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Koehler sharp in 1-0 loss to Arizona

Sunday - 5/19/2013, 12:52am  ET

Miami Marlins' Tom Koehler delivers a pitch during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Saturday, May 18, 2013 in Miami. Koehler, making his third career start, limited the Diamondbacks to one run and three hits over six innings, but the Diamondbacks defeated the Marlins 1-0. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

MIAMI (AP) -- Miami's Tom Koehler allowed a home run on his first pitch and very little else against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

And that was enough to make him a tough-luck loser on Saturday.

Gerardo Parra led off the game with a home run and Brandon McCarthy pitched a three-hitter for Arizona in a 1-0 win over the Miami Marlins.

"First pitch of the game you're trying to get ahead," Koehler said, "but it has to be a better spot. You can't go down the middle. It's supposed to be down and away. It just stayed middle the whole way, it found the barrel and he hit into the bullpen."

Koehler (0-2), making his third career start, limited the Diamondbacks to one run and three hits over six innings. He struck out seven and walked two.

"This is something to build off of," Koehler said. "Hopefully, next time I can limit the pitch count a little bit more and eliminate some of those three-ball counts. And try to put as many zeroes as possible. That's my goal every time."

McCarthy pitched a three-hitter for his first win since being struck in the head by a line drive last season, helping the Diamondbacks to their fourth consecutive win while dealing the Marlins a season-long seven-game losing streak.

"He just got on a roll and we left him in there," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "He did it quickly, that was the best sign of all."

McCarthy (1-3) struck out five and walked two while throwing 68 of 99 pitches for strikes in his third career shutout, first since Sept. 3, 2011, against Seattle.

"It's something that I want to do and be able to follow through on," said McCarthy of his seventh career complete game.

McCarthy was hit in the head by an Erick Aybar line drive on Sept 5. 2012, against the Angels while with Oakland. He suffered a skull fracture and underwent surgery to end his season.

He signed a two-year deal with Arizona in December and went without a win in his first eight starts with his new club.

"The win part, I don't care, like I said last week, it's a win for us, which is the only thing I care about," McCarthy said. "My numbers and stats are really inconsequential. It's nice that we were able to get it and it was nice that I was a big part of that, but that's how I look at it."

Last Sunday, McCarthy was pulled after eight scoreless innings and 88 pitches, and Arizona's relievers blew a late lead during a 4-2 loss in 10 innings to the Philadelphia Phillies.

Parra's home run to right-center field was Parra's third career leadoff home run and it came on the advice of batting coach Don Baylor.

"I talked to him before the game and he said, 'Just swing first pitch' and he was right," Parra said. "He's got more experience than me.

It was the first time since Sept. 14, 1993, in which a game featured a leadoff home run on the first pitch of the game and that was the only run scored according to the Elias Sports Bureau as Carlos Garcia accomplished the feat for the Pirates against the Marlins.

"You're just trying to throw a first-pitch strike, but I don't think you could have put it on a tee any better," Koehler said. "He swings first pitch and he got exactly what he was looking for. And he took care of it."

Miami had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the first on Chris Coghlan's single to right, but Parra threw out Derek Dietrich at the plate to end the inning.

"The throw there, we've seen it a lot," Gibson said. "It's unreal how good he is and how accurate and strong his arm is. It was a big play for us."

McCarthy retired the next 14 batters he faced until Adeiny Hechavarria singled in the sixth. Hechavarria advanced to second on a passed ball, but McCarthy struck out Dietrich to end the inning.

"From about the second inning on I was kind of able to get back to (a focus point) and at least repeat my delivery, make some pitches, and turn the game over to my favor instead of the first where everything was a little too optimal and too hittable," McCarthy said.

The Marlins had another scoring opportunity in the seventh after a balk by McCarthy advanced Marcell Ozuna to second, but Placido Polanco lined out to end the threat.

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