MIAMI -- The Miami Marlins are in a rut.
Nine losses in the past 10 games are evidence of that ... but so are two errors in one inning by usually reliable catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
He dropped an easy foul pop that did not come back to haunt him, but his decision to throw to third on a bunt play -- and the resulting throw wide of the bag -- led to three unearned runs, dooming ace pitcher Jose Fernandez in a 6-3 loss to the Washington Nationals on Wednesday.
And when the Marlins can't a win on the days that Fernandez pitches at home, you know they are in trouble. He entered Wednesday with an 11-0 home record and a 1.14 ERA and left with a no-decision, an even lower ERA and plenty of frustration.
Next up for the Marlins is a three-game home series against the Seattle Mariners, where Miami will try to determined what is real.
Is it the young and seemingly talented team that started the season full of confidence and a 5-1 record?
Or is it what has followed since -- nine losses in 10 games and the reminder that the core of this team lost 100 games last season.
Marlins fans are praying it's not the latter.
STREAK: Lost one
--RHP Nathan Eovaldi gets the start Friday against the visiting Seattle Mariners, and he has some trends working in his favor. His ERA at home (3.46) is much better than his 5.68 road number. And he has been pretty good in interleague play -- a 1.74 ERA.
--RHP Jose Fernandez entered Wednesday's game with an unbeatable record at home during his one-plus years in the majors -- 11-0 with a 1.14 ERA. He almost got win No. 12 after he was staked to a 3-0 lead. But he got some bad luck -- a key error by C Jarrod Saltalamacchia that led to three unearned runs. After that, Fernandez made one bad pitch, giving up a game-tying three-run homer to Jayson Werth. Fernandez walked away with a no-decision.
--LF Christian Yelich extended his hitting streak to 11 games Wednesday. He is batting .317 and is emerging as the Marlins' leadoff batter. His on-base percentage is excellent at .388, and his progress and table-setting is crucial to Marlins' RBI-man OF Giancarlo Stanton.
--2B Derek Dietrich hit a three-run homer Wednesday vs. the Washington Nationals. Of his 12 career homers, eight have tied the score or put the Marlins ahead. Dietrich is hitting .286, and the pressure is on him to do even more because 2B Rafael Furcal -- who is expected to be the starter when healthy -- is rehabbing in the minors and is about two weeks away from returning.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "If he makes a good throw, he gets him. It looked like he yanked (the throw) a little bit." -- Marlins manager Mike Redmond, on C Jarrod Saltalamacchia error that led to three unearned runs in a 6-3 loss to the Washington Nationals on Wednesday.
--CF Marcell Ozuna (foot), who fouled a ball off the top of his left foot on April 13, sat out April 14 but did take batting practice. He returned to the lineup April 15.
--2B Rafael Furcal (strained left hamstring) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21. He began a rehab assignment on April 14 with Class A Jupiter. He has not played yet this season. Furcal isn't expected to return until late April or early May.
--RHP Jacob Turner (right shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 4. He was hurt during batting practice before the April 8 game, according to manager Mike Redmond. He threw off flat ground April 15 and reported improvement.
--INF Ed Lucas (left hand surgery) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 28. He is expected to be out until late April or early May. He had his protective cast removed on April 4. Lucas was cleared April 14 to resume baseball activities. He is expected to be out at least a month.
RHP Jose Fernandez
RHP Nathan Eovaldi
RHP Henderson Alvarez
RHP Tom Koehler
RHP Steve Cishek (closer)
LHP Mike Dunn
RHP Carlos Marmol
RHP A.J. Ramos
RHP Kevin Slowey
LHP Brad Hand
LHP Dan Jennings
RHP Arquimedes Caminero
1B Garrett Jones
2B Derek Dietrich
SS Adeiny Hechavarria
3B Casey McGehee
INF Donovan Solano
INF Greg Dobbs
INF Jeff Baker
CF Christian Yelich
RF Giancarlo Stanton
LF Reed Johnson
OF Marcell Ozuna
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- Miami Marlins
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- Seattle Mariners
- Nathan Eovaldi