Marlins starting pitcher Pablo López was cruising to what looked like another quality start in the making against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Through four innings, he allowed just one run on a Nick Ahmed home run to right field. Besides that mistake, López’s start seemed status quo with the rest of his outings this season that saw his ERA drop as low as 2.04.
By the end of the fifth inning, his ERA would skyrocket up to 3.07. The Diamondbacks strung together three hits and two walks to put up four runs against Lopez in the frame. Lopez was also responsible for a fifth run that scored when Marlins relief pitcher John Curtiss was brought in.
López’s changeup, which has been his most used pitch this season, gave him more trouble than it was worth Tuesday night. He used the pitch on 45 percent of his 86 pitches (previous career high was 44.3 percent). The Diamondbacks only whiffed on four of them, and put nine of them in play with an average exit velocity of 99.2 MPH.
“I just pretty much fell behind and gave them the pitch they wanted to hit where they wanted to hit, and it’s tough when you’re always in the defensive mode, when you’re always trying to make a pitch to get back in the count instead of making the pitch you want to get out of the at-bat,” López said.
The Marlins offense briefly woke up in the eighth inning. After being shut out all game, Miguel Rojas drove home Jon Berti, and then scored on a Jesús Aguilar home run to pull Miami within three runs. Aguilar has eight home runs and a 1.108 OPS in his last 16 games.
Down 6-3, the Fish seemed to be clawing their way back in the desert. But the Diamondbacks immediately responded with a five-run inning against Luis Madero, who had just made his MLB debut in the previous game.
The Marlins will try to avoid losing the series Wednesday night with a bullpen game against the Diamondbacks. First pitch is at 9:40 p.m.