By Joe Frisaro and Ken Gurnick
MLB.com |@JoeFrisaro |
MIAMI -- Jose Urena on Sunday made a statement for the present and future. The right-hander pitched a career-high 8 2/3 innings in the Marlins' 3-0 win over the Dodgers at Marlins Park, and he made a case to become a fixture in an unsettled rotation.
Urena was aiming to become the first Marlins starter to toss a complete game since Henderson Alvarez on June 3, 2014. But after Josh Reddick's two-out single in the ninth inning, he was lifted after 108 pitches. A.J. Ramos collected the one-out save, preserving the shutout.
"We were working to try to get the complete game," Urena said. "I knew if somebody got on base, I'd be out of the game. We were working on it."
Miami has now gone a Major League-record 409 straight games without a complete game. In terms of the bigger picture, Urena's four-hit gem helped the Marlins take two of three in the series and stay within striking distance of the second National League Wild Card spot. Miami needed a solid start because Kenta Maeda was impressive in six innings, allowing three runs (two earned), and he minimized damage.
"There is no real solace in winning the series," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "It's really just winning a game at a time at this point. Every one you lose you know it hurts you because you're running out of games. Every one you win, it just puts pressure on somebody to win. Hopefully we can get on a run and keep putting them together, and you never know what's going to happen. It just takes one to get started. At this point, we're playing a little better."
A day after Rich Hill threw seven perfect innings in the Dodgers' 5-0 win on Saturday, Urena got off to a fast start. The right-hander didn't permit a baserunner until Joc Pederson's two-out single in the fifth.
"We didn't put pressure on him, and when we did, he got out of it," Seager said of Urena.
Maeda was giving the Marlins a healthy diet of offspeed pitches, and for three innings, the right-hander didn't allow a run. Yelich opened the scoring with an RBI single, and Justin Bour delivered a sacrifice fly.
"Honestly, I didn't feel I was pitching that well in the early innings," Maeda said. "I felt my control was a little off. I knew going in they would be aggressive. I noticed they are aggressive on first pitches in general."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Career day for Urena: Before Sunday, the Marlins twice this year had a starter go as far as eight innings. Urena became the third, joining Adam Conley (June 22 against Atlanta) and Tom Koehler (July 21 vs. Philadelphia). Urena's previous longest outing was 6 2/3 innings on June 12, 2015, in a win over the Rockies.
"That was the big thing, try to get a W, that's what we were working for," Urena said. "If I could throw a complete game, that was something fun for us, and me too." More >
Indefensible: The Dodgers committed a pair of errors on one play in the sixth inning to allow Miami's third run. After Martin Prado's leadoff single to left field, right fielder Reddick tried to short-hop Yelich's liner. Reddick's bobble allowed Prado to take third for one error, and shortstop Seager's relay bounced into the third-base photo well to send Prado home for the second miscue. Earlier, a Seager throw pulled Gonzalez off first base, but the play was ruled an infield single.
Yelich's single breaks through: After being limited to two hits and no runs on Saturday, the Marlins were looking for a breakthrough moment on Sunday. It came in the fourth inning when Yelich lined an RBI single to left-center, scoring Ichiro Suzuki, who singled with one out. Bour's sacrifice fly gave the Marlins a 2-0 run lead. The Marlins had gone 15 straight innings without a run before Yelich's single.
Like Hill on Saturday, Maeda also threw a lot of offspeed pitches.
"That's just what those guys do," Yelich said. "That's the kind of pitchers they are. They mix things up. They do a good job. We were able to string a couple together in the fourth."
A 'Dre Day: Although he went 0-for-3, Andre Ethier started a game for the first time this year, playing left field. He lined out in his second at-bat, ran hard to first on a groundout and played the field showing no signs of the broken right leg that had sidelined him since Spring Training. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said how Ethier comes out of the game will determine if he serves as a designated hitter in the upcoming series at Yankee Stadium.
"His stuff is not going to be overpowering. He's going to add and subtract. He's a guy you want to get up in the count. He confuses guys by using a lot of different pitches. It all comes down to the same thing: Get the ball up in the zone." -- Mattingly, on what makes Maeda tough to hit
"Give Urena credit. He threw the ball well. He's a guy that has wipeout stuff." -- Dodgers manager Dave Roberts
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
With his single in the third inning, Ichiro Suzuki has 3,022 hits in his Major League career, moving him one shy of Lou Brock (3,023) for 25th place all-time.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The Dodgers challenged a safe call at first base by umpire Tom Woodring, who ruled that Gonzalez came off the bag to catch Seager's throw on Derek Dietrich's two-out grounder in the fourth. The call stood to load the bases.
WHAT'S NEXT Dodgers:Jose De Leon, coming off a win in his Major League debut, starts for the Dodgers with a 4:05 p.m. PT first pitch on Monday at Yankee Stadium. De Leon struck out nine without a walk in six innings against the Padres. Manager Dave Roberts said he was uncertain who would be the designated hitter, but he mentioned Justin Turner and Andre Ethier among candidates.
Marlins: Miami opens a three-game road series with the Braves at 7:10 p.m. ET on Monday. It will be the ballclub's final series at Turner Field. Andrew Cashner (5-11, 4.77 ERA) starts for the Marlins, while Atlanta goes with Mike Foltynewicz (8-5, 4.16 ERA). Cashner is 1-4 with a 4.78 ERA with Miami.