The Marlins secured its fourth sweep of the season and stayed within one game of the Cardinals in the Wild Card race Sunday, with a 3-2 win versus the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Miami took the lead after a Christian Yelich solo home run in the first inning, and was looking to sink the Pirates early on after putting two more runners in scoring position, but Pittsburgh starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong escaped the jam allowing just the one run.
In the fourth inning, Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen hit a lead off single, and was followed by a Gregory Polanco double that was crushed to right field. Everyone on the field stopped on the play thinking the ball was gone, but it hit the top of the wall advancing McCutchen to third. The Pirates tied the game on the very next pitch after a David Freese hard grounder slipped away from Marlins third baseman Martin Prado. Pittsburgh took the lead on a Josh Bell sacrifice fly scoring Polanco.
It was a rough inning defensively for Prado as he recorded a second error advancing runners to second and third with two outs. Miami caught a break with Volegsong up next in the order, as Urena sat him down on strikes.
Miami trailed 2-1 heading into the fifth.
Adeiny Hechavarria lead off the fifth reaching on an error and advanced to second after a beautifully placed sacrifice bunt by Urena. Dee Gordon then singled advancing Hechavarria to third and stole second putting two runners in scoring position for Prado who grounded into a sacrifice RBI that tied the game 2-2.
After Yelich drew a walk, Gordon scored on a wild pitch that hit the dirt and rolled into the backstop giving Miami a 3-2 lead.
Urena (2-4) picked up the win and pitched very well. He allowed two runs on four hits and struck out three in six innings of work. Nick Wittgren relieved Urena in the seventh and gave up a lead off single to Sean Rodriguez, who advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, but Wittgren shut down the Pirates offense ending the inning with his team still leading.
On the day he was reinstated from the disabled list, A.J. Ramos came into the eighth and pitched a perfect 1-2-3 inning to help secure the Marlins victory.
Miami threatened to extend its lead in the ninth after Andino, Hechavarria and Rojas reached base to load the bases, but the Marlins were unable to manufacture any runs and led 3-2 heading to the final frame.
Fernando Rodney was called into close the game out for Miami and is looking like he is going to be the go-to closer in the foreseeable future. Rodney gave Marlins fans a scare walking Matt Joyce, but he was able to finish the game off.
It was a huge win for Miami (65-59), as they continue to stay close to St. Louis in the Wild Card race. The Marlins will travel back home to face the Kansas City Royals and San Diego Padres this week, with the series opener versus Kansas City coming on Tuesday.
Hero of the Game: Fernando Rodney (+.177)
Goat of the Game: Josh Harrison (-.172)
Play of the Game: Gregory Polanco's double to right in the fourth inning (+.152.)