Logan Morrison’s return energized the Marlins in game one of Wednesday’s doubleheader, but Florida couldn’t carry the momentum over into the second contest, as the Reds rolled to a 3-2 win behind eight shutout innings from Bronson Arroyo.
Although the Fish split the twi-night doubleheader with Cincinnati in front of an announced crown of 22,505, they dropped their sixth straight series, which includes 17 losses in their last 20 games.
The Reds jumped on Florida starter Chris Volstad early in game two, stringing together four straight hits in just 11 pitches to push across a pair of runs at the game’s outset.
“Once again we got bit by that first inning,” manager Jack McKeon said. “Down 3-0 and we don’t start hitting until the sixth or seventh inning, it’s tough.”
But other than Joey Votto’s 24th home run of the season — his second of the doubleheader — Volstad didn’t allow another hit after the first frame.
“I felt like I settled down and got a quality start, kept the team right there,” said Volstad, who gave up three runs on six hits while striking out five. “You go out there and try hard not to give up runs in the first inning and the next thing you know a bloop hit scores a run. It’s the type of thing that you start thinking about it, it happens. Sometimes it’s hard to explain.”
The closest the Marlins came to cracking Arroyo came in the seventh. Mike Stanton crushed Arroyo’s hanging breaking ball, but he hit it off the end of the bat. Stanton, who was in a home-run trot, quickly scampered into second when he realized the ball had caromed off the top of the left-field wall. Greg Dobbs moved Stanton to third with a ground ball to the right side, but Gaby Sanchez and Bryan Petersen popped out to end the threat.
Florida also had base runners in the second, fourth, sixth and eighth innings off Arroyo, but the Fish were unable to snap his scoreless stint.
Arroyo struck out only one batter, but he worked effortlessly by locating his fastball and mixing his offspeed stuff, inducing 15 fly ball outs. He allowed six hits.
The Marlins' breakthrough in the ninth off Reds closer Francisco Cordero wasn’t quite enough to sweep the double-dip. Dobbs doubled home Stanton, who had reached on an error, and Sanchez singled to left to bring the winning run to the plate. But Petersen flew out to the warning track and pinch-hitter Jose Lopez grounded out.
“You’ve got to be proud the way they came back, the guys did the best they could” McKeon said. “They’ve been playing great the last couple games, and that’s a good sign going on the road.”
After Thursday’s game was canceled and rescheduled for Wednesday, the Marlins will travel to the Northeast for an eight-game road trip against National League East foes, starting with the Phillies.
-- Matt Forman