Miami Marlins starting pitcher David Phelps was too much for the Pittsburgh Pirates’ offense to handle, and the road team came away with a 3-1 victory Saturday night at PNC Park.
Phelps, who tied a career-high with nine strikeouts, allowed two hits in six scoreless innings, good for a game score of 77.
Phelps’ strong pitching meant, for the first time, that the Pirates (62-58) lost a game started by Chad Kuhl. He had 10 ground ball outs while allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits in six innings.
In center field, Andrew McCutchen had an up-and-down defensive game. He made a diving catch to rob Ichiro Suzuki of a second-inning hit. An inning later, McCutchen dropped a Dee Gordon fly ball while on the run. The official scorer assessed an error to the Pirates’ center fielder, and a run scored.
A two-run fourth inning provided all the run support Phelps needed.
The Pirates avoided a potential shutout when Josh Harrison singled in Jordy Mercer in the eighth inning off Kyle Barraclough. Harrison was 3-for-4 at the plate.
This series will conclude Sunday afternoon when the Pirates’ Ryan Vogelsong (2-2, 3.20 ERA) faces the Marlins’ Jose Urena (1-4, 6.80 ERA). Vogelsong is 3-4 with a 2.31 ERA in 11 career appearances (seven starts) against the Marlins. He has pitched at least six innings in all seven of those starts.
Pittsburgh third baseman Jung Ho Kang was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left shoulder injury. Prospect Josh Bell was called up and joined the team in the middle of Saturday night’s contest. Bell told reporters he will be in Sunday’s lineup … Francisco Cervelli went 0-for-2 at the plate Friday night, ending his nine-game hitting streak. Had Cervelli earned a hit in this game, he would have matched his career-high total set in 2014.
Image credit: Fred Vuich/AP