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Errant pickoff throw merely a blip for Turner

Hard-throwing righty fits right in with Marlins' strong spring pitching

Errant pickoff throw merely a blip for Turner

JUPITER, Fla. -- When polishing up technique on your pickoff move is your biggest issue in a start, chances are you are throwing the ball pretty effectively.

Jacob Turner found himself in that position on Tuesday after giving up one run in five innings in Miami's 8-1 win over the Astros at Roger Dean Stadium.

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Yes, Turner walked three batters, including one that led to a first-inning run. But overall, with the way he is throwing the ball, he's enjoying success.

Turner's velocity has been as high as 96 mph and his changeup is improving, which gives him a pitch to complement his sinker.

On Tuesday, his most glaring mistake was an errant pickoff throw to first base, which resulted in an error. It's also his second off-the-mark throw to first in Grapefruit League play, so he expects to hear about it from pitching coach Chuck Hernandez.

"Obviously, I don't want to throw away pickoffs, and that's two," Turner said. "I'm sure Chuck will have me working on it tomorrow. But the whole pitching staff, from top to bottom, has been outstanding. It's definitely better to be talking about that. But at the same time, the little things in the game can make a big difference."

Starting pitching is clearly a big thing for the Marlins, and Tuesday again was a strong showing.

Turner is lined up as the No. 4 starter, and his outing against the Astros -- in which he stretched his pitch count to 69 -- did nothing to hurt his status.

Giancarlo Stanton provided a long first-inning home run that gave Miami a 3-1 lead, which allowed Turner to relax and settle into a groove.

"Any time the guys get out to a lead like that, as a pitcher, you just want to get them back in [the dugout] as quickly as possible," Turner said. "After the first inning, I felt good. I had a lot of good quality pitches. I got my changeup working, which I was happy about. Obviously, the offense was awesome today."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter Less