Pirates stumble after building lead in loss to lowly Marlins | TribLIVE.com
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Associated Press

MIAMI — For the second straight game, the Pittsburgh Pirates jumped on the Miami Marlins. This time, the Marlins answered, and Pablo Lopez and his teammates were able to lock down the Pirates the rest of the way.

Lopez pitched seven strong innings and allowed three runs to help the Marlins beat the Pirates, 4-3, on Saturday night.

The Pirates, who have lost eight of nine, built a 3-0 lead in the fourth, and the Marlins responded with three in the bottom half.

“Definitely the guys scoring runs was a turning point,” Lopez said.

Lopez (5-5) gave up seven hits and a walk. He struck out four. He is 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA over his last four starts.

“It kind of looked similar to last night, and they were going to start banging him around and he gets out of the inning and then we get the runs back,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “Then he was really good after that. I thought Pablo got really aggressive with his fastball. Everything seemed to be clean, and he really just beared down after that.”

Garrett Cooper and Harold Ramirez, a former Pirates prospect, paced the offensive attack with three hits apiece for the Marlins, and Starlin Castro knocked in the go-ahead run in the fifth.

“Yesterday, they jumped on us early and our at-bats got away from at the end of the game,” Cooper said. “We had a meeting today that if we got down just to not give those at-bats away, stick with what we do.”

Sergio Romo pitched around a one-out single in the ninth by getting Melkey Cabrera to bounce into a game-ending double play to earn his 12th save in 13 opportunities.

Cooper is hitting .360 (32 of 89) with six home runs and 18 RBIs over his last 23 games.

“Cooper can just hit,” Mattingly said. “He can go the other way, but obviously, he’s showed he’s dangerous too with the long ball. We’ve always liked the hit tool. He uses the whole field, an inside-out guy.”

Cooper singled, and Brian Anderson dropped in a double to right field to begin the fifth off Geoff Hartlieb (0-1). Castro grounded out to third scoring Cooper for a 4-3 lead.

Kevin Newman’s base hit started the scoring in the third for the Pirates, who added two runs in the fourth on a base hit by Josh Bell and a double by Corey Dickerson for a 3-0 lead.

The Marlins tied it in the fourth with three runs on a base hit by Ramirez, a throwing error by second baseman Adam Frazier and a single by Jorge Alfaro.

“You’ve got to love to be engaged in major league baseball,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “Tonight’s game goes to show there is a game to be played and a game to be finished. We give them one extra out in the fourth, and it cost us.”

Dario Agrazal, a 24-year-old native of Panama, made his major league debut for the Pirates. He pitched four innings and allowed six hits and three runs, two earned, with three strikeouts.

“I felt very good,” Agrazal said. “It is an emotion I will never forget. It is an amazing experience.”

Agrazal’s major league debut was broadcasted in his home country of Panama. Before throwing his first pitch, he reflected on his journey.

“I realized my dream,” he said. “When I stepped on the mound, I saw many people. At first you feel nerves which is normal. But what’s important is I maintained my focus.”

Agrazal allowed two baserunners in the first three innings before running into trouble in the fourth.

“I thought Agrazal pitched well,” Hurdle said. “First three were clean, double play helped. The error extended the inning however they synced him up a little bit. They hit four hard hit balls in that inning for singles as well.”

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