MIAMI (AP)—Florida manager Jeff Torborg tried sitting in several different spots on the bench over the past few days, hoping to change his team’s luck and break the Marlins out of 10-game slump in which they scored just 28 runs.
He was pacing during each of Juan Encarnacion’s hits Friday night.
Now Torborg might not sit down anytime soon.
Encarnacion homered to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning, giving the Marlins a 5-4 win over the Colorado Rockies and snapping a six-game losing streak.
“That was a long time coming,” Torborg said. “We just have to win, and I don’t care how we do it.”
Encarnacion lined Justin Speier’s 2-1 slider into the left-field bleachers, his fifth homer of the season and his third RBI of the night. He also had a two-run double in the sixth.
“You can’t go up there trying to get four hits in one at-bat,” said Encarnacion, who had been hitting .188 over his last 12 games.
Braden Looper (3-1) pitched a perfect ninth for the Marlins. Encarnacion was the only batter Speier (2-1) faced. His hit handed the Rockies a fifth consecutive loss and their eighth in nine games.
“We’ve been in a little tough spot right now,” catcher Charles Johnson said. “We can’t seem to win the games we should win, game that are there at the end but we can’t pull it out.”
The loss spoiled the homecoming for Johnson and Preston Wilson, both former Marlins stars.
Wilson and Johnson combined for four hits and scored three times in their first game in Florida since being traded from the Marlins to the Rockies in November.
Wilson hit his eighth home run in the sixth inning and then singled and scored the go-ahead run in the eighth. He also struck out and grounded into a double play.
“We lost and that’s the big thing,” Wilson said. “When you lose nothing really feels good, but hopefully we can come back and get the job done tomorrow.”
Johnson doubled and scored in the third, singled in the fourth and struck out twice.
Neither player received more than a lukewarm reception from the 10,272 on hand at Pro Player Stadium. Wilson, who hit a career-low .243 with 23 home runs and 65 RBIs last season, got a small ovation before striking out in the second inning.
Johnson, who grew up in Miami, played for the Hurricanes and was the Marlins’ first amateur draft pick in 1992, received a slightly better welcome in the third. Of course, he had more than a dozen family members in the stands.
Johnson hit a career-low .217 with 36 RBIs in 83 games last season, prompting the Marlins to sign Ivan Rodriguez in the offseason.
Rodriguez singled with two outs in the sixth inning, starting what would become Florida’s eighth come-from-behind win this season and their sixth in their final at-bat. Florida had scored just two runs in each of their last five games.
It looked like they might continue their slump against the Rockies, scoring just one run in five innings.
The Marlins took a 1-0 lead on Mike Lowell’s ninth homer, a two-out shot off Darren Oliver in the first. Florida scored twice more against Oliver but not until the sixth. Rodriguez and Derrek Lee hit consecutive two-out singles, and Encarnacion followed with a two-run double down the left field line.
Lowell doubled with one out in the eighth, moved to third on a groundout and scored on Steve Reed’s wild pitch to tie the game at 4.
“Unfortunately Lowell hit a fastball, and then the wild pitch gives them an opening,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said.
Oliver allowed three runs on five hits and a walk in six innings. It was his second straight strong outing, but it ended with a no-decision.
Florida’s Dontrelle Willis had the same fate in his major league debut. He gave up three runs on seven hits and two walks in six innings. He also struck out seven, pitching fast and using different arm angles to keep the Rockies off-balance.
In the dugout we were saying, ‘Let’s win it for this kid,”’ Torborg said.“But in the meantime, we’re thinking, ‘Let’s win it for us.”’
Florida’s last 10 homers, including both Friday, have been solo shots. … The Marlins stole two bases against Johnson, giving them a major league-leading 56 steals. But Johnson threw out Lee to end the eighth. … Johnson began the game hitting .087 on the road but improved to .120 with two hits. … Lee made a diving stop on Larry Walker’s sharply hit ball down the first-base line in the eighth. … Rockies 2B Ronnie Belliard got the day offbefore entering the game in the eighth.