The Miami Marlins struggles continued on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh as they fell to the Pirates by a score of 4-2, marking their fourth straight defeat. The offense has been limited to 3 runs or less in all 4 games of the losing streak to continue a season long famine.
Tom Koehler started the game for the Fish and cruised through the first four innings giving up just a solo home run to the Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen as the Marlins held a 2-1 lead. Things came unraveled in the fifth, however, as Koehler seemed to become rattled and suddenly lost control of his pitches. With one out and a man on, Koehler hit the Pirates next batter with a pitch high in the shoulder area. He then delivered a wild pitch moving the runners to 2nd and 3rd before allowing opposing pitcher Charlie Morton to slap a single to right driving in the first run of the inning for the Buccos. With a runner on third, Koehler promptly uncorked his second wild pitch of the inning allowing the second Pirate run and relinquishing the lead.
Koehler’s line on the night included 5 innings pitched while allowing 3 earned runs on 4 hits and 1 base on balls. His 8 strikeouts on the night would suggest he had good stuff, but the brief bout of wildness in the 5th was his undoing.
The Marlins got both of their runs in the 4th inning as Giancarlo Stanton, Logan Morrison and Donovan Solano went single, double, single to produce the first run. Rally killer Adeiny Hechavarria followed them by grounding into a double play that produced a run, but snuffed out the chance for a bigger inning. Hechavarria has now grounded into 16 double plays on the season, good for 5th worst in the National League. He was also caught stealing for the 8th time good for 4th worst in the NL.
Christian Yelich had 2 hits on the night and is suddenly hitting .290 on the season. Yelich is hitting .360 in August as the rookie appears to have found his stroke.
Koehler’s record falls to 3-7 on the season and Charlie Morton improves to 4-3 for the first place Pirates.