By Steve Dorsey and Glenn Sattell
Special to MLB.com |
MIAMI -- Lorenzo Cain's RBI single provided starter Yordano Ventura with the only run he needed as the red-hot Royals extended their winning streak to nine games with a 1-0 win over the Marlins on Tuesday night at Marlins Park.
Kansas City remained four games back of Baltimore in the American League Wild Card chase, while Miami is still 1 1/2 games behind the Cardinals in the National League Wild Card standings.
"I had a green light, but I originally wasn't going to swing," said Cain, who hit a 3-0 pitch that scored Paulo Orlando from second in the sixth inning. "I took a nice easy swing and ended up hitting a ground ball through the middle."
Ventura improved to 9-9 with six stellar innings. It was his ninth straight start of yielding three earned runs or fewer.
Marlins starter Andrew Cashner (4-10) also went six innings and gave up four hits, but received no run support in a solid start.
"Our guy was throwing it good, their guy was throwing it good. We just couldn't break through," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of his team's ninth shutout loss.
Dee Gordon had three of the Marlins' seven hits. It was Gordon's fifth three-hit game and fourth at Marlins Park.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Bullpen on record: With three shutout innings behind Ventura, the Royals' bullpen established a club record for consecutive scoreless frames at 32. The previous mark was 29 2/3 in 1969. Matt Strahm (seventh) and Joakim Soria (eighth) set the table for closer Kelvin Herrera to nail down his eighth save with a 1-2-3 ninth. More >
Tough luck outing: Cashner had his best outing in five starts since he came to the Marlins via a trade with the Padres on July 29. The right-hander logged four strikeouts and two walks. He left after throwing 92 pitches in six innings. The Marlins' offense stranded eight baserunners, including the third inning when Ventura escaped a two-out bases-loaded jam. More >
One big steal and hit: Orlando opened the sixth with a walk and stole second to move into scoring position to set the table for Cain's go-ahead hit. Cain, who went 2-for-4, extended his hitting streak to nine games. He is hitting .529 (18-for-24) during that stretch with nine RBIs and six multi-hit games.
"You really had a sense early on that it was going to be a tight game," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Paulo does what he's been doing all year; gets on base, steals second, and then Cain with a great piece of hitting."
Ozuna exits: Marlins center fielder Marcell Ozuna did not come out of the dugout in the top of the eighth inning. The club announced that Ozuna left the game to attend to a "family emergency." Mattingly did not offer any other details after the game. Ozuna, the cleanup hitter, had the Marlins' only extra-base hit, a double to lead off the sixth, but Ventura retired the next three batters to end the inning. More >
AFTER FURTHER REVIEW
The Royals saw their streak of eight consecutive winning challenges snapped in the third inning, when they asked for a review of a tag play on a pickoff attempt at first base. First baseman Eric Hosmer applied the belated tag and seemed certain that Gordon's foot slipped off the base. The safe call was ruled to stand.
The Marlins won a challenge in the sixth after the Royals had grabbed a 1-0 lead on Cain's RBI single. Cain then stole second, but the initial safe call was overturned.
WHAT'S NEXT Royals: Right-hander Dillon Gee (5-6, 4.52 ERA) will get the ball on Wednesday at 6:10 p.m. CT for the middle game of this series at Marlins Park. Gee is coming off a season-high seven-inning start vs. Minnesota, yielding one run on five hits.
Marlins: Ace right-hander Jose Fernandez (12-7, 3.05) will take the mound against the Royals on Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. ET. Fernandez struggled in his last start last against the Reds on Thursday, lasting only four innings and yielding five earned runs.