BALTIMORE -- With the Marlins' bullpen stretched paper thin, right-hander Jose Urena threw one of his best games at one of the best possible times.Urena went eight innings on a career-high 112 pitches, Lewis Brinson tripled twice and drove in a run and the Marlins continued their improved recent play
BALTIMORE -- With the Marlins' bullpen stretched paper thin, right-hander Jose Urena threw one of his best games at one of the best possible times.
Urena went eight innings on a career-high 112 pitches, Lewis Brinson tripled twice and drove in a run and the Marlins continued their improved recent play with a 2-0 victory over the struggling Orioles on Friday night at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Rookie Brian Anderson also singled in a two-out run off Orioles starter Kevin Gausman (3-6) for his team-leading 34th RBI, helping Miami to its fourth win in five games.
The only loss in that stretch was Thursday's 6-3, 16-inning defeat to the Giants, in which the bullpen worked 11 frames. On Friday, Manager Don Mattingly chose not to warm a reliever in the top of the eighth, after Urena briefly got into trouble in the seventh. Kyle Barraclough worked a perfect ninth for his fifth save.
"There was no one I was more comfortable with out there than him in the eighth," Mattingly said. "The guys that were available were a little bit on fumes, so I knew they'd be pitching after a lot of work. Jose to me was strong there."
Urena (2-8) said he expected to return in the eighth.
"[Mattingly] asked me, and I said, 'I'm ready,'" Urena said.
To be fair, the Orioles have been anything but strong of late, falling to an eighth consecutive defeat that marks their longest such skid since July 2011. But Urena capitalized on the American League's worst offense, striking out four, walking one and allowing three hits.
Urena carried a one-hitter into the seventh before Adam Jones and Manny Machado led off the inning with singles. But Urena got Danny Valencia to ground into a double play and then fanned Trey Mancini on his 100th pitch.
Afterward, Urena credited an improving slider for just his third career scoreless outing of five innings or more. Forty-five starts ago, he went 8 2/3 scoreless frames against the Dodgers on Sept. 11, 2016.
"We tried tonight [to be] a little bit different with the offspeeds," Urena said, "and that's the one pitch that has helped a lot."
Meanwhile, rookie center fielder Brinson continued a strong June with his second and third triples of the season. He's 13-for-43 (.302) with seven extra-base hits and 10 RBIs for the month.
"It's been a long time coming," said Brinson, who is still hitting just .179. "Obviously I got off to a slow start, but I was starting to pick it up a little bit, consistently getting myself in a ready position to try to hit every pitch hard, keep my bat in the zone longer. It's just consistent work."
The Marlins are now 21-7 against the Orioles. That .750 mark is tied for the third-best winning percentage in any MLB Interleague series, level with the Padres' 15-5 all-time mark against the Twins.
Marlins infielder Miguel Rojas exited after being hit in the left hand and then right cheek by a 97-mph fastball in the sixth inning. He was originally declared day to day with a left hand contusion, and Mattingly said X-rays came back negative. Rojas tried to turn away from the 0-2 offering from Orioles starter Kevin Gausman. Instead, it caught his hand as he gripped the bat, then redirected toward his face. More >
Struggling left-hander Wei-Yin Chen takes the mound at 4:05 p.m. ET on Saturday to face his former club for the first time. Chen went 46-32 with a 3.72 ERA over four seasons in Baltimore before joining the Marlins as a free agent in 2016. He'll oppose Orioles right-hander Alex Cobb, who pitched for the AL East rival Rays during Chen's Baltimore tenure.
Ian Quillen is a contributor to MLB.com based in Baltimore.