Despite victory against Guardians, Marlins’ joy is short-lived with loss of Weathers

The Marlins’ first win in June — a 3-2 triumph against the Cleveland Guardians on Friday after four consecutive losses — came at a cost.

Their best starting pitcher during the past month, left-hander Ryan Weathers, exited in the third inning with what the team described as a sore left index finger.

Weathers looked at the finger and appeared to shake his hand after surrendering a one-out single to Austin Hedges.

Three pitches later, Brayan Rocchio swatted a two-run home run to left and Weathers was promptly examined by a trainer, with manager Skip Schumaker and pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. joining them on the mound.

Weathers was further evaluated after the game, with no update immediately available.

“It’s a concern when I have to pull him out,” Schumaker said. “He just said he couldn’t really feel the ball anymore with his left index finger. Once I heard that, that was enough.”

Emmanuel Ramirez, the first of five Marlins relievers used Friday, replaced Weathers, who had a career-high 11 strikeouts in his previous outing and five consecutive quality starts — six or more innings pitched with three or fewer runs allowed — prior to that.

Quality starts have been a tough task for the Marlins this season. They’ve combined for 15 of them in 63 games — tied for second fewest in MLB entering play Friday and on pace for 40 at season’s end. The franchise record for fewest in a full season is 49, in 2021 and 2007.

Since the Marlins’ inaugural season in 1993, they have finished with fewer than 60 quality starts just five times — not counting the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign.

Schumaker largely blames injuries for this season’s total. Also, several starters “got off to slow starts,” he noted Friday.

“We have a young staff right now, so there are a lot of guys that were coming off injury or were a little injured at the time,” Schumaker said. “And guys were trying to find their way at the big-league level. Listen, we didn’t have Sandy [Alcantara]. Sandy will give you a quality start most times he’s on the mound.

“Eury [Perez] was a big part of this thing. Braxton [Garrett] was hurt. [Jesus] Luzardo was hurt. So, getting guys back and healthy, you’re going to see more quality starts as the season goes.”

Alcantara and Perez were lost for this entire season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. On Sunday, Sixto Sánchez was placed on the 15-day injured list due to right shoulder inflammation.

Garrett (shoulder) and Luzardo (elbow) have had bright spots since returning from injury — Luzardo’s four quality starts include eight scoreless innings versus Milwaukee on May 22; Garrett recorded the first complete game and shutout of his career against Arizona on May 24 — but the two lefties were shelled on back-to-back days by Tampa Bay this week.

“I try not to think too much about statistics in general, but I always want to go six innings at least,” Garrett said. “For me, it’s about being in good counts the whole game and not have an inning blow up on me. That’s kind of been my problem to start the year.”

As for Weathers, “he wanted to change things [this past offseason] to prove to himself and to us that he’s a major-league starter,” Schumaker said. “It shows you what he can do when it’s not just the fastball, but three other pitches he can work with.”

Weathers, 24, last season was a combined 1-8 with a 6.55 ERA for San Diego and Miami. The Padres traded him to the Marlins on Aug. 1.

“I don’t want to say he’s been a surprise because he was a first-round [draft] pick and he’s a big lefty,” Schumaker said. “But from where he was last year to now, he’s made some huge strides.”

Lopez, Anderson out

Second baseman Otto Lopez (paternity list) and shortstop Tim Anderson (bereavement list) missed Friday’s game.

Vidal Brujan replaced Lopez and Xavier Edwards, primarily a second baseman, took Anderson’s spot, playing shortstop in the majors for the first time. Lopez had started 21 of the past 22 games and Anderson 12 of the past 13.

Edwards made his season debut, batting leadoff after being recalled from Triple A Jacksonville earlier in the day. Edwards, who suffered an infection in his left foot in March, was reinstated from the 60-day injured list May 27 after a rehab assignment.

Third baseman Jake Burger returned to the lineup after sitting out Wednesday’s game due to a twinge on his left side he felt during a swing Tuesday.

Reliever JT Chargois (neck) is “really close” to returning, Schumaker said. Chargois threw Tuesday and Wednesday and is scheduled to throw two innings for Jacksonville on Sunday.

Also, Edward Cabrera (shoulder) threw a 25-pitch bullpen session Friday and Bryan Hoeing (hamstring) will throw two innings of live batting practice Saturday.

Guardians starter Logan Allen, who played at Florida International University, had a solid performance Friday in his homecoming. Allen pitched six innings, allowing two runs on four hits, with three strikeouts.