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MLB: Marlins look for better performance at plate vs. D-backs

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Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly isn’t happy with his team right now.

The Marlins, who play the host Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix on Tuesday night, are not working at-bats hard enough, according to Mattingly. It’s viewed as a major reason for their three-game losing streak.

The Marlins lost 5-2 in the opener of a four-game series on Monday night, and Mattingly was upset that Arizona starter Luke Weaver needed just 75 pitches to last 6 1/3 innings.

“We’ve got to fight harder than that,” Mattingly said. “That (pitch count) was the most disappointing part of the game. He’s got to work harder than that to get through our lineup. He’s a big-league pitcher and has good stuff, but that was too easy.”

The Marlins will look for more patient at-bats on Tuesday against Arizona lefty Madison Bumgarner (3-2, 4.91 ERA), who has been pitching well of late. Over his past four starts, he has a 1.17 ERA with 25 strikeouts and just two walks in 23 innings.

Against the Marlins over his career, Bumgarner is 2-4 with a 4.20 ERA in 11 starts. Last Thursday, he lasted six innings against the Marlins, allowing just two hits, no walks and one run while striking out seven. He left with a no-decision in a game the Marlins won, 3-1.

Miami will counter with right-hander Pablo Lopez (0-2, 2.04 ERA), who pitched against Bumgarner last Thursday. In that game, Lopez struck out six in five innings, but he also received a no-decision after allowing just three hits, two walks and one run (none earned).

For his career against Arizona, Lopez is 0-0 with a 2.45 ERA in two starts.

This year, Lopez has been nothing if not unlucky. Despite his glittering ERA, he is winless in seven starts.

Arizona, which snapped a six-game losing streak on Monday, is 7-5 at home and 9-14 on the road. The Diamondbacks are certain to be happy to be home after a forgettable 0-6 road trip.

Just about everything went right for the Diamondbacks on Monday.

For example, when Miami’s speedy Lewis Brinson hit a high chopper, Arizona shortstop Nick Ahmed made a perfect bare-handed grab and all-in-one-motion throw to first to get the out. Mattingly called for a video review that showed Brinson beat the ball — except that he missed the first-base bag by about one inch.

The next batter, Chad Wallach, tripled, which would’ve been an easy RBI had Brinson been on base. Instead, Wallach was stranded at third.

Later, Miami’s Magneuris Sierra was apparently picked off first base. Video replays appeared to show Sierra was safe, but Mattingly had lost his review on the Brinson play and was out of challenges.

In the ninth, Ahmed dodged a broken bat to again throw out Brinson, and the game ended when the next batter, Sandy Leon, hit a long drive that was kept from being a homer by right fielder Pavin Smith’s terrific catch.

“After grinding through a six-game losing streak,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said, “this was a great win.”

Of Arizona’s eight hits on Monday, seven went for extra bases.

“We had to punch back and show what we’re capable of,” Arizona first baseman Christian Walker said. “When I think of Diamondbacks baseball, that’s what I think of, for sure.”

–Field Level Media

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