Narveson struggles in 7-2 loss to Pirates

MIAMI (AP) — Chris Narveson struggled in his return to the mound as a starting pitcher.

Narveson, making his first start since April 15, 2012, allowed seven runs in 3 2-3 innings and the Miami Marlins lost 7-2 to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night.

“I think I was a little amped up and trying to do a little too much and obviously left some balls up,” Narveson said. “They did what they were supposed to.”.

Narveson (1-1) allowed a run in the first inning and six in the second before being chased in the fourth.

“Missed his spots,” Marlins manager Dan Jennings said. “That was too deep a hole to dig out of — six runs in the second inning. … You miss your location with these guys, especially up, they’re going to punish you.”.

Martin Prado homered for the Marlins, who have scored 12 runs in their last six games.

Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen continues to drive in runs and is on pace for a career-high in RBIs as he homered and drove in four.

“This guy was the MVP,” Jennings said. “He’s a special talent.”.

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McCutchen has 85 RBIs this season and is on pace for his first season with 100 RBIs.

“I’m getting more opportunities than I have in the past, and being able to come through.”.

Pittsburgh (76-49) remains four games behind first-place St. Louis (80-45) in the NL Central.

Pirates starter Jeff Locke (7-8) pitched seven innings, allowing two runs and five hits. It was his longest outing since tossing 7 1-3 innings on July 19, at Milwaukee.

“You don’t really want to have any question marks in your rotation, especially at this point of the season and the way I’ve pitched I feel like I’ve been that for a little while,” Locke said. “To get a good outing under your belt gives me more confidence.”.

McCutchen hit an RBI double in the first inning and helped spark a six-run second with a three-run homer, his 20th.

“Look at the batting average with runners in scoring position (.394),” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “Cutch is always looking to improve. You get guys on in front of him and that gives him more opportunities.”.

McCutchen is 6 for 13 with three doubles, a home run, and six RBIs in the first three games of this series.

“He’s one of the best for a reason,” Narveson said.

Neil Walker’s double started the scoring in the second. Chris Stewart and Starling Marte each had RBI singles before McCutchen’s blast to left field as the Pirates sent 10 batters to the plate.

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“It was good that we were able to get on the board early,” McCutchen said. “We’ve been looking for something like that.”.

Pirates third baseman Aramis Ramirez made an impressive diving stop toward the foul line and threw from his knees to rob Miguel Rojas of a base hit in the eighth inning.

Miami relievers Erik Cordier and Scott McGough combined to pitch 5 1-3 scoreless innings allowing one hit and striking out six.

“The real highlight of the night was those two young kids coming out of the bullpen,” Jennings said.


Pirates: RHP Gerrit Cole (14-7, 2.49 ERA) will start Thursday’s series finale. Cole will be looking for his first win since July 26 vs. Washington.

Marlins: LHP Justin Nicolino (2-1, 3.77 ERA) returns to the mound after allowing two runs in 7 2-3 innings in a no-decision against Philadelphia in his last start.