Despite the Florida Marlins’ impressive road record, their home woes seemed to follow them into a seven-game trip that began with a disastrous defeat.
Sanchez tries to end his two-month, 11-start winless streak and lift the Marlins to just their second victory in 12 games Tuesday night against the Colorado Rockies.
Florida (56-65) was a .500 team when it began a 10-game homestand Aug. 4, but it departed for Colorado eight games under after going 1-9 at Sun Life Stadium.
The Marlins brought a 32-25 road record to Denver, though, and it appeared they were headed toward their 15th win in 19 games away from South Florida on Monday.
But after taking a 4-3 lead on two-run homers from Mike Stanton(notes) and John Buck(notes), Florida’s bullpen collapsed in the ninth inning. A blooper misplayed into a two-base hit was followed by Carlos Gonzalez’s(notes) game-tying double, and after an intentional walk, Jason Giambi’s(notes) three-run homer gave Colorado a 7-4 victory.
Manager Jack McKeon managed his 2,000th career game, but it was hardly one he’ll fondly remember.
“Looked like they wanted to give it to us, and we didn’t want to take it,” McKeon said.
This is the third time since late May the Marlins have lost 10 of 11, and Sanchez (6-6, 4.00 ERA) hardly seems like the best candidate to stop their latest slide. The right-hander hasn’t won since June 10, going 0-5 with a 5.31 ERA while getting just 2.07 runs of support per nine innings.
His latest outing equaled the shortest of his major league career. Sanchez lasted 1 2-3 innings Wednesday against Atlanta, surrendering seven hits and five runs in a 6-2 loss.
McKeon called out all of his starters after that defeat, but he seemed to be singling out Sanchez.
“You’ve got to hold them,” McKeon told the Marlins’ official website. “These guys are too good to be pitching like they’re pitching. They’ve got to start looking in the mirror.
“You want to stay in the big leagues, you have to get tough. You just can’t let yourself get hammered. You got to do something about it. How bad do you want it?”
None of Sanchez’s recent struggles mirror his experience against the Rockies (57-66), however. He’s 2-0 with a 1.74 ERA while getting 9.15 runs of support in three starts - all at home - and came within a Dexter Fowler(notes) ninth-inning single of a no-hitter in a 4-1 win April 22.
The right-hander has been solid in his last four outings as he tries to regain some of the command that’s eluded him. He lowered his ERA in that stretch to 2.39 on Thursday in Cincinnati, holding the Reds to two runs over eight innings and tying a season high with nine strikeouts in a 2-1 loss.
“You couldn’t ask Jhoulys Chacin to do one more thing than he did,” manager Jim Tracy said.
Chacin’s lone start against Florida came when he was on the wrong end of Sanchez’s brilliance in late April. He gave up seven hits, four runs and three walks over five innings.