Rookie Eury Pérez works 6 dominant innings to lead Marlins past Pirates 2-0
Rookie Eury Pérez scattered four hits and struck out nine in six dominant innings to lead the Miami Marlins to a 2-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.
Jonathan Davis homered, Bryan De La Cruz had three hits and Yuli Gurriel drove in the game’s second run for the Marlins, who won the series 3-1 and improved to 11 games over .500 at 45-34.
Miami’s Luis Arraez went 1 for 4, and his major league-leading batting average slipped to .399.
The 20-year-old Pérez (5-1) extended his scoreless string to 21 innings. The right-hander has allowed one run over 28 innings in five starts in June. His ERA dropped to 1.34 since being promoted from Triple-A on May 12.
“I’m focused on having fun with my teammates, going out there and competing,” Pérez said. “Put on a great game. Put on a great show. I have not checked out any numbers, but just go out there and do my job.”
Steven Okert and Andrew Nardi followed Pérez, throwing one inning each. Two days after blowing a one-run lead in the second game of the series, A.J. Puk closed with a perfect ninth for his 11th save.
“This is a crazy run and I just don’t see it going in a different direction because of how easy and fluid his mechanics are,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said of Pérez’s first six weeks in the major leagues.
Andrew McCutchen had two hits for the Pirates, who have lost 12 of 13.
“We’re getting elite starting pitching right now, we just have to figure out a way to score runs,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “We have to figure it out because we’re not doing anything offensively, especially early in games.”
Davis’s shot to lead off the third put the Marlins ahead. Davis drove a slider from Pittsburgh’s Johan Oviedo into the seats in left field for his second homer.
“I knew he had a good fastball and I was just trying to be ready for the fastball,” Davis said. “I wanted to put the ball in play, put a good swing and it went.”
With the absence of star outfielder Jazz Chisholm Jr. because of a turf toe injury, Davis has provided valued depth after Miami acquired him in a trade May 22.
Gurriel increased Miami’s lead with a two-out, RBI single off reliever Carmen Mlodzinski in the eighth.
Oviedo (3-8) was lifted after seven innings. The right-hander allowed six hits and struck out six. Winless since May 19, Oviedo dropped his fifth straight decision.
Pirates starters limited the Marlins to five runs in the series.
“These days the starting pitchers did a really good job to keep us in games,” Oviedo said. “I believe in this team and not what’s going on right now. We’re going to be back.”
The Pirates acquired RHP Andre Jackson from the Los Angeles Dodgers for cash considerations and optioned him to Triple-A Indianapolis. The club also designated INF Mark Mathias for assignment.
Pirates: 3B Ke’Bryan Hayes sat out because of back stiffness.
Marlins: RHP Max Meyer (right elbow surgery) is progressing with his throwing activities and the next phase will be a bullpen.
Pirates: LHP Rich Hill (6-7, 4.34) will start the opener of a three-game home series against the San Diego Padres on Tuesday. The Padres have not named a starter.
Marlins: Open a three-game series at Boston on Tuesday with RHP Sandy Alcantara (2-6, 5.08) the scheduled starter. RHP Garrett Whitlock (4-2, 4.50) will start for the Red Sox.