MIAMI -- An eight-run onslaught in the second inning, highlighted by Francisco Cervelli's three-run triple, gave Jameson Taillon plenty of run support, while leading to a quick exit for Adam Conley. The Pirates broke things open early and never looked back in a 12-2 rout of Miami on Friday night
MIAMI -- An eight-run onslaught in the second inning, highlighted by Francisco Cervelli's three-run triple, gave Jameson Taillon plenty of run support, while leading to a quick exit for Adam Conley. The Pirates broke things open early and never looked back in a 12-2 rout of Miami on Friday night at Marlins Park.
Jordy Mercer set the tone with a home run in the first inning, and Cervelli collected a single and two-out triple in the second inning alone, when Pittsburgh scored all eight of its runs with two outs. Mpho' Ngoepe, making his first big league start, had two singles, a walk and a triple.
"This game is ruthless," Conley said. "Sometimes the game doesn't go your way. When you don't throw well and hitters are hitting well, this is what can sometimes happen. I'm going to wash my hands of it. If I was going to stay angry about this game, it would be July before I was over it. I'm going to be done with it tonight."
Taillon (2-0, 2.08) was barely tested, giving up one run in five innings, striking out four and walking two. The Pirates had season highs for runs scored and hits (18).
For Conley, it was a night to forget. The left-hander threw 41 pitches in the second inning alone, and was not able to complete the inning. Adeiny Hechavarria tripled in the third and scored on Martin Prado's single, producing the lone run allowed by Taillon.
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"I think we had some balls to hit," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of Conley's command. "We worked the counts, got ahead in the counts, made him throw the fastball out over the plate."
The 1 2/3 innings was the second shortest start of Conley's career, and the nine earned runs are a personal high. He had not previously allowed more than six.
"[Conley] just didn't have any fastball command tonight, so it didn't go good," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Twice as nice: Cervelli was mired in a 1-for-10 slump over the last three games, but in one inning the Pirates' catcher delivered two hits, scored two runs and drove in three more. In Pittsburgh's eight-run second inning, Cervelli singled and scored, and then on his second trip to the plate in the same inning, he tripled with the bases loaded. The last time Pittsburgh scored eight runs in an inning was on Sept. 15 of last season against the Phillies.
"I liked the fight in the batter's box tonight," Hurdle said. More >
Near escape leads to total breakdown: The 1 2/3 innings marked the second shortest start of Conley's career. The left-hander threw one inning on April 7, 2016, at Washington. But that start was cut short due to a rain delay. Still, as forgetful as the second was for Conley, he actually was a matter of feet away from getting out of the inning without any runs allowed. With the bases full, Josh Harrison tapped a grounder into the hole at short. Hechavarria made a nice play to reach the ball, but he had no play anywhere. A few feet over, and an out may have been possible. It was the start of eight straight runners reaching, all with two outs.
"He has a chance of getting out of that, bases-loaded, two-outs and not giving up a run," Mattingly said. "Harrison rolls that ball into the hole. … You're hoping he's going to get out of that."
"For a game like that, I thought our guys did a good job of not giving at-bats away. We leave a bunch of runners. We had a chance to kind of get back into that thing. It's not like we had bases loaded and nobody out. It always came with two outs and you have one shot at it. I really thought our offense did a good job tonight. I was happy with the at-bats. It was one of those games that got away early, and it just spiraled on us." -- Mattingly, on Miami's offense, which had 10 hits and left 11 on base
"I was telling the ball to grow some legs and just travel. I turned it into a triple. It could have been my first [Major League] home run, but that will come. I'll just focus on what I'm doing right now and keep it going." -- Ngoepe, on his triple at the base of the wall, just missing a homer.
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The Pirates last scored as many as eight runs in an inning on Sept. 15, 2016, against the Phillies, when they scored eight in the ninth inning. The last time the Marlins allowed as many as eight runs in an inning was April 21, 2013, at Cincinnati. Miami gave up eight in the seventh inning in that game.
The Pirates could do no wrong in the second inning, and they even extended their eight-run inning by winning a replay challenge. With two outs and two on, Ngoepe chopped a high bouncer back to the mound. Jose Urena fielded it while backing up and threw on to first, and the initial call was Ngoepe was out. But after a review of 1 minute, 30 seconds, the call was overturned.
In the sixth inning, the Pirates lost a challenge on Josh Bell's double-play grounder to second. After a review of 1 minute, 49 seconds, the ruling was that the call stands.
Pirates: Right-hander Ivan Nova takes the mound for the Pirates when they face the Marlins at 7:10 p.m. ET Saturday in the middle game of a three-game series at Marlins Park. Nova has never faced the Marlins.
Marlins: Dan Straily (1-1, 3.92), coming off a career-high 14-strikeout performance at San Diego, goes for Miami. The right-hander is 3-2 (3.67) lifetime against Pittsburgh.
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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.
Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Pirates on Friday.