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MAKE IT FOUR: #Marlins Lose Fourth Straight, Drop 5-1 Decision to Visiting Rays ... Fish Strand 13; 24 in Past Two Losses

4BY GEORGE RICHARDS grichards@MiamiHerald.com

TWITTER: @GeorgeRichards

Putting runners on base hasn't been too big of a problem for the Marlins the past two nights.

Bringing those guys home, however, has been.

The Marlins once again left a small army on the basepaths Friday night, stranding 13 in a 5-1 loss to Tampa Bay in an interleague game at Marlins Park.

The loss was Miami's fourth straight as the Marlins have stranded 24 in the past two losses and have gone 1-for-28 with runners in scoring position during their four-game slide. Miami is 0-4 on this current homestand, outscored 26-4.

The Marlins haven't won since clinching the three-game series Sunday in Philadelphia and are 2-2 in interleague play this year. Miami won two of three in Cleveland last month.

Last year, the Marlins went 5-23 in June to knock themselves out of the playoff hunt. Miami is 2-5 so far this June.

Ricky Nolasco started Friday's game and gave Miami a solid performance, pitching six innings before being replaced by pinch hitter Donnie Murphy to lead off the sixth.

Miami trailed 3-1 at the time Nolasco left with the Rays opening things up with two runs in the seventh off reliever Ryan Webb.

The Rays didn't hit Nolasco too hard. With two outs in the third, Matt Joyce dropped a flare into left for a double then scored on a single from B.J. Upton. Jose Lobaton, who doubled twice off Nolasco, scored Tampa Bay's second run on Will Rhymes two-out infield single after Omar Infante made a nice diving stop but his throw pulled Greg Dobbs off first in the fourth.

Tampa Bay made it 3-1 in the fifth when Joyce led off the inning by depositing a 2-2 pitch into the visiting bullpen just beyond the right field fence.

Nolasco has now lost four of his past six starts.

Nolasco has also lost his past four starts to the Rays and is 2-4 against them in his career.

On Friday, he went six innings giving up three runs off six hits, striking out six and walking four.

The Marlins had opportunities themselves and tied it soon after the Rays took the initial lead in the third.

Infante led off the bottom of the inning with a double with Hanley Ramirez and Giancarlo Stanton walking to load the bases with no outs against starter Jeremy Hellickson.

Miami made it 1-1 when Infante raced home on a sacrifice fly from Dobbs to center but failed to do any more damage as Austin Kearns and Chris Coghlan both grounded out.

The Marlins had runners in scoring position in the first six innings but only got one run.

Stanton had bases loaded with two outs in the fourth and flew out to center; with two on and one out in the fifth, catcher John Buck grounded into a double-play started by shortstop Sean Rodriguez.

With Jose Reyes at second after doubling with one out in the sixth, Infante grounded out and Ramirez watched a called strike three against former Marlins reliever Burke Badenhop to end that threat.

Tampa Bay's Desmond Jennings led off what would be a long top of the seventh by doubling off the wall in front of the Clevelander. Webb then walked Joyce before Upton struck out looking on a pitch that looked a touch low.

Webb wouldn't get that lucky again as Ben Zobrist singled in Jennings with Carlos Pena driving in Joyce to make it 5-1.

Sandy Rosario, called up from Triple A New Orleans, made his season debut when he replaced Webb after Pena's single in the seventh in relief of Webb.

Rosario came into the game with a total of four major league innings pitched over the previous two seasons with the Marlins and got Lobaton to ground into a double play to end things. Rosario also pitched a strong eighth, getting a strikeout and two ground ball outs.

() Friday was the two year anniversary of Stanton making his major league debut. The 22-year-old slugger has the fifth-most home runs among active players prior to his 23rd birthday with 70. Miami native Alex Rodriguez is the all-time leader (95).

() Logan Morrison, whom manager Ozzie Guillen said was taking a few days off, pinch hit with one out in the eighth and struck out.

() Closer Heath Bell worked the ninth despite it not being a save situation. Bell hadn't pitched since closing out the Phillies on Sunday.

Comments

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Alex

With our upcoming schedule, this four game losing streak can easily turn into 7 or 8, and next thing you know this could be a .500 ballclub, or worse. What's going on, why is this happening? There are several reasons, but the number one reason is poor hitting. This has been happening all year long, but at least Hanley, or Infante, or Stanton would get hot and carry the team for a few games. But now even those guys' bats are silent, and the rest of the team is having their worst offensive season ever. This is basically the same team we have had the past couple of years. They have never hit this poorly.

I have been pointing the finger at Eduardo Perez all year. I just don't think he's a good hitting coach. A good TV guy with ESPN does not always translate into a good coach or manager. If it was just one or two guys, ok. But it's not. It's a team wide lack of situational hitting, and a team wide poor approach. What was Stanton thinking of swinging at a 2-0 pitch with the bases loaded, two outs, and Hellickson walking guys left & right? He just walked two guys to load the bases. Why not make him throw a strike first? It's just one AB, but there have been a whole slew of poor ABs this year, guys routinely failing to at least make a productive out and move a runner over, etc. Someone gotta take the heat for it; the logical suspect is the hitting coach.

There are other reasons we are losing too. The outfield defense remains a daily horror show. Seems like almost every game there's an error or misplay of some kind. Stanton has 6 errors, true, but he is only 22 years old and he is learning here what guys like him used to learn at the minor league level. The biggest problem with the outfield is that we don't have enough real outfielders in it. All these converted infielders, 1st basemen, and pinch hitter types like Dobbs and Kearns are ok to use once in a while in a pinch, but not on a regular basis. You play guys like that in the outfield night after night, and you get the Outfield Follies Show, which is what has happened to us.

Also, we are now seeing major cracks in the bullpen. And I'm not talking about Bell here, who seems to have settled down. But other than Bell, Cishek, Mujica and Choate, the rest of the pen is just plain bad.

Still, if the team was only hitting even a little bit, we could overcome those other things. But when the team can't score more than one run or two a game, even the team's good points can't overcome that. Our starting pitching remains good, but even they have got to be getting demoralized. It's tough to pitch when you know you gotta pitch a shut out or lose. So whose fault is this? The way I see it, the blame goes to those who put this team together. They also get the credit for the good things, like the starting pitching. But they have to take the blame for the way this team is performing. That's how it goes in life. The Buck (yeah, bad joke, I know) stops at The Top.

Flagstafffishfan

In trouble for sure.

spitballer

I say bring Gaby back….his presence might provide a spark.

Casey

Enough with blaming the hitting coach. Players should be held accountable. Start the players that produce. Sit the ones who dont. Simple.

To Hell With Fidel

This team is a disaster. A dumpster fire. This June will make last June look like ice cream and cake. And the stadium will be empty after the All-Star Break. You'll be able to go bowling down the aisles and not hit anyone. Nice job, Loria. Nice job, Samson. Nice job, Beinfest. You all suck.

bob

These have just been ugly games. The chronic inability of the Marlins to hit with RISP is catching up to them in these games. They need to figure out how to hit with RISP, with anyone on base really, for them to continue to stay in contention in the NL East.

.

They cant figure out how to hit w/RISP. Get players that can.

Flav C

Tonight's lineup:
1. Jose Reyes (S) SS
2. Omar Infante (R) 2B
3. Hanley Ramirez (R) 3B
4. Giancarlo Stanton (R) RF
5. Justin Ruggiano (R) CF
6. Austin Kearns (R) 1B
7. Donovan Solano (R) LF
8. John Buck (R) C
9. Carlos Zambrano (S) P

Flagstafffishfan

Just looking at this lineup must relax most opposing pitchers. Certainly it can't strike much fear.

gamblin man

nice to see Ozzie rolling the dice ,trying to find the right line-up that can score runs. Time to shake it up and sit the hackers.

laurelbowie

Looking at that lineup, my only question is, "Who are these guys?"

Where Have You Gone deAza

The reason this appears(and probably is) so bad is a result of the incomprehensible regression of 3 guys who were thought to be "sure things" for years to come. You can't suddenly lose Sanchez, Coghlin and Morrison and not be affected. These 3 guys were going to augment Stanton and Hanley. It seemed so perfect and now it is in disarray. And with a minor league system in shambles---except for about 5 guys--there is no recourse. There are no pieces to use for acquisitions. You certainly will not move the 2 young studs at Greensboro or Yelich and Ozuna, so what do you have. You have the 5 through 8 spots of your order resembling a pretty good Triple A team. And I flat out GUARANTEE the allure of that stadium will wear off pretty quickly and way faster than it took at Camden Yards and Safeco. The people of South Florida not only want a winner, they want an entertaining winner and this crap is just that---CRAP. I'm betting Ozzie came into this thinking SloMo Swing, the former Rookie of the Year,and the local product would snap out of the lethargy of the last half of 2011. He isn't believing this. The only good thing is he will go BERSERK if it continues. There is really no way to fix it but Showtime will have some very entertaining coverage of a Venezuelan going off the deep end. Ozzie, Give Em Hell!!

gamblin man

Makes you wonder about the past talent evaluations and drafts. The cream of their minor league system has turned out to be nothing more than mediocre to bad at best.

Oz

Beinfart's drafts have shown him to really be Brainfart. Got alot of mileage out of mostly Dombrowski's players winning WS in 03.

Where Have You Gone deAza

Jeff Allison, Matt Dominguez, Kyle Skipworth and the most "amazing" year was the one in which Volstad was selected. I believe they had 5 of the first 42 picks--due to sandwich selections--and they get Marceaux, West and 2 other forgettable names. I even hesitate to go back and look at who could have been selected with all thoose picks. Can't forget our good buddy, taylor tankersley(SMALL caps on purpose, who was the first guy they drafted one year. You know when you actually write it out that is downright ugly.

I'm trying to recall if any of their selections post 2003 are doing anything anywhere in baseball. The only guy who you can think got away was Cabrera and that was of course pre Beinfest. Oh my God--I just remembered Hermida!!!!!!!!!

Oz

Other than Stanton can anyone name one player drafted from 2002,Loria's first year of ownership to now, that has become a good to great MLB player? Anyone?

Flagstafffishfan

It seems like the FO is pretty quiet. Time for some tough questions Clark. deAza brings up a painfully obvious but good point that maybe these guys that the team has been touting like LoMo and Cogs and Sanchez heck even Hanley to a degree just aren't that good. I agree too that the FO could be looking at an empty park if something isn't done. I know some of us are getting ahead of ourselves but there are glaring holes on this team and in this division they'll eventually catch up to you. Ya think Fredi was pleased to sweep his former team? Gotta love Ruggianos name though.

Where Have You Gone deAza

Oz, No!!!!

Flagstaff, Soon this park's attendance will make the University of Miami(under Shannon) against Rutgers on a Saturday afternoon look like Denny-Bryant Stadium in Tuscaloosa in comparison.

AND Don't Think for a second this can be deemed a slump. Slumps don't last a year. The shortest of these regressions is gaby's that started at the break last year. Buck is Buck. Coghlin is deep into year 2 and George Brett Jr. has not been the same since he became Mr Tweet. I rarely blame hitting coaches--nor rarely give them credit give them credit when things are good--however in at least Coghlin's case his entire swing has changed from his rookie year. It's obvious. They must have a film room. You can't be off balance and incapable of generating power and be a successful Major League player.

I actually agonize over this team and when at a Nationals' game always position myself where I can see the ONLY out of town scoreboard. I check it out every 2 minutes or so as it is constantly updated. I'm beginning to think I will sadly have my attention more concentrated on Washington when in that park. By the way, it's so nice to have the Metro funnel you about 100 yards away. However, I am looking forward to some little negotiation games with my friends around 8th Street when I come down for 2 series. I always said "No Block" was Spanish for "You ain't getting out until everyone is out."

Flagstafffishfan

Love the Denny-Bryant Stadium in Tuscaloosa reference. Too funny.

georgeB

next move should be to call up Gaby...send Lomo down

Alex

"The reason this appears(and probably is) so bad is a result of the incomprehensible regression of 3 guys who were thought to be "sure things" for years to come. You can't suddenly lose Sanchez, Coghlin and Morrison and not be affected." - DeAza


Great points! But take a good look at those "expectations", will you? The Front Office really "expected" that two first basemen and a converted second baseman would be "sure things" and be great outfielders as well as great hitters? Seriously? In that case Beinfest et al are worse than we give them "credit" for.

Look, I've been saying this the past couple of years: you can "jerry rig" a line up together of spare parts and guys playing out of position for a few games and you can squeak by, but if you try to do that over the course of an entire season, you will PAY FOR IT. Look at other teams. NONE OF THEM are having the constant errors and misplays in the outfield that our Marlins have had this year. It's not even funny anymore; it happens almost every game. Errors, poor routes to the ball, guys getting there, getting their gloves on the ball, but somehow not making the catch. That's what happens when you have a jerry-rigged outfield.

rbleigh

just throwing this out there because it worked in 2003, come late July if the Marlins are in contention but still riddled with the glaring shortcomings they're currently showing do you trade a Yelich or Jose Fernandez to acquire missing ingredients? How important is it to win now? For this team in this stadium it's pretty freaking important. Although I still wonder if Beinfest makes the deal in 03' for Urbina if he knew Gonzalez would reach the ceiling he has. Initially I think they thought he'd be at a level that is only hoped for Morrison, .280 - .300 topping out at 20 - 25hrs.

rbleigh

And what would you expect in return?

Where Have You Gone deAza

I just realized I won't be able to watch the blacked out game up here. I know I should be rooting against the Nats but when you see them win the first two in Fenway it's pretty impressive.

Alex, Coghlin was a ROY, people in baseball LOVED Morrison and I think we ALL expected .280, 15-20 HR's and 80-90 RBI's from Gaby. I didn't say they were going to be superstars,however, they would have been real good pieces to go with Reyes, Infante, Stanton and Ramirez. Buck was just a move that now can't be corrected.

Where Have You Gone deAza

Well, I checked Yahoo and it's 5-0 in the top of the 2nd. If someone tells you Tuesday morning that they would be 4 out by Sunday and 3 behind the Braves what would you have said. Would anybody who can see this please tell me what the crowd REALLY looks like and I don't mean tickets sold.

.

the place is half empty

julio

will be a late arriving crowd to see & hear Chino eat Nachos

Chino blows Nachos

in other words ,they're on spictime.

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