PITTSBURGH (AP) Miguel Andujar hit a tiebreaking double in the eighth inning and the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the playoff-bound Miami Marlins 3-0 on Sunday in the regular-season finale for both teams.
The Marlins needed to win to assure themselves of gaining the second National League wild card and the fifth seed in the NL playoffs over Arizona. The Marlins advanced to a best-of-three Wild Card Series matchup starting at Philadelphia on Tuesday. Miami won the season series from the Phillies 7-6.
“They’re a good team, they’ve got a good staff, they’ve got a lot of good hitters in the lineups,” Marlins infielder Jon Berti said. “We’ve played them tough this year, though. It should be a good fight.”
The Marlins are headed to the postseason for the first time since qualifying for the expanded playoffs during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. Miami hasn’t appeared in the postseason during a full season since 2003 when they upset the New York Yankees to win the World Series.
If the Diamondbacks had won Sunday, the Marlins would have had to travel to New York on Monday for the completion of Thursday’s suspended game at the Mets.
Connor Joe doubled with one out in the eighth off Bryan Hoeing (2-3) to start the Pirates’ rally. After Jared Triolo walked, Andujar got his go-ahead hit and Jack Suwinski followed with a two-run double.
David Bednar pitched a perfect ninth for his 39th save in 42 chances, tying San Francisco’s Camilo Doval for the NL lead, to finish a three-hitter. Dauri Moreta (5-2), the fourth of five pitchers, got the win.
Ryan Weathers gave up two hits in six innings for the Marlins after being recalled from Triple-A Jacksonville. Despite a 1-8 record and a 7.32 ERA entering the game, Weathers could possibly play a role in the postseason. Miami will be without reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara and rookie sensation Eury Pérez because of injuries.
“I was more relaxed and had better control today,” Weathers said. “I was able to take a deep breath and be under control. That would be my big takeaway from today.”
First-year manager Skip Schumaker said the Marlins had not finalized their postseason roster but would not rule out Weathers being part of it.
“There are going to be some tough decisions because a lot of guys have earned positions,” Schumaker said, “but it was good outing for him to be part of the conversation.”
Weathers said he did not consider Sunday’s start as an audition. He was happy to pitch six innings after the Marlins used eight pitchers in their 7-3 win over the Pirates on Saturday night that clinched a playoff berth.
“I was just here to try to help out and eat up some innings,” Weathers said. “I just feel good about doing that.”
Pirates starter Andre Jackson threw one-hit ball over four innings.
Pittsburgh finished 76-86 after a 20-8 start. The Pirates were 62-100 in 2022, their second season with at least 100 losses.
“One of the things that we talked about when we came into spring training is we want to get better and we got better,” manager Derek Shelton said. “We’re not where we want to be. That’s the important part of that. We’ve won (14) more games, that’s better. We need to continue to get better, but I think during the year, we’ve seen a lot of growth and that’s really important for us.”
ARRAEZ ON RISE
Marlins second baseman Luis Arraez did not play but won the NL batting title with a .354 average. That came after his .316 mark won the American League crown while playing for Minnesota.
Arraez has been limited to only one pinch-hitting appearance over the last eight games because of an ankle injury. However, Shumaker expects him to play Tuesday.
“Incredible year,” Schumaker said. “It felt like he was hitting .400 the majority of the year. When he slumped, he still hit .360. It’s insane to think about.”
NO MORE MOORE
The Marlins designated veteran left-handed reliever Matt Moore for assignment to open a roster spot for Weathers. Moore was claimed off waivers from Cleveland on Sept. 19 but was ineligible for postseason play because he joined the organization following the Aug. 31 deadline.
PIRATES ATTENDANCE UP
The Pirates finished with a season attendance of 1,630,624 in 81 home dates. That was an increase of more than 373,000 over last year’s 1,257,458.
Marlins: Open play Tuesday in the wild card round of the NL playoffs.
Pirates: Begin their exhibition schedule Feb. 24 against the Minnesota Twins at Fort Myers, Florida.
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