs. The Marlins will face Matt Koch, who has pitched relatively well in place of Taijuan Walker. Last time out, Koch allowed five runs over five innings against the Reds. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. ET.

Justin Toscano is a reporter for MLB.com.

Miami Marlins