PITTSBURGH (AP) — Brian Moran waited 10 years to make his major league debut. As he began pitching to his younger brother Colin, he realized he wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
Brian struck out Colin, becoming the first player in big league history to make his debut while facing his brother on the mound, in the Marlins’ 10-7 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday night.
“It’s incredible,” Brian said. “I think the last three days have been some of the most exciting, moving days that I’ve experienced. I don’t think you could dream up a cooler situation. I’m so excited I got to share it with my family. I got to get out on a big league mound.”
Brian (1-0) entered in the fourth inning with the Marlins trailing 5-2. After Bryan Reynolds led off with a groundout, Colin stepped to the plate having doubled in each of his first two at-bats.
The 30-year-old Brian fell behind 3-1 before throwing back-to-back sliders, the second one at 71.7 mph, to strike out Colin looking. The 26-year-old Colin shouted toward the mound on his way back to the dugout.
“He’s been my inspiration my whole life,” Colin said. “He’s never given up. That’s kind of been the theme of his career. I would’ve given up, probably. A lesser man would have given up with the road he’s had to go through.”
Moran hit Josh Bell with a pitch and then got Melky Cabrera to fly out in his only inning of work.
The Marlins rallied for four runs in the fifth, allowing Brian to get the win. Colin finished 2 for 4.
“I felt bad for the dad. And happy,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “It’s a special moment. It really is a very special moment. The parents have to be so proud, so pleased.”
They became the first siblings to face each other in a pitcher-batter scenario with one of the brothers making his major league debut, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
“It’s just fun to see that,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “Knowing what these guys have probably been through as brothers growing up. It’s kind of fun for, I’m sure, that family, but it was really the right spot in the game. It worked out where it was a left-handed section for us in the right part of the game.”
The older Moran was 2-3 with a 3.15 ERA in 43 appearances for Triple-A New Orleans this season. He made his professional debut in Seattle’s farm system with rookie-level Pulaski in 2009.
“There’s a certain element of it being meant to be,” said Brian, who blew a kiss to his wife, Jackie, as he came off the field. “It’s been everything and more. It’s worth the wait, and I couldn’t be more excited.”
In the fifth, Miami went ahead 6-5 and chased Dario Agrazal (4-4), who surrendered six runs, five earned, in 4 1/3 innings.
Isan Díaz tied it with a two-run single before two errors allowed Jorge Alfaro to score. A groundball from Harold Ramirez got through Pittsburgh’s Moran at third base and catcher Elias Díaz dropped a throw from Kevin Newman while attempting to tag Alfaro.
Reynolds homered twice, once in a five-run first inning and again in the ninth, giving the rookie 16 this season. Josh Bell hit his 36th homer in the ninth.
Facing Moran in the fourth, Reynolds quickly cleared the way for the brother-vs.-brother matchup, swinging at a first-pitch slider that jammed him.
“I was just trying to get out of there early,” Reynolds said. “I was just being courteous.”
Pirates: OF Starling Marte did not play for a second straight game. Hurdle did not clarify if sitting Marte was injury-related. … RHP Alex McRae was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis. … RHP Mitch Keller was expected to throw a bullpen session Thursday after sustaining a right wrist contusion Tuesday.
Marlins: RHP Pablo López (5-7, 4.89 ERA) will look to avoid a third straight loss when he takes the mound against Kansas City on Friday. He has allowed a combined 10 runs in eight innings through his past two starts.
Pirates: RHP Joe Musgrove (9-12, 4.67) will try to win consecutive starts for the first time in more than two months when he faces St. Louis on Friday. He last won back-to-back starts on June 21 against San Diego and June 27 against Houston.
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