MIAMI -- Marlins left fielder Christian Yelich ripped a walk-off double to deep center field off Pirates reliever A.J. Schugel in the bottom of the 12th inning, as Miami bounced back from a late Pittsburgh rally and won, 4-3, on Thursday night, its third straight win to capture a four-game
MIAMI -- Marlins left fielder Christian Yelich ripped a walk-off double to deep center field off Pirates reliever A.J. Schugel in the bottom of the 12th inning, as Miami bounced back from a late Pittsburgh rally and won, 4-3, on Thursday night, its third straight win to capture a four-game series victory.
"I was just looking for something good to hit, drive," Yelich said of his game-winning hit. "I got a good pitch and found the gap and Martin [Prado] was able to score. The guys battled; it was a good team win.
Wei-Yin Chen carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning, and Ichiro Suzuki shined in a throwback performance as the Marlins jumped out to an early three-run lead. But the Pirates rallied back, ending Chen's no-hitter and scoring two runs in the seventh. Down to their last strike in the ninth -- and running out of players as the Bucs' lineup was decimated by injuries -- John Jaso punched a game-tying single into center field off Kyle Barraclough.
"We've got guts. We've always had guts. We've been rolling on guts since '13," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "I don't expect any different from these guys. ... That effort's become a part of who we are."
Signed this offseason to bolster the Marlins' rotation, Chen delivered one of his best starts of the season. Ichiro helped Chen keep the Pirates out of the hit column, making a pair of outstanding defensive plays, while picking up two hits of his own. Chen's strong outing came a night after Marlins starter Adam Conley held the Pirates hitless for 5 2/3 innings.
"It was a similar ballgame that the guy before him pitched. He had a pretty good prototype to follow, a model to follow, and he did," Hurdle said. "I don't even remember being involved in a game where we were no-hit through five, then no-hit through six on back-to-back nights. The stuff was legit."
The Marlins got to Pirates starter Juan Nicasio early, as Miguel Rojas' second-inning squeeze bunt scored Adeiny Hechavarria from third after his one-out triple. Giancarlo Stanton ripped a double to right field in the third, and J.T. Realmuto tacked on another run with a sacrifice fly.
Nicasio settled down after that, hanging on to pitch six innings and record his first quality start since April 29. No-hit for the first six innings, the Pirates' pitching staff responded with seven consecutive hitless innings from the fifth through the 11th before Yelich's game-winner in the 12th.
Marlins reliever Nick Wittgren threw three perfect innings to finish the game for Miami, picking up his first Major League win.
"I knew I had a chance to go deep, just because I've had five days off," Wittgren said. "I've warmed up twice. Other than that, I was fresh."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Center of attention: Ichiro is well known for his hitting ability. But it was his defensive play in the second inning that kept the Pirates off the scoreboard. With the bases loaded and Nicasio up, Ichiro, playing center field for the resting Marcell Ozuna, made a long run and a diving catch in shallow right-center for the third out, saving at least two runs. Ichiro came up with a second outstanding catch; this one against the center-field fence for the first out of the fourth inning.
"He came up with some big plays for us," manager Don Mattingly said. "He makes the plays in the outfield and then comes up with a couple of hits; it was big." More >
No no-no:Jung Ho Kang was clearly seeing the ball well throughout the game, but he had nothing to show for it after two at-bats. Kang hit two balls deep to center field, both of them outs, and one of them all the way to the outfield wall, where Ichiro made an impressive leaping catch. Kang finally found some grass in the seventh, breaking up Chen's no-hit bid with a leadoff double to left field.
Re-Joyce: A night after knocking a game-tying single off lefty reliever Mike Dunn, Matt Joyce started against the left-handed Chen and delivered another big hit. Batting with two on and two outs in the seventh, Joyce cleared the bases with a two-run double to right field, pulling the Pirates within a run and continuing his strong bounceback campaign at the plate.
Rookie pens perfect ending: With setup man David Phelps and closer A.J. Ramos unavailable for Miami, Mattingly opted to go with Dustin McGowan and Barraclough in the late innings. And while McGowan allowed two runs before Barraclough blew the save, Wittgren retired all nine he faced, striking out three, to keep the game tied and set up Yelich's heroics.
"We knew we had some guys down tonight, but I thought some guys stepped up and it's just what you have to do," Mattingly said. More >
"He's a Hall of Fame player for me. To watch him run around there tonight puts a smile on your face. It's fun to watch. It's special." -- Hurdle, on Ichiro
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
This was the Marlins' first series win over the Pirates since July 26-28, 2013.
Carrying a no-hitter through six innings, Chen tied the fourth-longest no-hit bid by a Marlins left-hander, joining Sean West (June 8, 2009) and Chris Hammond (May 17, 1995).
The Pirates were battered and bruised by the time the game ended. Catcher Francisco Cervelli left the game in the third inning with a bruised right foot after being hit by a pitch in the second. Center fielder Andrew McCutchen left the game in the sixth after his nagging, swollen right thumb flared up on him. More >
First baseman David Freese was hit in the right hand by a pitch in the eighth inning and left the game. Shortstop Jordy Mercer, who scored the tying run after being hit by a pitch in the ninth, later exited after he was plunked in the left elbow.
"It was like an ER in here," Cervelli said. "It was a crazy day." More >
Pirates: The Pirates will head back to Pittsburgh to face the Angels in a three-game Interleague series this weekend. Left-hander Francisco Liriano will start Friday's opener at 7:05 p.m. ET, squaring off with veteran right-hander Jered Weaver.
Marlins:Tom Koehler takes the mound on Friday for the Marlins as they open up a three-game series with the Mets at Marlins Park. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. ET. Koehler snapped a month-long winless streak in his last outing, going seven innings at Atlanta, allowing just two earned runs on three hits.
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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.
Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Marlins on Wednesday.