ShareThis Page
Pirates

Starling Marte powers Pirates past Marlins in testy game

| Sunday, April 15, 2018, 4:49 p.m.

MIAMI — When things became testy between the Pirates and Miami Marlins, Starling Marte kept swinging. And he kept connecting.

If the Pirates sought retribution for an inside fastball that sidelined Josh Harrison, Marte provided it by going 5 for 5, including a ninth-inning homer to cap a 7-3 victory Sunday.

Both teams kept their tempers in check even as two Pirates and one Marlins player were hit by pitches. Harrison left in the third inning after being plunked on the back of the left hand by a 96 mph fastball from Jose Urena.

“I'm a very patient, calm guy,” Marte said through a translator. “It's always tough to lose one of your key players. But we're trying to win. The focus here is to remain focused. That helped us out.”

Marte's five hits were a career high, and his batting average rose from .241 to .305. He scored four times and hit his third homer off Junichi Tazawa.

The surprising Pirates (11-4) improved to 7-0 in day games, completed a 4-2 road trip and head home atop the NL Central.

But they might be without Harrison for a while. The second baseman will undergo further evaluation Monday in Pittsburgh.

Harrison missed the final month of the 2017 season after being hit by a pitch on the same hand. He was hit 23 times last year to rank second in the majors.

“None of them feel good, except for the ones that nick your jersey,” he said. “I'm going to say this one felt pretty bad, too.”

After Harrison's injury, the Pirates' Ivan Nova hit JB Shuck in the hip later that same inning.

“We've got each other's back,” Harrison said. “You never want anybody to get hurt, but we're family here.”

Marlins reliever Odrisamer Despaigne plunked Francisco Cervelli on the left hand in the seventh. Despaigne appeared to apologize as Cervelli trotted to first base, and the Pittsburgh catcher responded with a conciliatory wave.

“We've had a lot of hit batsmen here, for whatever reason,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “I don't believe the situation has had any intent. We don't like to get hit, though.

“You play on. I thought both teams handled it very professionally.”

Marlins manager Don Mattingly said there was clearly no intent behind the pitch to Harrison because the count was 0-2. Mattingly said Nova hit Shuck intentionally.

“It's the first pitch (to Shuck), and there's no doubt about why he did it,” Mattingly said. “He did it in the right spot, and it's over. When it's done right, the message is fine, so I don't think it's going to cause a war or nothing.”

Nova (2-1) pitched 6 23 innings despite a wobbly start, which included a comebacker in the first that hit his left foot. He allowed three runs and struck out nine, his highest total since 2016.

Justin Bour ended Nova's afternoon with a pinch-hit, two-run homer.

Josh Bell had three hits and three RBIs for the Pirates. Corey Dickerson drove in a pair of runs, had two hits and extended his hitting streak to 10 games. Both came up with Marte usually on base.

“It's always a joy to go 5 for 5 in a game,” Marte said. “I knew I was having a good game. I was feeling great and seeing the results.”

Urena (0-3) allowed eight hits and four runs in five innings for the Marlins (4-11), who went 1-5 on their homestand.

Pittsburgh Pirates' Starling Marte scores on a sacrifice fly by Corey Dickerson during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Sunday, April 15, 2018, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Pittsburgh Pirates' Starling Marte scores on a sacrifice fly by Corey Dickerson during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Sunday, April 15, 2018, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Pittsburgh Pirates' Gregory Polanco is congratulated in the dugout after scoring on a single hit by Josh Bell during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Sunday, April 15, 2018, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Pittsburgh Pirates' Gregory Polanco is congratulated in the dugout after scoring on a single hit by Josh Bell during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Sunday, April 15, 2018, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Ivan Nova throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Sunday, April 15, 2018, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Ivan Nova throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Sunday, April 15, 2018, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
The Pirates' Starling Marte rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run in the ninth inning against the Marlins on April 15, 2018 in Miami.
Getty Images
The Pirates' Starling Marte rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run in the ninth inning against the Marlins on April 15, 2018 in Miami.
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me