Stallings’ hit lifts Pirates, Marlins’ 8th loss in row

Sports

PITTSBURGH (AP)Jacob Stallings hit a game-ending single in the 12th inning that lifted the Pittsburgh Pirates over Miami 8-7 on Saturday and extended the Marlins’ longest losing streak in six years to eight games.

Automatic runner Adam Frazier advanced to third on Ke’Bryan Hayes’ flyout leading off the 12th against Adam Cimber (1-2). Bryan Reynolds was intentionally walked, and Stallings lined a single to center.

Stallings now has five game-ending hits in his career and two this season. He hit an extra-inning home run against Milwaukee last month and a three-run double in the eighth against Miami on Thursday.

”I think he doesn’t try to do too much,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. ”Because of it, he had a really good at-bat off a sidearm guy that’s very challenging and has been very good.”

Jesus Aguilar tied the score at 6 with an RBI single off Richard Rodriguez, who blew a save for the second time in nine chances. Miami’s Isan Diaz and Pittsburgh’s Gregory Polanco hit sacrifice flies in the 10th. Clay Holmes (2-0) pitched a perfect 12th.

Pittsburgh trailed 5-2 before a four-run eighth helped by pitcher Anthony Bender’s error.

Bender relieved Bass and forced in a run with a bases-loaded walk to Kevin Newman, then hit Ka’ai Tom with a pitch. With the bases loaded and two outs, pinch-hitter Michel Perez hit a soft ground ball to the right of Aguilar at first. He tossed to the pitcher, but Bender missed the ball. Polanco scored from third and Kevin Newman from second.

”It was just one of those that happens, it seems like things can go fast,” Miami manager Don Mattingly said. ”I can’t say it was a tough one. It’s frustrating when you need to make that play.”

Stallings said the grind-it-out inning was emblematic of the kind of winning baseball the Pirates can play, despite their 23-34 record.

”(Perez) easily could have pouted and not run hard and it’s an easy out, but guys just don’t take at-bats off,” Stallings said. ”Doing well is important to everybody, and nobody on our team is going to give an at-bat away, because it’s important to them.”

Aguilar, who had four hits, mashed a solo homer in the fourth off Chase De Jong and Jazz Chisolm Jr. hit a two-run shot as Miami took a 3-2 lead. Jorge Alfaro hit a two-run homer in the fifth, a 432-foot drive to the shrubbery in the batter’s eye in center.

De Jong allowed five runs and seven hits in five innings.

Miami starter Trevor Rogers gave up two runs and four hits in six innings, retiring 13 of his final 14 batters.

TOUGH STRETCH

The Marlins were 1.5 games out of first place after winning on May 26, but has lost eight in a row for the first time since May 15-22, 2015, dropping a season-low nine games under .500 at 24-33 while, while falling to the NL East basement.

”That one’s hard to swallow,” Mattingly said. ”To say our guys are going to come in all fired up and excited tomorrow, it’s a little hard to say that. . We’ve had ourselves in position to win, and we haven’t been able to close that door.”

ROSTER MOVES

Miami selected the contract of RHP Zach Thompson from Triple-A Jacksonville, placed RHP Cody Poteet on the 10-day IL with a sprained right medial collateral ligament and transferred RHP Elieser Hernandez to the 60-day IL with a right quadriceps strain. Hernandez had just returned on June 3 after missing two months with a blister issue and has played in just two games this season.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Marlins: INF/OF Garrett Cooper did not play with back stiffness.

Pirates: RHP JT Brubaker will re-join the starting rotation during the three-game series with Los Angeles that starts Tuesday, Shelton said.

UP NEXT

Marlins RHP Sandy Alcantara (2-5, 3.68 ERA) will start Sunday’s series finale after allowed a season-high nine hits in his previous start against Toronto. Pirates RHP Chad Kuhl (0-2, 6.41) will make his second start since missing six weeks with a right shoulder injury. He went four innings and allowed three runs in his return May 31.

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