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Marlins need strong June finish to avoid worst month in franchise history

TAMPA -- The losing has almost become historic.

The Marlins 'rough ride over the past three weeks --three wins, 18 losses -- has seen the team drop from 10 games over and second place (29-19) to five game under and into last place (32-37) in the National League East.

And the worst may not be over.

The Marlins kickoff a three-game series tonight against the Rays (36-33) at Tropicana Field before heading home to take on the Angels (33-37). After that, it's back out to the West Coast for three games each at Seattle (35-34) and Oakland (30-40).

Unless the Marlins turn things around quickly they could be on the verge of setting some ugly team history. For starters, they need to win at least seven of their next 12 games to avoid completing the worst month in team history.

Here's a look at the worst months in franchise history:
Sept. '93: 9-19 (.321)
May '95: 7-20 (.259)
May '98: 8-20 (.286)
Aug. '98: 8-20 (.286)
Sep. '98: 7-17 (.292)
Apr. '99: 6-17 (.261)
Aug. '01: 9-20 (.310)
Apr. '06: 6-16 (.272)
Aug. '07: 9-19 (.321)
May '09: 9-20 (.310)
June '11: 1-15 (.063) - 12 games left

> Another dubious mark the Marlins could set -- worst 25-game stretch in team history. The previous mark was 4-21 from May 10-June 7, 1998.

> If the Marlins lose tonight, they'll match their season-high eight-game losing streak. The club record for consecutive losses is 11 games, set twice during a 108 loss season in 1998.

> Offensively, the Marlins stats for June aren't pretty. They've scored 50 runs (25th in MLB), hit .236 as a team (22nd), and have an on base percentage (.300) that ranks 23rd. The only stat in the top half of baseball? Home runs (14), which is tied with the Nationals for 12th best.

> Pitching wise, the 1-15 record is obviously the worst. After that, the team ERA of 5.24 ranks 28th, 53 walks rank 25th and the .261 opponent batting average ranks 21st. They've also managed to blow three save opportunities in four chances. The only good stat the Marlins have achieved? Strikeouts (132), which ranks second-most behind just the Giants.