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Marlins' offense looking for answers

MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

MIAMI -- When Justin Bour sliced a lead-off single to left-center to open the fifth inning on Saturday night, it appeared the Marlins' could be in business. Ivan Nova had other ideas, setting down the next three in order.

It was all Nova this night. The Marlins weren't able to manage much of anything off the right-hander, collecting just three hits and having only three baserunners in a 4-0 loss to the Pirates at Marlins Park.

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MIAMI -- When Justin Bour sliced a lead-off single to left-center to open the fifth inning on Saturday night, it appeared the Marlins' could be in business. Ivan Nova had other ideas, setting down the next three in order.

It was all Nova this night. The Marlins weren't able to manage much of anything off the right-hander, collecting just three hits and having only three baserunners in a 4-0 loss to the Pirates at Marlins Park.

View Full Game Coverage

Nova didn't walk a batter and struck out seven during his 95-pitch shutout, which extended the Marlins' losing streak to four games.

"He's just, 'Here it is, try to hit it,'" Miami right-hander Dan Straily said. "Tonight, it seemed like we were hitting it right at people. They made a couple of great plays. He did a great job of filling up the zone tonight. He was in command the whole time."

Straily has seen Nova this effective before. Last year, on Sept. 8, while with the Reds, the right-hander was on the losing end of a 4-1 complete-game decision to Nova.

Straily, actually, was pretty effective himself on Saturday, but in the sixth inning, he was stung by three straight walks, and ended up being charged with three runs in 5 1/3 innings.

Video: PIT@MIA: Straily fans five, holds Bucs to three runs

The Marlins are mired in their first four-game losing streak, and in the last three games they haven't been able to score more than two runs.

"Just haven't been playing well," center fielder Christian Yelich said. "[Nova] did a good job. We didn't do such a good job. It was one of those nights. … It's been a tough couple of days. That happens. It's baseball. We all know it's going to happen at some point. Keep grinding."

Neither team, actually, hit the ball very hard.

The hardest-hit ball by the Marlins was Marcell Ozuna's single to lead off the eighth inning. Per Statcast™, the exit velocity was 107.1 mph.

Nova quickly recovered, getting J.T. Realmuto to tap into a 5-4-3 double play.

Video: PIT@MIA: Harrison's glove begins timely double play

"The changeup was outstanding today," Nova said. "It seemed to work really well. I was really on top of my changeup and curveball."

The only Marlin to advance as far as second was Martin Prado, who doubled in the first inning.

Nova retired the next 11 before Bour's single.

"He was making good pitches," Yelich said. "He had a good sinker, and was keeping the ball down. We couldn't really get anything going. He did a good job."

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins