MIAMI -- Jose Urena is pitching at a high level with little to show for it.Over his last four starts, the 26-year-old right-hander has a 2.84 ERA, but he has yet to post a win. It was more of the same on Sunday in the Marlins' 4-3 loss to the
MIAMI -- Jose Urena is pitching at a high level with little to show for it.
Over his last four starts, the 26-year-old right-hander has a 2.84 ERA, but he has yet to post a win. It was more of the same on Sunday in the Marlins' 4-3 loss to the Braves at Marlins Park.
The Marlins made a frantic comeback in the ninth inning, after falling behind by four runs. Justin Bour connected on a three-run, pinch-hit home run off Arodys Vizcaino. Three of Miami's four hits came in the ninth.
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"The season is not over yet," Urena said of not being rewarded with a win yet. "It just started. We're going to keep fighting."
Using a pink bat for Mother's Day, Bour's homer was his fifth career pinch-hit shot, which sets a Marlins franchise record.
"Right there the thought process is to keep the line moving," Bour said. "The guys in front of me did a great job of getting on base. You try to keep that rally going."
Urena was charged with three runs on four hits with five strikeouts in the series finale with Atlanta. His most glaring mistake was hanging a changeup to Ender Inciarte with two outs in the sixth inning, and it cost him. Inciarte connected on a two-run home run, which padded the Braves' lead to three runs.
The bigger issue for the Marlins has been the inability to provide Urena with run support. The Marlins managed a second-inning double by Brian Anderson against Sean Newcomb, their lone hit off the Atlanta lefty.
Newcomb threw six shutout innings, striking out six and walking four.
"He was kind of just scattering everything around the zone," Anderson said. "He was keeping us off-balance, mixing in his changeups in hitters' counts, and getting us off-balance. It seems, anytime we squared a ball up, it was right at somebody. It was one of those games you've got to keep grinding through."
The Marlins lost three of four in the series to the Braves, and once again were unable to win with their Opening Day starter on the mound. Urena fell to 0-6, and Miami is winless in all nine of his starts.
"He's thrown the ball well enough to be better than 0-6, that's for sure," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "He had the rough outing in the first one, he gave up some runs early. But after that, he's been in competitive games. He's given us chances to win. We just haven't been able to put up runs for him."
On Opening Day, Urena gave up five runs in four innings against the Cubs.
Urena has been plagued by low run support all season. Entering the game, Urena averaged 2.98 runs of support, the fourth lowest among National Leaguers with at least eight starts.
Urena also was the victim of bad luck in the first inning, accounting for an earned run on what should have been an inning-ending fly ball. After Freddie Freeman singled, Nick Markakis lifted a fly ball to short left field. Shortstop Yadiel Rivera and Cameron Maybin converged, and Rivera appeared to take charge, but backed away, and the ball fell for a single, allowing Freeman to score all the way from first.
ROJAS, ANDERSON REPLACED
The Marlins received a scare in the seventh inning when Miguel Rojas was struck in the left wrist/forearm area with a 93.9-mph fastball from Sam Freeman. Rojas remained in the game, and took his base. But after the inning, he was replaced as part of a double-switch. Also in those moves, Anderson, who had a sore right middle finger, was replaced.
Precautionary X-rays came back negative for both players.
The Marlins are off on Monday, and the hope is they will be ready for the series with the Dodgers, which starts on Tuesday. If the Marlins need a player from the Minor Leagues who can play shortstop, JT Riddle is currently at Triple-A New Orleans.
"Both of those guys came back negative," Mattingly said. "Obviously, you don't know what's going to happen. We have an off-day tomorrow, but the next day, it could be a little sore. We'll see." More >
Now trailing Bour's five career pinch-hit home runs that set a franchise record are Wes Helms and Cody Ross, who each hit four.
HE SAID IT
"This is a rough spot for us. Jose [Urena] has been throwing the ball really well. We have to pay attention to the little things. I feel like we have to forget about the big picture and start thinking about the little things in the game a little bit more. I think we've been committing mistakes the past couple of games. As a team, we have to pay attention to the details and little things." -- Rojas, on the team cleaning up small details in games
Off on Monday, the Marlins face the Dodgers on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. ET with Wei-Yin Chen getting the nod. Chen, who has a strikeouts-per-nine ratio of 4.38, is making his fourth start and seeks his first win since April 28. Lefty Alex Wood goes for the Dodgers.
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.