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Pirates 7, Marlins 4

The SportsXchange

MIAMI -- One day after being shut out, the Pittsburgh Pirates banged out 14 hits to defeat the Miami Marlins 7-4 on Saturday night at Marlins Park.

The Pirates' bullpen was also impressive with four scoreless innings.

Michael McKenry, starting in place of injured catcher Russell Martin, led the Pirates with a career-high four hits. Neil Walker had three hits, including two doubles. McKenry, Walker and Garrett Jones each had two RBI.

The Pirates gained a game on National League Central-leading St. Louis, which lost to Atlanta. The Cardinals are 1 1/2 games ahead of the Pirates, and the teams meet for a crucial five-game series starting Monday in Pittsburgh.

The Marlins' bullpen, which was brilliant on Friday in producing four shutout innings, gave up a run in the sixth inning on Walker's RBI double off Ryan Webb. Starting Marte, who had singled, scored from first on a hit-and-run play.

The Pirates tacked on their final run in the eighth when Andrew McCutchen used his brilliant speed to produce a triple on a ball that rolled to the corner in left field. He then scored on Pedro Alvarez's single.

Pirates outfielder Jose Tabata, who experienced swelling in his right forearm after being hit by a pitch on Wednesday in a game against Washington, was used in the field for the first time since the injury. He came on as a pinch hitter but stayed on to play right field.

The Pirates jumped on Marlins starter Tom Koehler with a three-run first. Consecutive doubles by Marte and Walker to start the game produced the first run.

With two outs, Garrett Jones looped a run-scoring double to left and McKenry singled to left to make it 3-0.

The Marlins got one run back in the bottom of the first on an RBI single by Donovan Solano.

The Pirates stretched their lead to 5-1 in the third when Jones drove in a run on an infield single and McKenry stroked a run-scoring single to right.

The Marlins came to life with a three-run third off of Pirates starter Charlie Morton. The run-scoring hits were a double by Giancarlo Stanton that was roped to left, a single by Logan Morrison and a single by Placido Polanco.

NOTES: Martin, who injured his left knee in a collision at the plate on Wednesday, is expected to return to the lineup on Sunday. ... Marlins rookie Jake Marisnick should get a nearly three-month trial in center field after Marcell Ozuna had surgery on his left thumb Friday and is expected to miss the rest of the season. ... Marisnick went 14 at-bats before he got his first big-league hit, which came on a single up the middle on Friday night. His skid is the longest to start a career in Marlins history. ... Pirates closer Jason Grilli, who has a flexor strain in his right arm, will not need surgery and should return within four to eight weeks. Mark Melancon is the team's interim closer. ... Marlins OF Chris Coghlan, who is on the disabled list because of nerve irritation in his calf, took batting practice for the first time since the injury on Friday. He is expected to return to the big leagues in about a month. ... The Pirates, who were shut out for the seventh time this season on Friday, are reportedly looking to acquire a hitter before Wednesday's trade deadline. They rank 13th in the NL in runs scored. Given the Grilli situation, the Pirates are also looking for bullpen help.
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