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Bucs fall to Marlins in Agrazal's MLB debut

@cdenicola13
June 15, 2019

MIAMI -- The Pirates staked Dario Agrazal to an early lead, but things quickly unraveled for the right-hander in his Major League debut in Saturday night’s 4-3 loss to the Marlins. Six months after being designated for assignment by Pittsburgh, Agrazal found himself on the mound at Marlins Park in

MIAMI -- The Pirates staked Dario Agrazal to an early lead, but things quickly unraveled for the right-hander in his Major League debut in Saturday night’s 4-3 loss to the Marlins.

Six months after being designated for assignment by Pittsburgh, Agrazal found himself on the mound at Marlins Park in place of righty Joe Musgrove, who had been scheduled to start Saturday but was ejected from Monday's game and then pitched on Thursday.

Box score

"It definitely felt like everything that I dreamt of," Agrazal said through an interpreter. "It felt like a dream come true. I went out there and I saw the situation as just another game. I continued telling myself it's just another game, focus on it being another game and continue being level-headed and go out and compete."

Agrazal, who has spent seven seasons with the Pirates’ organization, kept Miami off the scoreboard before encountering trouble in a game-tying fourth that would be his last inning of work.

With the Pirates ahead 3-0, Agrazal struggled facing Miami's lineup for a second time as three of the four hits had an exit velocity of at least 90 mph, according to Statcast. After the Marlins scored the first run, Agrazal induced a grounder with two men on and one out. But second baseman Adam Frazier's throw sailed into the outfield as another run came home and extended the inning. Jorge Alfaro followed with a game-tying RBI single.

"Tough play, play I've made a bunch of times this year," said Frazier, who entered Saturday with five Defensive Runs Saved -- tied for second most among MLB second basemen. "Just got away from me a little bit. [Harold] Ramirez did a good job getting in the line, so I had to make a perfect throw. I didn't make a perfect throw. Tough moment right there, especially with Dario pitching as well as he was. He still pitched really well and kept us right there. I wish I had made that play."

With the Pirates scheduled for three days off over the next week and both Trevor Williams and Jordan Lyles nearing returns to the rotation, Agrazal may have to wait for a second shot on a big league mound.

"Right now, my goal is to continue competing and working hard to earn and get that opportunity to come back out again and help this team win," Agrazal said.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
1) A risky diving attempt helped the Marlins take a 4-3 lead in the fifth off righty Geoff Hartlieb. Following Garrett Cooper's third single, Brian Anderson sent a liner to right field that rookie Bryan Reynolds couldn't snare. The ball trickled away, putting a pair of runners into scoring position with no outs. Starlin Castro then produced the go-ahead RBI groundout.

On Friday, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle mentioned Reynolds' ability to play all three outfield positions.

“He’s trying to make a play out there,” Hurdle said. “He came up a little short. If he backs off, maybe it’s a single, maybe with the way the ball kicks, who knows? He’s trying to make a play, he’s trying to help us win a game. We prefer he go out there and try and make plays to win games. It’s still in the middle of the game, too.”

Later in Saturday's defeat, Reynolds made an impressive sliding catch on an Anderson flyout in foul territory.

2) Marlins starter Pablo Lopez allowed three runs through four innings, but he settled down to pitch three scoreless frames from that point on.

It looked like the Pirates would prevent a shutdown inning from Lopez when Josh Bell hit a leadoff double in the sixth. But Colin Moran, who collected a career-high five RBIs on Friday against his former organization, lined a ball into the shift and Bell couldn't get back to second in time for a double play.

“[Lopez] mixed in his changeup really well, kept us off-balance with that,” said Frazier, who went 0-for-2 with a walk. “Missed some barrels. Got out of jams when he had to. Hats off to him.”

SOUND SMART
Starling Marte's third assist of the season cut down a run in the fifth inning when he sent a laser to home plate as Anderson tried to score from second on Ramirez's single. According to Statcast, Marte's throw came in at 99.9 mph -- the second-hardest tracked outfield assist of the year behind Tampa Bay center fielder Kevin Kiermaier's 100.6 mph on May 22.

“Fantastic throw. Right on the money,” Hurdle said. “Good player. Won a Gold Glove in left field a couple of times, and I think one of his aspirations is to win a Gold Glove in center. It was a fantastic throw.”

Christina De Nicola is a reporter and game producer for MLB.com based in Miami. Follow her on Twitter @CDeNicola13.