Marlins 4, Pirates 3
PITTSBURGH (AP)—Florida Marlins catcher Matt Treanor didn’t like the situation, not at all. It convinced him to deliver the kind of pointed message that isn’t always appreciated by a major league pitcher.
Scott Olsen pitched out of a major jam in the sixth inning with the help of Treanor’s pep talk, and Miguel Cabrera doubled twice to lead Marlins past the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 Saturday night in a matchup of the NL’s two worst teams.
Olsen (2-2), coming off a 9-1 loss to the Cardinals in which he gave up seven runs in 3 1-3 innings, took a 4-2 lead into the sixth only to have Jason Bay single and score on Craig Wilson’s triple. With the tying run on third and nobody out, Treanor went to the mound.
“I said, `Not tonight, we’re not doing it again tonight,’ ” Treanor said. “He knew what was going on. We had a plan with what we were going to do with the next few guys and it paid off.”
That plan was to keep throwing sliders down in the strike zone, hoping the Pirates would swing or miss or keep from hitting the ball in the air. Olsen, who has fought with his control all season, responded by striking out Jeromy Burnitz, Ronny Paulino and Jose Castillo in succession to preserve the lead.
“He told me, `This isn’t happening again, do what you have to do to get psyched up and get out of it,’ ” Olsen said. “At that point, my slider was what working, and I was going to keep throwing it. If I was going to lose, I was going to go down with my best pitch.”
Instead, the Pirates went down to their major league-high 26th loss, in 37 games, mostly because they couldn’t get a key hit when needed—a familiar theme all season.
“That’s it and it’s been it,” manager Jim Tracy said. “We’ve got to find a way to get that run in. We’ve got three guys coming to the plate with a chance to tie the ballgame, but we could not get the at-bat we needed.”
The Marlins became the last team in the majors to reach double digits in victories, winning their 10th in 34 games and only their second in eight.
Olsen gave up Jose Bautista’s first career homer, a two-run drive in the second, but worked out of several jams. He also struck out the side in the second, then got Craig Wilson to fly out with two runners on in the third.
The left-hander displayed his best control of the season, with nine strikeouts and two walks. He had walked 19 in his previous five starts—four in the loss to St. Louis—and did not have more strikeouts than walks in any other start.
“That’s the best he’s pitched all year,” manager Joe Girardi said. “When he had to have it he had it, and that’s a sign of growing up a little bit and believing in your stuff, which is very important for a young pitcher. When you don’t walk people, you have a chance.”
Hanley Ramirez singled twice, giving him five hits in two games, and drove in a run in the third. Cabrera doubled and scored on Wes Helms’ sacrifice fly in the fourth that chased center fielder Nate McLouth to within a step of the wall. Cabrera doubled again following singles by Ramirez and Dan Uggla in the sixth, and the Marlins scored the go-ahead run that inning on Helms’ double play grounder.
Matt Herges and Logan Kensing followed Olsen with a scoreless relief inning apiece before Joe Borowski finished up in the ninth for his fifth save in as many opportunities. Kensing struck out Paulino to end the eighth with two runners on.
Pirates starter Zach Duke (2-4) gave up eight hits and four runs in six innings while dropping his second in a row since shutting out the Cubs 8-0 on May 2. He has allowed 16 hits and nine runs in 12 innings in the two losses, including a 5-4 defeat to Washington on Sunday.
Bautista’s first homer came in his 133rd career at-bat and his 17th since being called up from the minors on May 7. He had 88 at-bats with four teams after being a Rule Five draft pick in 2004, then spent several weeks with the Pirates again last season.
The Marlins won for only the fifth time in 18 games in Pittsburgh since PNC Park opened in 2001 and the third time in 15 games there the last five seasons.
The Pirates are 1-13 in games started by opposing left-handed starters. … Florida’s 9-24 start was its worst since going 8-25 in 1995. … The Pirates have won consecutive games only twice this season. … Bautista’s homer is the only one against the Marlins in the last four games.