MIAMI (AP) — Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen went on the 15-day disabled list Sunday because of a sprained elbow, intensifying the Miami Marlins’ need for rotation help, and they may have found some in a 3-0 loss to the New York Mets.
Jose Urena allowed only one run in six innings, and with a 1.54 ERA in two starts this year after being recalled from Triple-A New Orleans, he could become a fixture in the rotation.
“He has gone out two times in a row and kept the ball down, and done a good job for us and kept us in those games,” manager Don Mattingly said. “You have to look at him as a guy who at this point keeps getting the ball.”
Right-hander Jarred Cosart will be recalled from New Orleans to start Monday against the Philadelphia Phillies in place of Chen, who complained of elbow soreness after his most recent start.
“We don’t feel like it’s anything crazy, but we also want to be cautious,” Mattingly said.
Chen signed an $80 million, five-year deal with the Marlins last offseason. He is 5-4 with a 4.99 ERA, and despite pitching in spacious Marlins Park, he has allowed 20 home runs in 19 starts.
The previously undisclosed elbow issue may have contributed to the left-hander’s troubles. He gave up 11 hits and four runs in 5 1/3 innings in his most recent start, taking the loss against the Phillies.
A strong lineup and bullpen has put the Marlins in contention for a playoff spot, but aside from ace Jose Fernandez, their starters are 21-24. They’ll likely redouble efforts to acquire a starter before the trade deadline, but at least the 25-year-old Urena has surfaced as potential long-term help.
Against New York, Urena (1-2) didn’t walk a batter and allowed only four hits, the most costly being a two-out RBI triple by Jose Reyes in the third inning.
Urena, whose career record is 2-7, said he’s more confident about his latest opportunity in the majors.
“I feel a little bit different and more focused,” he said. “I’ve been working trying to keep the ball down and be aggressive. I’m trying to take advantage of this.”
Steven Matz pitched six innings for his first win since May to help the Mets take the rubber game of the series. Matz (8-6) allowed four hits, walked two and struck out six.
“That’s probably the best I’ve seen him,” Mattingly said. “His stuff was good. He got his off-speed over and had a good fastball.”
The Mets returned home trailing second-place Miami by half a game in the NL East.
Matz, who beat the Marlins for the first time in four career starts, retired the side in order only once but didn’t allow any extra-base hits. He protected a 1-0 lead by retiring Giancarlo Stanton on a groundout to strand two runners and end the fifth.
Three relievers completed a five-hitter for the Mets’ ninth shutout. Jeurys Familiar pitched a perfect ninth to earn his 51st consecutive save, tied for the third-longest in major league history. He has 35 saves this year, most in the majors.
A wild pitch on a strikeout helped the Mets in the eighth, when Alejandro De Aza reached that way to lead off. New York went on to score two runs in the inning.
“The two hurt us,” Mattingly said. “If you keep that a one-run game, you can put a little more pressure on. That’s the inning that kind of gets us.”
The Marlins’ Ichiro Suzuki, who didn’t start in the series, struck out as a pinch hitter in the seventh and remained four hits shy of 3,000.
Cosart will start Monday against RHP Jeremy Hellickson (7-7, 3.84). Cosart is 0-1 with a 7.98 ERA in three starts this year for Miami, and 3-4 with a 4.09 ERA in 10 starts for Triple-A New Orleans.
“He’s the guy right now throwing the ball better than anybody else down there,” Mattingly said.
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