ATLANTA -- The elusive first win remains on hold for Marlins ace Jose Urena.Making his 10th start on Saturday, Urena cruised through four shutout innings before his outing unraveled in a four-run fifth. The big inning rallied the Braves to an 8-1 victory at SunTrust Park."Jose was good," Marlins manager
ATLANTA -- The elusive first win remains on hold for Marlins ace Jose Urena.
Making his 10th start on Saturday, Urena cruised through four shutout innings before his outing unraveled in a four-run fifth. The big inning rallied the Braves to an 8-1 victory at SunTrust Park.
"Jose was good," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "You can't really ask any more from him. His pitch count is down. He got ground balls. We just didn't make any plays for him that [fifth] inning."
After the Marlins took a second-inning lead on John Holaday's RBI groundout, the Braves responded with eight straight runs. They put up four on Urena in the fifth inning. The game got out of hand in the seventh and eighth innings off lefty Jarlin Garcia, making his first appearance since May 12.
Kurt Suzuki hit a solo home run in the seventh and Freddie Freeman added a two-run homer in the eighth off Garcia, who has now allowed 10 homers in 45 innings.
"He didn't seem very sharp, but we needed to get him out there," Mattingly said of the left-hander. "It seemed like the right time to get him back in competition, and really not in a bad spot in the order for him. It just didn't go very well."
Garcia is having his innings monitored, which is why he has moved from the rotation to the bullpen.
Urena was in control, and clinging to a one-run lead until the fifth inning. Nick Markakis started the four-run frame with a single, and a missed chance at a double play ended up being crucial. Suzuki hit a sharp grounder to short that Miguel Rojas bobbled, but was able to recover and force Markakis out at second.
Instead of two outs and no one on, Atlanta had one out and a man on first. Ender Inciarte reached on an infield single, and the runners advanced to second and third on Starlin Castro's throwing error.
"For me, I think I did a pretty good job," Urena said. "I tried to focus on getting people out, and doing what was working."
Urena was mildly shaken up in the inning on the Inciarte single. While covering the base, he tumbled and landed on his throwing shoulder, but said he was fine.
"I was in a little bit of pain when I hit the ground, but everything was fine," the right-hander said.
Johan Camargo had an RBI single, and Dansby Swanson's squeeze bunt made it 2-1. Ozzie Albies' two-run single capped the four-run inning.
Urena worked six innings, allowing four runs on five hits with a walk and two strikeouts. The right-hander's record fell to 0-7, and the Marlins are winless in each of his 10 starts.
"I don't think about it," Urena said of not having a win. "I just go out there and try to get people out. That's the way you win."
Despite the record, there are plenty of signs that Urena has pitched better than his line. Entering the game, his strikeouts per nine innings rate was 7.54, up from 5.99 in 2017, and his 2.28 walks per nine were improved from 3.39 a year ago. Urena has also improved his ground ball percentage (52.2 percent to 43.1 percent). Even his xFIP is improved (4.19 to 5.29).
Urena was 14-7 with a 3.82 ERA in 2017.
"His last five outings now kind of tell you what kind of kid he is -- always working, always going forward, and he's throwing the ball good," Mattingly said. "You really don't control certain things. You control the quality of your pitches, you control your gameplan, and really you have to say it's been good over the last five starts."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Marlins threatened to have a big inning in the second, when Justin Bour walked and Cameron Maybin doubled. With second and third and no outs, the Marlins pushed across a run on Holaday's grounder, but didn't get any more off Sean Newcomb.
"I was a little disappointed tonight," Mattingly said. "We get the one early, and we had some chances early. We ran his pitch count up pretty good."
Inciarte attempted to steal second in the second inning. It didn't work. Holaday, getting the start with J.T. Realmuto getting the day off, threw out Inciarte. Holaday has now thrown out seven straight baserunners attempting to steal on him.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Maybin, who has been getting starts in left field against left-handed pitching, made a standout play in the first inning. Atlanta's leadoff hitter, Albies, ripped a liner to left, but Maybin made a diving grab, taking away extra bases. With a 39-percent catch probability, it rated as a four-star catch, per Statcast™.
HE SAID IT
"We didn't seem to generate anything. We had first-and-second and nobody out and didn't do anything with it [fourth inning]. And we had second and third, we get one there [in the second], but we don't get two. That was a little disappointing. I thought we'd be a little better offensively tonight." -- Mattingly
Since allowing one run in 5 1/3 innings against the Rockies on April 28, Wei-Yin Chen has a 10.32 ERA in his last three starts. Chen aims to get on track on Sunday at 1:35 p.m. ET in the series finale against the Braves at SunTrust Park. Julio Teheran goes for Atlanta. Catcher J.T. Realmuto, who didn't start on Saturday night, is expected back on Sunday.
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.