Marlins squander chances, fall to Rockies

Jack Etkin, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

DENVER -- The Miami Marlins recently put their franchise-record scoreless streak behind them. Rising from the offensive doldrums is another matter.
The Marlins lost 2-1 to the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday night, leaving 12 runners on base. Miami loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh inning and didn't score.
The Marlins outhit the Rockies 10-7, but all of Miami's hits were singles.
"Hits don't matter," Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton said. "You got to have them when it counts. You can have 30 hits. You do it with runners on. You do it when it matters."
It mattered most in the seventh. Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa (10-5) departed after six scoreless innings. He gave up five singles and got seven outs on ground balls, six to third baseman Nolan Arenado.
Edgmer Escalona relieved De La Rosa and gave up line-drive singles to Donovan Solano and Jeff Mathis to start the seventh, both hits whizzing over Escalona's head. Pinch hitter Greg Dobbs was struck by the first pitch he saw, loading the bases.
"We're just looking for contact," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "They're giving us a run. Anything but a strikeout, really, and we got two strikeouts."
Escalona got ahead of Adeiny Hechavarria 0-2, ran the count full but struck him out looking.
Left-hander Josh Outman came on to face Christian Yelich, a left-handed hitter playing his second game in the big leagues, and struck him out.
Colorado manager Walt Weiss brought on Wilton Lopez to face Stanton, who homered Tuesday off Outman, and Lopez got Stanton to ground into a fielder's choice.
In a matter of three batters, a potentially robust rally dissolved into nothing.
"That's the whole game right there," Stanton said. "You execute there and we go into (extra innings) or we win that game. None of us did it."
The Marlins entered the four-game series with a franchise-record scoreless streak of 37 consecutive innings that ended in the first inning Monday. However, Miami has scored just eight runs in the past six games.
The Rockies scored a run with two outs in the second when Todd Helton doubled off Jacob Turner (3-3) and Arenado followed with a single. Helton's double was the 579th of his career, moving him past Hall of Famer Wade Boggs into sole possession of 18th place all-time. The Rockies had gone 0-for-15 with runners in scoring position while losing Monday and Tuesday before Arenado ended the drought.
"Probably made a couple too many mistakes, especially that second inning to Arenado," said Turner, who pitched six innings. "That slider was just a bad pitch."
DJ LeMahieu hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth, increasing Colorado's lead to 2-0.
Solano singled home a run in the eighth off Matt Belisle, and Mathis followed with a single to put runners on first and second. Redmond sent Justin Ruggiano, who was mired in an 0-for-30 slump, up to pinch-hit rather than use left-handed hitting Logan Morrison against Belisle.
"If I pinch-hit LoMo there, they'll bring in their closer," Redmond said, referring to left-hander Rex Brothers. "(Ruggiano) has 12 homers, and I felt right-on-right was a better matchup in the situation. And I felt that was the time to break out and get a big hit."
Ruggiano struck out, and Brothers pitched the ninth to earn his sixth save.
The Rockies have scored three or fewer runs in 11 of their past 16 games, and just five runs in three games against the Marlins, losing two of the three. They avoided falling a season-worst six games below .500.
"We needed the win," Weiss said. "I don't know if I'll go as far as say 'must win.' We're still in July here, but we needed the win tonight."
NOTES: Yelich, who went 3-for-4 in his major league debut Tuesday, is the fourth player under the age of 22 since 1980 to have three hits in each of his first three at-bats. He joined Daryl Boston (1984), Jose Offerman (1990) and Jay Bruce (2008). Yelich is the first major league player with three hits and two RBIs in his debut since J.P. Arencibia in 2010. ... Rockies LF Carlos Gonzalez was caught stealing for just the second time in 21 attempts this season when he was thrown out trying to swipe second base to end the first inning. ... Marlins OF Marcell Ozuna, who was optioned to Double-A Jacksonville after Monday night's game, will see a hand specialist in Miami on Thursday morning instead of Wednesday as originally planned. He jammed his left thumb making a diving catch Monday. Ozuna will likely end up on the disabled list, where he will continue to accrue big league service time. That would enable Ozuna to achieve "Super 2" status and be eligible for arbitration after the 2015 season.

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