Starling Marte enjoyed the first five-hit games of his career, capping it off with his third homerun of the season in the ninth inning; Josh Bell chipped in three more hits and Ivan Nova struck out nine Marlins batters over 6 2⁄3 innings as the Pirates came away with a 7-3 victory, running their early season record to 11-4.
Marte singled on a ground ball to shortstop in the first; singled on a line drive to left and scored in the third; singled on a sharp ground ball to left and scored in the fifth; singled on a line drive to center and scored in the seventh; and homered to the marlins bullpen in the ninth.
The Pirates totaled 13 hits on the afternoon as Ivan Nova rolled through the Marlins lineup. After allowing singles to each of the first three batters in the game (two of them infield grounders) Nova allowed only a single run, again on a ground ball out. He’d retired 17 of 19 batters, allowing only a single and a hit batter (which was likely intentional) after, as he entered the bottom of the seventh. Cameron Maybin opened the frame with a sharply hit ground double down the left field line, but Nova came back to strike out both Lewis Brinson and Chad Wallach. Justin Bour, who’d homered in the Marlin’s win on Friday, stepped in to pinch-hit for the pitcher and on a 1-2 pitch lined a high curve to nearly the same spot high in the right field stands, narrowing the score to 6-3 and chasing Nova on what may have been his last pitch regardless of the outcome. Michael Feliz, George Kontos and Felipe
Rivero Romero Vasquez Vazquez shut the door the rest of the way to seal the victory.
However, the win could prove costly for the Pirates. In the third inning Josh Harrison was hit either in the forearm or hand by a 96 mph fastball from Jose Urena, certainly causing an extreme amount of discomfort that forced him from the game. There are no reports yet on the extent of any injury.
In the seventh, Francisco Cervelli has hit on the back of the hand, and despite obvious swelling as he was running the bases, he stayed in to catch the rest of the game.
The Pirates return home Monday for a 7:05 game with the Colorado Rockies in weather that’s expected to rival Denver’s.