Florida starter Brian Moehler has pitched been better than the Marlins expected this season. Now, he just needs some support from the offense.
Moehler looks to shake off another tough loss as the Marlins resume their three-game series with the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field.
Moehler lasted a season-high 8 1-3 innings in his last start on Friday, allowing just one earned run and seven hits in the Marlins’ 11-inning, 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. Moehler was on his way to his first complete-game victory since Aug. 8, 2000, when he was with the Tigers, before a throwing error allowed the Angels’ Garrett Anderson to score in the ninth.
“He pitched a great game again,” manager Jack McKeon said. “You feel sorry for the guy. He goes into the ninth inning with 84 pitches, and he still had good stuff. Even after the guy leads off with a double, he was in position to win the game. He did his share. We came up short.”
The Marlins are averaging just 2.54 runs of support a game when Moehler’s on the mound. The 33-year-old right-hander, who was a non-roster invitee to spring training, ranked fifth in the NL in ERA heading into Tuesday’s games.
Moehler is winless in his last six starts.
“We don’t get the guy any runs,” manager Jack McKeon said. “He’s never in one of those 15-5 games.”
Moehler, who underwent reconstructive ligament surgery in 2003, earned the fifth spot in the rotation when Ismael Valdez went on the disabled list at the start of the season.
“I finally really felt comfortable throwing my changeup again,” he said after Friday’s start. “Really for the first time this year. I’ve really thrown without it this year. I was able to throw soft away and then go hard with a cutter. I’m finally starting to feel comfortable throwing that pitch again.”
The Braves beat the Marlins 5-0 in Tuesday’s series opener. John Smoltz allowed just five hits in his first shutout in six years and Andruw Jones homered for the Braves, who have won four of their last five.
Atlanta took three of four from the Cincinnati Reds over the weekend after dropping their previous six series.
Jeff Conine had two hits for the Marlins, who have lost three of four.