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MIAMI (AP) – Starling Marte hiked his average 64 points Sunday, punctuating a 5-for-5 afternoon with a ninth-inning homer to help the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Miami Marlins 7-3.

Marte’s five hits were a career high, and his average rose from .241 to .305. He scored four times and hit his third homer off Junichi Tazawa.

starling marte pirates Martes 5 Hits Help Pirates, Nova Beat Marlins 7 3

(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

The surprising Pirates (11-4) improved to 7-0 in day games, completed a 4-2 trip and head home atop the NL Central.

Both teams kept their tempers in check even as two Pirates and one Marlins batter were hit by pitches. Pittsburgh second baseman Josh Harrison left in the third inning complaining of pain in his left hand after being hit by a 96 mph fastball from Jose Urena.

Ivan Nova (2-1) recovered from a wobbly start to pitch 6 2/3 innings. He allowed three runs and struck out nine, his highest total since 2016.

Nova improved to 3-0 in three career starts against the Marlins with an ERA of 1.66. Justin Bour ended his afternoon with a pinch-hit, two-run homer.

Miami started the game with three consecutive singles to load the bases, but scored only once in the first – on Brian Anderson’s groundout.

After Harrison’s injury, Nova hit JB Shuck in the hip later that same inning, and Marlins reliever Odrisamer Despaigne plunked Francisco Cervelli on the left hand in the seventh. Despaigne appeared to apologize as Cervelli trotted to first base, and the Pittsburgh catcher responded with a conciliatory wave.

Josh Bell had three hits and three RBIs for the Pirates. Corey Dickerson drove in a pair of runs, had two hits and extended his hitting streak to 10 games.

Urena (0-3) allowed eight hits and four runs in five innings. After four starts, the Marlins’ ace has an ERA of 5.57.

The Pirates bunched four hits to score three times against Urena in the third inning. Bell put Pittsburgh ahead with a double that deflected off the glove of a diving Derek Dietrich at first base, and Dickerson followed with an RBI single.

The Marlins (4-11) went 1-5 on their homestand.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Marlins: C J.T. Realmuto (back) is expected to come off the disabled list and make his season debut sometime during the upcoming 10-day trip. Manager Don Mattingly didn’t rule out Realmuto returning for the series against the Yankees on Monday and Tuesday. … 3B Martin Prado (hamstring) is close to beginning a rehab assignment, Mattingly said.

Pirates: RHP Joe Musgrove (right shoulder strain) might advance to a bullpen session as early as Tuesday, manager Clint Hurdle said.

UP NEXT

Pirates: LHP Steven Brault (2-0, 3.46 ERA) is scheduled to start when the Pirates begin a three-game homestand Monday against Colorado and RHP German Marquez (0-1, 4.97).

Marlins: LHP Caleb Smith (0-1, 4.73) is on the mound when the Marlins begin a three-city trip Monday at Yankee Stadium. New Miami CEO and former Yankees captain Derek Jeter has said he will not attend the games in New York.

(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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