Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/27/13
Placido Polanco's pinch-hit bases-loaded RBI infield single was ugly but lucky for him and the Marlins style doesn't factor on the scoreboard. The end-of-the-bat 50-foot ground-ball to third cracked a scoreless deadlock and lifted the Marlins to a 2-0 win over Pittsburgh Friday night at Marlins Park. The Marlins (39-62) were sparked by a second-straight stellar start from Henderson Alvarez who went six innings and allowed no runs and only three baserunners. Alvarez earned his first win with the Marlins and lowered his ERA 0.64 points on Friday. The Marlins bullpen followed Alvarez's lead. A.J. Ramos struck out the Pirates (60-41) side in the seventh Mike Dunn and Chad Qualls platooned the eighth and Steve Cishek closed it out in the ninth for his 21st save of the year. Alvarez (1-1) threw 72 pitches 51 for strikes. It was the second-straight no-run outing for the 23-year-old Venezuelan. Sunday Alvarez threw six innings of shutout ball but didn't factor in the decision in a 1-0 loss to the Brewers. "That was a great performance" Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "He was aggressive throwing hard. That's the hardest I've seen him throw. "When you're playing a good team — a playoff team — it's good to see guys take it up a notch." Alvarez wasn't only stellar on the mound he nearly drove in the first run of the game. With Jeff Mathis on first and two outs in the bottom of the second Alvarez laced a double into left field. The hit looked like it would bring the Marlins catcher home for the game's first run. Instead the Pirates executed a perfect relay starting with Sterling Marte and ending with catcher Russell Martin holding the ball at home beating Mathis by four strides.
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