Marlins bested as Chen Wei-yin struggles in wet

AP, PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania

Mon, Sep 10, 2018 - Page 10

Switch-hitting first baseman Josh Bell combined with Ivan Nova to help the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Miami Marlins 5-1 on Saturday for their fifth consecutive win, while Marlins pitcher Chen Wei-yin struggled in the wet.

In a game played in a steady drizzle, Bell connected off Brett Graves leading off the sixth for his 10th home run, down from 26 last year when he finished third in the National League Rookie of the Year voting.

Bell has homered in consecutive games following three days off, but had not driven in a run since Aug. 11.

“I was able to kind of reflect a little bit,” Bell said of the break. “Take a step back, watch some baseball, get some work done in the cages and get back to the basics.”

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle did not play Bell on Tuesday or Wednesday against Cincinnati, and the Pirates were off on Thursday.

“Just like everybody else, we’ve had a sit down and talked about finishing strong, putting some staples on this season and building some momentum toward next year,” Hurdle said.

Nova (8-9) gave up three hits in six innings, struck out nine and walked three.

Nova improved his career record against the Marlins to 4-0.

“He’s handcuffed us pretty much every time we’ve seen him over the last couple of years,” Miami manager Don Mattingly said.

Pittsburgh at 71-71 reached .500 for the first time since before play on Aug. 21.

“Winning matters every day, but, yeah: I think we would all like to finish the season strong,” Hurdle said.

Taiwanese starting pitcher Chen (6-10) allowed three runs and five hits in four innings, dropping to 1-7 with a 9.13 ERA in 11 road starts. He is 5-3 with a 1.77 ERA in 12 home outings.

Chen said he did not have a good feel for the ball in the wet conditions.

“It’s the command. Maybe it’s the weather, it’s the rain, but as a player, that’s what you have to overcome,” Chen said through an interpreter. “That’s not a reason you can say, ‘because it’s the rain.’ As a player, you have to be able to pitch in the rain.”

The lefty has better statistics at Marlins Park.

He has gone 5-3 with a ERA of 1.77 in 12 home games this year.

“I think I should be able to make some adjustments during the game, maybe to attack the hitters more and make them more uncomfortable, but I didn’t do that really well [on Saturday], so that meant they were able to attack on some of my pitches,” he told the MLB Web site.

Additional reporting by staff writer