Marlins spoil strong JT Brubaker performance by rallying for outright win in 10th
A game that started with strong pitching performance ended in a wild pitching with the bases loaded in the 10th inning.
Jesus Aguilar scored the winning run when David Bednar’s throw, closer to the stars, passed catcher Jason Delay, whose throw went over home plate as the Miami Marlins beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 5-4, in of an outright win Wednesday night at loanDepot Park.
The Pirates wrap up their four-game series against the Marlins at 12:10 p.m. Thursday, then head to Colorado for three games against the Rockies before the All-Star break.
The loss ended the Pirates’ four-game winning streak and spoiled a strong performance by starting pitcher JT Brubaker, who struck out nine in seven scoreless innings and came away with a 1-0 lead.
Where Marlins starter Pablo Lopez threw four perfect innings, Brubaker allowed three hits and two walks in the first four. The momentum turned in the Pirates favor as they battled their way into turn two to finish fourth.
After settling for the forced elimination in the second but failing to convert a double play on a Jesus Sanchez grounder, Josh VanMeter played a sharp midfielder perfectly by Nick Fortes. VanMeter made a backhand stop behind the bag, spun and returned a backhand throw to Cruz, who first spun and shot Yoshi Tsutsugo to complete a formidable 4-6-3 double play.
Cruz continued his momentum until the fifth, when he walked first to break Pablo Lopez’s perfect game. Cruz then stole second base and scored when Ben Gamel broke the no-hitter offer when he hit a 2-2 change for a right-hand single and a 1-0 lead.
Gamel headed for second but Avisail Garcia’s right throw was cut off by Aguilar, who threw to shortstop Joey Wendle to put Gamel in a frame of mind before he was first tagged by Jon Berti. Jack Suwinski walked another – Lopez allowed just one hit but gave up four freebies – but was caught trying to steal the second.
Brubaker has struck out 10 straight Marlins over the past three innings. He was most effective in the sixth inning, which took just six pitches to sandwich two groundouts around a center fly out. After getting two more groundouts in the seventh, he swung Fortes to a 93 mph lead for his 15th swing and missed and ninth strikeout.
Brubaker also lost a career-high strikeout (10 on May 17 at the Chicago Cubs), while tying his career-high in innings pitched. His seven-inning performance came two nights after Mitch Keller did it on Monday night, marking the first time since Sept. 22-24, 2020 that the Pirates had starters (Steven Brault and Chad Kuhl) pitch seven or more innings in a single series.
Duane Underwood Jr. replaced Brubaker and, after recording two outs, lost control of the game and gave up the lead. Underwood hit Joey Wendle with a pitch – the Marlins won a challenge on the call – walked Berti and hit Aguilar on the forearm to load the bases for Avisail Garcia, who hit a two-run single at the center for a 2-1 lead.
The Pirates tied Marlins left-handed reliever Tanner Scott, who walked Daniel Vogelbach and Ke’Bryan Hayes before Michael Chavis hit a 2-2 slider to the left-field wall to tag Vogelbach to tie the game.
The Pirates started the 10th inning with Jack Suwinski at second base. Marlins third baseman Brian Anderson erred on Jason Delay’s helicopter and Jake Marisnick performed a bunt to charge the bases.
After Kevin Newman pulled out, Vogelbach led Suwinski with a groundout at second for a 3-2 lead. Hayes followed by hitting a scorching single to center to score Delay for a 4-2 lead but Marisnick was ejected at home plate.
The Marlins responded with a single from Miguel Rojas that put the runners up for second and third place. Billy Hamilton landed a bunt on the third base line that should have loaded the bases, but Bryan De La Cruz burst into his home and was alerted by Hayes.
Berti followed with an RBI single to right field to score Miguel Rojas to cut it to 4-3 and put Hamilton in the third-scoring position. Aguilar tied the game with a line drive down the center to score Hamilton.
The Pirates intentionally walked pinch hitter Luke Williams to load the bases and Brian Anderson dug in on a fielder’s pick in Cruz, whose pitch forced Berti out at home plate.