Yelich homers as Marlins complete sweep of Diamondbacks
MIAMI (AP) — For the second start in a row, Adam Conley came out of the game leaving a string of zeroes behind him on the scoreboard.
And for the third consecutive night, the Miami Marlins’ bullpen blanked Arizona.
Conley pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings Thursday and Miami completed a three-game sweep of the Diamondbacks with a 4-0 win.
Last Friday, Conley allowed no hits in 7 2/3 shutout innings before being taken out of the game at Milwaukee when his pitch count reached 116. This time, the 25-year-old left-hander departed with a 2-0 lead after throwing 88 pitches and said he understood manager Don Mattingly’s reasoning.
"The competitor in me wants to stay in that game," said Conley (2-1). "But looking at it from a manager’s standpoint, I think it was brilliant. He did awesome. Look at what happened."
Four relievers closed out the five-hitter, and A.J. Ramos pitched the ninth, lowering his ERA to 0.73. Miami’s bullpen pitched 10 2/3 shutout innings in the series.
The Marlins won for the 10th time in 11 games, and climbed three games above .500 for the first time since June 2014. Conley said the surge is no surprise.
"You look at our lineup — on paper we’re as good as anyone in baseball," he said.
Christian Yelich hit a two-run homer, and Derek Dietrich and Chris Johnson had two-out RBI hits. Giancarlo Stanton went 2 for 3 with a double and scored a run.
Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks have lost six in a row while scoring a total of 12 runs.
"It’s hard to score runs when you don’t get too many hits," manager Chip Hale said. "We’re just not swinging it right now."
Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt went 0 for 4, struck out twice and grounded into a double play, lowering his average to .232.
Robbie Ray (1-2) allowed two runs in 5 1/3 innings, which was no match for Conley. He allowed two hits, walked one and lowered his ERA to 3.06.
"You can just see that bulldog mentality in him," Miami catcher J.T. Realmuto said. "He’s ready to get on the mound and dominate. You can see it in his eyes — he doesn’t think anybody can hit him."
Mattingly said Conley was on a short leash after a career-high pitch count in his previous start, but praised the youngster’s work ethic.
"He has been a guy who has been on a mission every day," Mattingly said. "It’s early and there is a ways to go, but we are seeing signs this could be something special."
Miami scored in the second on Dietrich’s RBI single. Johnson made it 2-0 with a run-scoring double in the fourth. Yelich hit his third homer in the eighth.
It was Miami’s first outdoor victory at home since September. On a 74-degree night, the retractable roof at Marlins Park was open for only the second time this season.
Arizona’s Welington Castillo singled sharply with two out in the fourth to end Conley’s hitless streak of 11 1/3 innings, a franchise record for a starter.
"I hope I go 12 next time," Conley said.
Marlins: 1B Justin Bour again sat out after dislocating his left pinkie Tuesday. He’ll try to hit Friday, and his status remains day to day.
Diamondbacks: 2B Jean Segura returned to the lineup after missing three games with a sore hip, and he went 2 for 4.
Marlins: LHP Wei-Yin Chen (2-1, 4.26) is scheduled to start the series opener Friday against Philadelphia and RHP Vince Velasquez (4-1, 1.44).
Diamondbacks: RHP Zack Greinke (2-2, 5.50) is set to start Friday’s series opener at Atlanta against Aaron Blair (0-1, 3.18).