MIAMI (AP) — The Arizona Diamondbacks hung in against the Miami Marlins until sloppy defense caught up with them.
The Diamondbacks committed five errors, including one by shortstop Cliff Pennington on an errant throw home in the seventh inning that let the go-ahead run score in a 2-1 loss on Saturday night.
“It’s a part of baseball,” said Diamondbacks starter Wade Miley, who was charged with one of the five miscues. “It’s not like we’re out there trying to mess up.”
It was the most errors in a game for the Diamondbacks since they had six on July 3, 2010, against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“Through all the mistakes we battled and we only gave up two runs, one unearned and one earned,” Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said.
Pennington’s throw home on a ground ball went wide of catcher Miguel Montero, allowing Marcell Ozuna to score from third base. Ozuna moved into scoring position after a dropped pickoff attempt by first baseman Mark Trumbo.
“Unfortunately, it was a big play for us,” Pennington said of his throw. “Wade threw a heck of a game, and we needed to pick him up right there.”
Miley (7-9) struck out nine in seven innings for Arizona. He allowed two runs – one earned – and four hits.
“It’s a little frustrating,” Miley said. “(Henderson) Alvarez threw a great game.”
Alvarez (9-5) made a successful return to the mound after missing two starts and pitched seven innings for the Marlins.
“He did a great job today and he’s a unique player for sure,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. “This guy competes, and the beauty of Hendu is that, and I hope and think this is true, he’s realized how good he is this year. This guy has great stuff, and you saw that tonight.”
Alvarez allowed one run and five hits and struck out six after being activated from the 15-day disabled list – a stint caused by right shoulder inflammation. He lowered his home ERA to a National League-best 1.46 among qualifiers.
“I’m just thankful that everything went well today and I was able to go out there and help my team,” Alvarez said. “We’re in the middle of the (playoff) hunt, so this is an important stretch for us.”
Alvarez 89 pitches, including two of his Eephus deliveries – one of which registered 58 mph on the radar gun. He was pulled after the seventh inning.
“Chuck (Hernandez) and I sat there, and believe me, we fought the urge to throw him back out there for the eighth, but decided that he did his job,” Redmond said. “Knowing that was his first start back after being a little bit sore, it was the right thing to do.”
Steve Cishek pitched the ninth for his 31st save in 34 opportunities.
Trumbo’s sacrifice fly gave the Diamondbacks a 1-0 lead in the first, but Alvarez escaped further damage after the first three batters singled.
Ozuna’s throw home from center field beat Ender Inciarte, who started the game by extending his hitting streak to 16 games, at the plate. Replay showed that catcher Jeff Mathis didn’t block the plate when making the tag.
Arizona made three errors in the second inning, but the Marlins were unable to take advantage. It was the first time in nearly four years a team (Oakland on Aug. 24, 2010) had committed three errors in an inning without allowing a run.
Jeff Baker hit an RBI triple in the fourth for the Marlins to tie it 1-1.
Diamondbacks SS Chris Owings (left shoulder strain) will begin a rehab assignment with the Arizona League D-backs on Sunday. The plan is for him to play for Triple-A Reno on Friday.
Center fielder A.J. Pollock (right hand surgery) will begin hitting on Monday.
Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (8-9, 3.86) takes the hill in Sunday’s series finale against Diamondbacks RHP Josh Collmenter (8-6, 4.09). Koehler has allowed eight runs in nine innings over two starts, both losses, against the Diamondbacks. Collmenter is 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA in his last three starts.
Redmond has decided to start RHP Jarred Cosart on Tuesday, and RHP Nathan Eovaldi on Wednesday in a two-game set with the Texas Rangers. Because of two off days next week, the Marlins won’t need a fifth starter until Aug. 24. A decision hasn’t been made if LHP Brad Hand or RHP Brad Penny will assume that role.
Inciarte’s career-high, 16-game hitting streak is the longest active run in the National League. He is hitting .314 (22 for 70) during that stretch. Trumbo also extended his streak of reaching base to 15 games, the second longest of his career.