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Marte's 5-hit day, HR carry Nova, Pirates

Becomes first Buc since Neil Walker in 2012 with 5 hits, 4 runs, and a homer
April 15, 2018

MIAMI -- The Pirates went back to pounding the baseball on Sunday to take the series from the Marlins. With a 7-3 win on Jackie Robinson Day at Marlins Park, the Pirates finished their road trip with four wins in six games, having previously taken two of three from the

MIAMI -- The Pirates went back to pounding the baseball on Sunday to take the series from the Marlins. With a 7-3 win on Jackie Robinson Day at Marlins Park, the Pirates finished their road trip with four wins in six games, having previously taken two of three from the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Starling Marte paced the 13-hit attack with a career-high five hits, punctuated by a ninth-inning homer off Marlins reliever Junichi Tazawa. The Pirates' center fielder singled in the first, third and fifth innings, before belting a 365-foot blast over the left-field fence. Marte's third home run of the season was launched at a 40-degree angle with an exit velocity of 104 mph, according to Statcast™.
"Focus delivers good patience," Marte said. "That's what I'm seeing up there [at the plate]. I'm reading the pitches well. That last at-bat, what I loved the most is that I was able to catch a pause and time up the pitcher."

The last Pirates player to have at least five hits, four runs scored, and a homer was Neil Walker, who did it against the eventual World Series champion Giants on July 8, 2012, in a 13-2 victory for Pittsburgh.
The last Pirate to record a five-hit game was Gregory Polanco, who did so on June 13, 2014, at -- Marlins Park.
After scoring a combined three runs over the first two games in the series, the Pirates tallied three runs on four hits in the third inning alone on Sunday to overcome an early 1-0 deficit, and improve to 7-0 in afternoon games this season.
It was a costly inning, however. Leadoff hitter Josh Harrison was struck on the left hand by a 96 mph fastball from Marlins starter Jose Urena (0-3). Harrison left the game for precautionary reasons with Adam Frazier inserted to pinch-run and remain in the game to play second base.

Harrison will be evaluated when the team returns to Pittsburgh.
"I'm pretty frustrated," Harrison said after the game. "It definitely [stinks] being hit. Guys throw hard. I just wanted to take precautionary measures, ice it and get back to Pitt and see our doctors."
Frazier, as well as Marte, scored on a two-run double by Josh Bell. It gave the Pirates a 2-1 lead, before Corey Dickerson followed with an RBI single to extend his hitting streak to 10 games.

Ivan Nova (2-1) overcame a rocky start to earn the win, pitching 6 2/3 innings while giving up three runs on six hits, including a seventh-inning two-run homer to Justin Bour. He loaded the bases in the first inning, yielding three straight singles to start.
After a strikeout of Derek Dietrich, the Pirates' Opening Day starter was struck on the foot, just below the ankle, by a line drive off the bat of Brian Anderson. Statcast™ measured the liner with an exit velocity of 108 mph.
Nova remained in the game, and was virtually unhittable from that point until the seventh inning, striking out six of the next 11 batters he faced, and yielding just one hit between the first and seventh innings.
"I just stayed focused," said Nova. "The curveball is something I've been working on. I have confidence in it now, so I'm going to keep using it. The fastball is something I wasn't doing last year. I've put that in play, and it's working really good."
Answering the bell: Bell delivered a two-run double in the third inning to put the Pirates ahead to stay. He went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a run scored.

"He's hitting fourth and he's driving in runs. That's pretty good," said manager Clint Hurdle. "The power is in play, the run production is in play. He's become a very good baseball player."
Marte has recorded a hit in six consecutive at-bats, becoming the first Pirates player to do so since Andrew McCutchen (June 29 - July 1, 2007).
"He's a big difference-maker for us," Hurdle said. "He's made the All-Star team. He's won a couple Gold Gloves. The bat has shown up. The bat and the ball skills can be very impressive."
"I don't know that I have the words right now that are appropriate for TV. None of them feel good, except for the ones that nick the jersey. This one felt pretty bad, too." -- Harrison, on being hit by a 96-mph fastball.
With the Pirates leading, 5-1, and runners at the corners with nobody out in the top of the seventh, Dickerson hit a fly ball to right field. J.B. Shuck made the catch, and Marte tagged from third. Shuck's throw was a good one, on one hop to catcher Chad Wallach. Marte was ruled to have swiped the plate with his hand as Wallach attempted the tag, and the call on the field was that Marte was safe. Upon replay review, the call was confirmed.

A trio of Pirates will be especially happy to return to PNC Park where they open a three-game series at 7:05 p.m. ET Monday against the Rockies and right-hander German Marquez. The group: Jordy Mercer (.471), Colin Moran (.450) and Dickerson (.391) lead a Pirates team hitting .283 collectively at home this season. Lefty Steven Brault gets the start for Pittsburgh.

Glenn Sattell is a contributor to based in Miami.