Xavier Nady's two-run single completed a three-run Pirates comeback after a questionable call apparently cost them a run in the sixth inning, and Pittsburgh ended a six-game losing streak by beating Florida 3-2 on Tuesday night.
Paul Maholm (1-2) limited the Marlins to one run and four hits over six innings, ending a slide in which Pirates starting pitchers had an 11.38 ERA over the six games. The Marlins' three-game winning streak was also halted.
Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco (1-2) allowed only one hit, Maholm's single, over five shutout innings and appeared to get a break in the sixth when second base umpire Scott Barry called Nate McLouth out at second on a steal attempt. TV replays showed McLouth coming up from his pop-up slide, his foot on the base, before he was tagged by second baseman Dan Uggla.
The call, argued briefly by manager John Russell, may have been what the Pirates needed to shake themselves out of their slump. They responded with four consecutive two-out hits, with Freddy Sanchez and Jason Bay getting singles ahead of Ryan Doumit's game-tying RBI double.
Nady ran his hitting streak to 10 games with a single that made it 3-1 and gave Maholm (1-2) his first win in seven starts since beating Colorado on Aug. 23. The Pirates, outscored 58-16 during the losing streak, hadn't led since being ahead of the Cubs 1-0 in the second inning of a 3-2 loss Friday.
The Marlins got a run back when Jorge Cantu homered leading off the seventh against reliever Tyler Yates, but they stranded runners on first and third when Hanley Ramirez was called out at first on a soft grounder to third. Ramirez appeared to beat Doug Mientkiewicz's throw, prompting manager Fredi Gonzalez's ejection after he argued the call with umpire Mike Winters.
Florida, which had been 5-0 in one-run games, scored in the first when Hanley Ramirez doubled and came home on Cantu's two-out single. Maholm held the Marlins held to two singles over the next five innings, but was lifted after throwing 93 pitches.
Pirates reliever John Grabow got out of a two-on, one-out jam created by Damaso Marte by retiring Cantu and Cody Ross in the eighth. Matt Capps pitched the ninth for his fifth save in as many attempts, striking out Mike Rabelo and getting Ramirez to fly out after Jeremy Hermida reached second with one out.
McLouth's 19-game hitting streak was stopped when he went 0-for-2 with two walks, the first time this season he hasn't gotten a hit. The streak was the longest in the majors.
Notes:@ Gonzalez visited the Steelers' offseason workouts Tuesday and talked with coach Mike Tomlin. ... The teams ended their five-game season series on April 22, or before the Pirates have played 10 NL teams. ... The Marlins have gone 201 consecutive games without a complete game. ... The Pirates didn't allow double-figure runs for the first time in four games. ... The Marlins won the season series 3-2, but have lost 16 of 25 in PNC Park. ... McLouth had a 20-game streak dating to last season.
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