Two-out rallies mar Urena's starting debut

Two-out rallies mar Urena's starting debut

PITTSBURGH -- Things were easier for Jose Urena in the Minors.

With the Marlins strapped for pitching depth, Urena was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans to make his first Major League start against the Pirates on Tuesday night at PNC Park. Urena, despite owning a 4-0 record and 1.21 ERA for the Zephyrs, struggled with the Bucs' hot-hitting bats as he was tagged with the loss in a 5-1 Marlins defeat.

"I was confident in what I was doing today," Urena said through a translator. "It just didn't work out for me."

Urena, who tossed 4 2/3 innings and gave up five runs on 10 hits, didn't have too much trouble getting after the Pirates early in innings, securing an out or two rather quickly.

The damage was done late in the frames. All five runs scored with two outs.

In the first inning, Urena faced Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang with runners at the corners and two outs and he couldn't prevent the South Korean from driving home the game's first run.

The next inning, Urena struck out the first and third batters of the frame. The fast start was encouraging, but the subsequent Josh Harrison double, followed by a two-run home run by Neil Walker, wasn't.

And in his final frame, Urena forced Kang and Andrew McCutchen, two of Pittsburgh's most potent hitters, to ground out, only to serve up an RBI single to Pedro Alvarez.

After Alvarez's at-bat, Urena was pulled.

"The difference were the two-out runs," Marlins manager Dan Jennings said. "They were able to capitalize on it. They had opportunities and took advantage."

Even though it wasn't an ideal starting debut, it doesn't look like Tuesday night will be the last time Urena starts for the Marlins.

Miami's rotation is missing four starters due to injury, and it's unclear when they'll be ready to return. Jennings announced prior to Tuesday's game that Jose Fernandez (Tommy John surgery), Jarred Cosart (vertigo) and Mat Latos (left knee inflammation) all have extended throwing sessions on the horizon, while Henderson Alvarez is strengthening his right shoulder, but is at a "no-throw status."

That considered, Jennings said it looks like Urena will get another crack at it -- and he's already itching to get back out and prove himself.

"I made mistakes today," Urena said. "But I'm definitely looking forward to my next start."

John McGonigal is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.