Marlins let lead slip after back-to-back jacks

Marlins let lead slip after back-to-back jacks

PITTSBURGH -- For a moment, Jordy Mercer thought Christian Yelich had made a spectacular play. Yelich tracked Mercer's fly ball to the warning track in center field, but as he crashed into the outfield wall, the ball fell out of his glove and landed harmlessly on the ground. And Mercer kept running. The sudden turn of events in the seventh sparked the Pirates' rally in their 7-6 win over the Marlins on Saturday at PNC Park.

Mercer's deep fly ball resulted in two-run triple that tied the game. He scored the winning run on John Jaso's pinch-hit double to right field in the next at-bat to help the Bucs snap a four-game losing streak.

"[This win] just stopped the bleeding," Mercer said. "It's good to get this win. And tomorrow we can even this series out."

The Pirates were trailing after right-hander Trevor Williams coughed up five earned runs on six hits in four innings. Williams surrendered three runs in the first and allowed two home runs in the fourth, but the bullpen limited the damage, holding Miami to one run on five hits. And the Bucs generated scoring opportunities in every inning except the first. They finally capitalized on Mercer's triple in the seventh, even if Yelich thought he should have made the play.

Mercer's two-run triple

"I kind of had an idea of where it was going to land when he hit it," Yelich said. "I got there in plenty of time. Just clanked it. It wasn't because of the fence. I'm not scared of running into the fence. I expect to have that. That's on me."

After Mercer and Jaso gave the Pirates the lead, it was up to new closers Juan Nicasio and Felipe Rivero to finish the job. They answered the call, recording the final six outs -- Rivero getting the last four -- to give the Bucs their 15th comeback victory of the season.

"I liked the fight in the offense. I liked the fight all over the place," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "That's the one thing we've continued to do."

Back-to-back jacks: The Marlins recorded back-to-back home runs for only the third time this season. J.T. Realmuto led off the fourth with a homer that caromed off the batter's eye and had an exit velocity of 104.7 mph. It also had a launch angle of 28 degrees and traveled a projected 444 feet, his longest in the Statcast™ era. Derek Dietrich followed with a home run to right field that traveled a projected 412 feet.

Statcast: Realmuto's solo homer

New back-end duo: After moving Tony Watson out of the ninth inning on Friday, the Pirates saw their new-look bullpen for the first time on Saturday. Nicasio recorded two outs in the eighth inning but left with runners on first and second. In came Rivero, who struck out the first three batters he faced and induced a grounder to second base to get the final out. More >

Rivero's first save of season

"Plain and simple, I didn't have it today. It was make a pitch, they get a hit. I don't make a pitch, they get a hit. I didn't have it today. Nothing much I can do, just get back to work and see you next time." -- Marlins starter Dan Straily, on his four-inning, five-run outing

"I am very, very proud of the effort these guys continue to put in daily. It's something that you don't take for granted. You expect that out of them. However, sometimes it gets a little more challenging, and we continue to fight that challenge of doing anything different but throwing our best out there every day." -- Hurdle, on his team's effort

Andrew McCutchen joined elite company Saturday afternoon. He hit RBI doubles in the second and third to earn his 499th and 500th extra-base hits, becoming just the eighth player in Pirates history to have at least 500 extra-base hits.

Cutch's RBI double

Giancarlo Stanton, who blasted a home run over the batter's eye on Friday night, was struck on his right wrist by a fastball and exited the game in the first inning on Saturday. With the count 2-2, Williams' 95.3 mph fastball pegged Stanton, and he was replaced by Ichiro Suzuki. The Marlins are hopeful Stanton avoided something serious because an X-ray came back negative, and the club is calling it a right wrist contusion.

The three-time All-Star is listed as day to day. If it is still sore on Sunday, chances are he will rest. Miami is off on Monday before opening a home series with the A's on Tuesday.

Stanton exits game after HBP

"Some weird sensations there," Stanton said. "My hand going numb. I'm just glad it's not broken. I thought it was snapped."

Stanton day to day after exiting in first inning

Marlins: Former Pirates left-hander Jeff Locke will make his third start for the Marlins on Sunday in the series finale at 1:35 p.m. ET at PNC Park. Locke opened the season on the disabled list with left shoulder tendinitis, and he has a 3.48 ERA in 10 innings in his first two starts.

Pirates: Right-hander Ivan Nova will get the call for the Pirates in the series finale. Nova gave up a season-high three home runs in his last start Sunday against the Orioles, but he still posted another quality start, allowing three earned runs in six innings. He has given the Bucs a quality start in 10 of his 12 outings.

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Jonathan Toye is a reporter for based in Pittsburgh.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.