Jorge Sosa found himself in an unfamiliar situation, but gave the Marlins just enough.
Sosa, a fill-in starter, and four relievers combined on a six-hitter, pitching Florida to a 2-0 victory over the road-weary Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday night.
“Everybody did a really good job all the way down the line, but Sosa really picked it up for us going out there and eating up most of that game,” Marlins reliever Clay Hensley said. “I know he’s not in line for the win, but he definitely deserved the win.”
The Pirates dropped to 17-63 away from home and must win their season finale Sunday at Florida to avoid matching the 1963 New York Mets for the worst road record in a 162-game season.
Pittsburgh has the worst overall mark in the majors at 57-104 and is assured of the top pick in next year’s amateur draft.
Mike Stanton and Chad Tracy each drove in a run for the Marlins.
“The bullpen did an outstanding job and then we scratched a couple runs there,” manager Edwin Rodriguez said.
Sosa, typically a reliever, made his second start of the season in place of Alex Sanabia, who was scratched with a stiff right elbow. The right-hander allowed five hits and two walks in four innings.
“It was good to get the win on a day like this when we didn’t have a starting pitcher,” Rodriguez said.
Brian Sanches (2-2) worked two innings for the win, striking out three, and Hensley pitched the ninth to earn his sixth save. Hensley struck out Ryan Doumit on a curveball with runners on second and third to end it.
“I went through a lot of off-speed with him,” Hensley said. “He’s a pretty good fastball hitter so I played the percentages with the off-speed pitches.”
The Pirates got a solid outing from Charlie Morton (2-12), who allowed two runs and four hits in six innings. He struck out nine and walked one, falling to 0-8 with a 9.00 ERA in 11 road starts.
“It feels good to finish the season strong, but I still look up there and I’m 2-12 – so it doesn’t feel good,” Morton said.
In the fourth, Ozzie Martinez led off with a single and went to third on Logan Morrison’s double off the left-field wall. With the bases loaded and one out, Stanton chopped an infield single over Pedro Alvarez at third base to drive in a run. Tracy followed with a sacrifice fly, making it 2-0.
“We had three hits that inning. Sometimes all it takes is one, but usually you need a couple more than that. But it got the job done,” Stanton said.
Meanwhile, Sosa, Sanches, Jose Veras and Leo Nunez combined to retire 12 straight batters.
John Bowker and Ronny Cedeno each had a pair of hits for the Pirates.
Notes: Sosa’s 70 pitches were the most he has thrown since July 7, 2007, when he threw 99 in a start against Washington as a member of the New York Mets. ... Stanton’s single in the fourth extended his hitting streak to 10 games. ... Pirates LF Jose Tabata had his hitting streak snapped at 14 games. ... Alvarez’s hitting streak ended at 11 games. ... Pirates RHP Joel Hanrahan struck out two in the eighth to give him 100 Ks on the season. “That’s a phenomenal feat to strike out 100 out of the bullpen,” Pirates manager John Russell said. ... The Pirates have committed errors in nine consecutive games.