PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jose Quintana pitched seven strong innings and combined with two relief pitchers on a five-hitter as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Miami Marlins 1-0 on Saturday night.
Quintana (3-5) allowed four hits while matching his season high in innings. He had four strikeouts and no walks. Wil Crowe and All-Star David Bednar followed with one inning apiece. Bednar notched his 17th save in 21 opportunities while finishing the Pirates’ third shutout of the season.
“Tonight, against an entirely right-handed lineup, with the exception of Joey Wendle, I thought he went out and executed,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said of Quintana. “He moved the fastball around. He was extremely efficient.”
The Marlins were blanked for the fourth time in their last five games. They ended a franchise-record 37-inning scoreless drought Friday in an 8-1 victory over the Pirates.
Highly touted Marlins rookie pitcher Max Meyer left the game in the first inning with right elbow discomfort. Miami wound up using six pitchers as it lost for the fifth time in six games.
Yoshi Tsutsugo knocked in the game’s lone run with a sixth-inning single as the Pirates won for just second time in seven games.
With the trade deadline coming up Aug. 2, Quintana’s days with the Pirates could be coming to an end. The 33-year-old is a free agent at the end of the season and contending teams are reportedly interested in dealing for him.
“Right now, I’m really focusing on starting off strong in the second half,” Quintana said. “I’m just trying to go out and execute pitches. That’s all I can really control. I’ve been in this situation before where I’ve been in trade rumors. It doesn’t bother me anymore like when I was younger.”
Shelton understands the rebuilding Pirates will likely trade Quintana. However, Quintana has meant a lot to a young team on and off the field.
“I think when we signed him, we knew, No. 1, he was a good veteran presence in the clubhouse and he’s even better than advertised there – and he was advertised pretty well,” Shelton said. “The other thing is when you have a young group of pitchers, to have a guy that you know, every fifth day, is going to take the ball, he’s going to go out and he’s going to give you innings. It’s really important for us.”
Quintana got help from his defense as the Pirates turned three double plays behind him. The biggest came in the third when Miguel Rojas grounded into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play with runners on first and third.
The Marlins also had runners on first and second in the eighth inning, but Nick Fortes ended the rally by popping out.
In his second career start, Meyer faced just three batters and threw 10 pitches before exiting after being met on the mound by manager Don Mattingly and an athletic trainer.
The 23-year-old Meyer made his debut last Saturday, losing to Philadelphia at home. The Marlins selected him third overall in the 2020 draft.
PIRATES ROSTER MOVES
The Pirates optioned rookie reliever Colin Holderman to Triple-A Indianapolis a day after acquiring him from the New York Mets in a trade for designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach. Manager Derek Shelton indicated Holderman will likely be promoted to Pittsburgh soon.
The Pirates made another trade with the Mets on Saturday, dealing catcher Michael Perez for cash considerations. Perez had been playing at Indianapolis before being designated for assignment.
Marlins: LF Jorge Soler was placed on the 10-day injured list with back spasms. He was the World Series MVP last season while leading Atlanta over Houston. OF JJ Bleday, who was the fourth overall pick in the 2019 draft, had his contract selected from Triple-A Jacksonville. Bleday entered the game in the seventh inning in left field in his major league debut then walked in his first plate appearance. … 3B Brian Anderson injured his left shoulder while diving for a groundball in the sixth inning and left the game. … DH/INF Garrett Cooper was hit on the right wrist by a pitch while pinch hitting in the eighth inning and was removed for a pinch runner.
Marlins: RHP Sandy Alcantara (9-4, 1.76) will start Sunday. He leads the NL in ERA and it is the lowest by a Miami pitcher through the first 17 starts of a season since Josh Johnson had a 1.62 mark in 2010.
Pirates: RHP Mitch Keller (3-7, 4.55) has allowed three earned runs or fewer in seven of nine starts since being moved back to the rotation from the bullpen May 31.