Pirates hand ball to Ohlendorf in opener vs. Marlins
The Pittsburgh Pirates helped their manager reach a game series with the Florida Marlins at PNC Park.
The Pirates have won four of their last six games and are coming off a 5-4 victory over the Astros on Wednesday. Andrew McCutchen hit a pair of homers, including a three-run shot, and Jason Jaramillo singled home the winning run in the eighth inning.
By homering in a season-high five straight games, Pittsburgh gave skipper Clint Hurdle the 600th win of his managerial career.
"It was a nice game to win tonight," said Hurdle. "I don't have many balls in my collection. I think the first one I got was for my 500th win. Andrew (McCutchen) handed me the ball tonight and I think I'll keep this one."
While it won't be a milestone, a win tonight would lift a huge weight off the shoulders of Ohlendorf, who hasn't posted a victory since July 2 of last year and has just one since the start of the 2010 season. The righty will make his sixth start of the season this evening and his fourth since returning from a long stay on the disabled list.
Ohlendorf lasted just four innings at the Cubs on Saturday, giving up three runs on seven hits and two walks. He is 0-1 with a 6.35 earned run average on the season.
The 29-year-old will face the Marlins for the fourth time in his career and is 1-2 with a 3.60 ERA against them.
Florida has won five straight and 11 of its last 13 games against Pittsburgh, including a three-game sweep at home from April 19-21, but is coming off back- to-back setbacks to the Mets. The Marlins offense struggled in Wednesday's 1-0 loss, going 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position while stranding eight.
"We had some golden opportunities," said Marlins manager Jack McKeon. "We just couldn't get the key hit."
Brad Hand took the tough-luck loss after allowing one run over six innings of work.
Florida turns to Ricky Nolasco tonight and the righty is winless in his past four starts, going 0-2 with a 9.27 ERA.
Nolasco has allowed four runs in each of his last three outings, including a no-decision versus the Phillies on Saturday. He lasted six innings and is 9-10 with a 4.39 ERA on the year.
The 28-year-old has posted a 1.81 ERA in nine career meetings with Pittsburgh, but is only 4-3 in that time. He went over .500 for his career in this series when he threw seven scoreless innings of four-hit ball back on April 20, striking out eight.