Despite solid outing by Cueto, Marlins’ bullpen collapses to send Miami to eighth straight loss
MIAMI — After Colorado mounted a late comeback win against the Miami Marlins on Saturday, right-hander Justin Lawrence credited the success of the bullpen for helping the Rockies win five of seven games since the All-Star break.
Lawrence worked a scoreless ninth inning for his seventh save and was part of a bullpen effort that helped the Rockies rally from an early three-run deficit to beat the Marlins 4-3, handing Miami its season-high eighth straight loss.
“Young guys to old guys, we’re all going out there in whatever role we’re given, and we’re running with it,” Lawrence said. “It’s just confidence we all have in each other in that bullpen.”
Randal Grichuk delivered a go-ahead RBI single in the ninth that sealed the win and clinched the series. Grichuk’s first hit of the game scored Ryan McMahon. He led off the inning with a single off reliever Tanner Scott (4-3) and went to second when pinch-hitter Elias Díaz was hit by a pitch.
The Marlins squandered a three-run lead built against starter Chase Anderson, who gave up seven hits, walked one and struck out six.
Anderson said he felt all of his pitches were working.
“The only difference is executing pitches and not executing pitches,” Anderson said. “When you don’t execute, you get beat. When you execute, you usually give your team a chance to win, and I feel like the last two starts I’ve done that.”
Nolan Jones tied it with a three-run homer off Miami reliever JT Chargois in the seventh. Starter Johnny Cueto had held Colorado scoreless to that point. Chargois entered with a runner on first and allowed a pinch-hit single to Díaz. Jones then sent Chargois’ next pitch 445 feet to right-center.
Colorado reliever Jake Bird worked around a Jon Berti leadoff single for a scoreless seventh. Daniel Bard struck out two in the eighth to pick up his fourth win in five decisions.
Cueto made his first start since April 3 when he strained his right biceps in his season opener and gave up two hits on 81 pitches while striking out eight in six-plus innings. The 37-year-old right-hander had a setback in May when he sprained his right ankle during a minor league rehab start, but returned in relief last Sunday at Baltimore and worked three scoreless innings.
“Every time I go out there, it’s to do as much as I can to help the team and do my job. Go out there and get the outs,” Cueto said.
MLB-batting leader Luis Arraez hit a ground-rule double in the third and an RBI triple in the fifth that gave the Marlins a 2-0 lead. His batting average rose from .373 to .375.
Jorge Soler drove in Arraez on a sacrifice fly in the fifth that gave the Marlins a 3-0 lead.
Austin Wynns, batting ninth in Colorado’s order, doubled off Cueto in the third. The only other hit was a single by McMahon in the seventh.
“We couldn’t solve him at all,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “We got him out of the game with that leadoff hit in the seventh, but he was good. We didn’t have many good at bats against him, but you play the whole game, and here we had multiple contributions.”
The Marlins entered the All-Star break with the NL’s top wild-card spot, but have slipped to fifth in the wild-card race.
LHP Jesus Luzardo (8-5, 3.34) will start Sunday’s series finale for Miami. The Rockies hadn’t yet announced a starter. Manager Bud Black said it would depend on Saturday’s game.