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Marlins 6, Phillies 4; Unlikely bats support José Ureña, halt 5-game losing streak

Ureña continues to establish himself as a possible building block.

Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The Marlins (58-91) wrapped up an ugly road trip on a positive note Sunday afternoon, capitalizing on some shaky Phillies defense and getting decent bullpen contributions in the 6-4 win. Re-emerging as Miami’s ace down the stretch, José Ureña earned his third straight winning decision, putting an end to the club’s five-game losing skid overall.

  • José Ureña: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K (79 pitches)
  • Nick Pivetta: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K (80 pitches)

Shades of Opening Day, Ureña didn’t spot his first pitch in the desired location. César Hernández pounced on it:

Hernández also homered on Saturday night, a three-run shot that put the Phillies ahead to stay.

However, this script went much differently. Peter O’Brien’s power potential earned him a spot back in the starting lineup after sitting the previous two games. It meant experimenting in right field (a position he’d never played in the majors), but that didn’t affect his swing:

Bryan Holaday pushed the lead to 3-1 with an RBI double later in the fourth inning. He would collect multiple extra-base hits in the same game for the first time since signing with the Fish.

Despite strong results, Ureña had an uneven performance. He delivered first-pitch strikes to only 7 of 19 batters faced. The 27-year-old finally found a groove in the fifth inning, striking out the side in order (including old friend Justin Bour).

Unfortunately, Ureña hit the showers early when his right hand began cramping up. The Marlins insist the move was made for precautionary reasons and expect him to make his final two scheduled starts.

Fish Stripes original GIF

Earlier in the season, the Marlins often failed to provide adequate run support with Ureña on the mound. In this case, they added valuable insurance as soon as he left in the sixth.

Starlin Castro reached against reliever Luis García on his NL-leading 31st infield hit. That was followed by a Derek Dietrich hit-and-run single, O’Brien’s fielder’s choice and Lewis Brinson’s booming triple up the middle:

A wild pitch brought Brinson home. 6-1.

Tyler Kinley worked around a leadoff double in the bottom of the inning. He’s yet to surrender a run in five appearances (4.1 IP) since his September call-up.

Don Mattingly went with familiar faces the rest of the way: Kyle Barraclough, Drew Steckenrider and Adam Conley. The final score is slightly misleading, as the Phillies were down to their final out before scratching across those final two runs.

Assuming that Ureña stays in the rotation moving forward, he’d be a darkhorse candidate for September NL Pitcher of the Month. A 1.47 earned run average through 18 13 innings should legitimately put him in the conversation.

Next up, the Marlins return to Miami to host a hot Nationals squad that has seven of their past nine.

Fish Stripes will have two writers credentialed to cover the series opener on Monday. Erick Fedde and Trevor Richards are the probable starters. First pitch at 7:10 p.m.

September 16, 2018 win probability chart
Courtesy of FanGraphs

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