Marlins' rally falls short in 3-2 loss to Pirates
By STEVEN WINE
MIAMI (AP) Trailing by a run in the eighth inning, the Miami Marlins figured they were poised for another comeback victory, especially when they put runners at the corners with one out.
"The way we're going right now, I would put all my money on we're going to get a hit right there," manager Ozzie Guillen said.
Instead, the Pittsburgh Pirates snuffed the rally and held on, ending a streak of eight consecutive losses against the Marlins by winning 3-2 Monday.
The Marlins came from behind in the ninth for walkoff victories Friday and Sunday against the New York Mets. But they fell behind in the sixth against Pittsburgh, and three Pirates relievers combined to shut out Miami over the final three innings.
"In the eighth we had a pretty good opportunity," Guillen said. "We couldn't come through."
Brad Lincoln pitched six innings to earn a victory in his first start of the season. Lincoln (3-0), who had come out of the bullpen in his seven previous appearances this season, departed for a pinch-hitter with a 3-2 lead.
Miami, which began the week last in the majors with runners in scoring position, went 1 for 8 in those situations.
"We had opportunities and weren't able to get it done," said Jose Reyes, who was twice stranded in scoring position. "Their starter pitched a good game. You have to give some credit to that guy. He had a good fastball and breaking ball and was throwing strikes."
The Pirates, who rank last in the majors in runs, won with only six hits. Rod Barajas, who came into the game batting .162, hit his second homer, and Pedro Alvarez put Pittsburgh ahead to stay with an RBI double in the sixth.
The Pirates started a seven-game, three-city trip with their third victory in a row, and they're within one game of .500. They hadn't beaten the Marlins since 2010 and went 0-6 against them last year.
"We talked about it before the game," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "We haven't beat them in a long time. It's time for us to do something."
Joel Hanrahan pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh save in eight chances. The Pirates bullpen lowered its ERA to 2.54.
Miami's Anibal Sanchez (2-1) went seven innings for the fifth start in a row and allowed three runs.
"He threw good enough to win," Guillen said.
Hanley Ramirez hit his seventh home run for the Marlins, but they otherwise mustered little support for Sanchez. They've scored only 12 runs in his past five starts.
"What can I do? Just continue to pitch good and wait for run support," Sanchez said. "They want to score some runs. I never have complaints about the hitters not giving me run support."
Pittsburgh went ahead for the third and final time when Alvarez doubled home Andrew McCutchen, who had singled.
The Pirates took a 1-0 lead in the first. Jose Tabata led off with a double, took third on a flyout and scored on a sacrifice fly by McCutchen. Barajas homered in the second.
Miami came from behind twice. Ramirez's homer in the second made the score 1-all, and Emilio Bonifacio hit a two-out RBI single in the fourth to tie the game at 2.
Notes: After the game, Marlins CF Kevin Mattison was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans. A corresponding move is expected Tuesday. ... LF Morrison robbed Tabata of an extra-base hit by jumping to make a backhanded catch just before he hit the scoreboard in the left-field wall. ... Barajas improved to 5 for 10 lifetime against Sanchez. ... Early indications were the Marlins' new ballpark would be tough for power hitters, but the team has 13 homers in 15 home games, and 19 in 20 road games. ... Bonifacio stole second and has 18 steals, most in the majors. The Pirates have thrown out only four of 27 on steal attempts. ... The retractable roof has been closed for all four games in the Marlins' homestand.
Updated May 14, 2012