Sweep Avoidance was the name of the game as the Marlins and Reds faced off Sunday afternoon for the series finale at the GAB. And it was a game the Fish lost.
The Marlins hadn't hit with a runner in scoring position all series long, and that didn't change against Reds starter Homer Bailey. He held the Fish scoreless through six innings, and allowed just three hits.
Meanwhile, Anibal Sanchez matched Bailey and didn't allow a run through five innings. But in the sixth, the Reds scored two runs when Jonny Gomes walked, and Miguel Cairo hit a two-run shot to put Cincinnati on top, 2-0.
After the sixth, it was a battle of the bullpens. Badenhop and Ohman combined for a scoreless seventh inning for Florida while Logan Ondrusek did the same for the Reds. Despite the fact that the Fish had two on with nobody out, they couldn't push a run across the plate, and their hitless-with-RISP streak continued.
With one out in the top of the eighth, Logan Morrison doubled against Nick Masset to once again put runners in scoring position. And yet again, the Marlins failed to capitalize.
Brian Sanches pitched the eighth and didn't allow a run, and again the Marlins found themselves down to their last three strikes with a two-run deficit to overcome.
The thing about deficits in baseball is that overcoming them often requires a hit with a runner in scoring position, something the Fish had abstained from the entire series. They got another chance at it when Mike Stanton doubled off the wall against Francisco Cordero, and moved to third on Wes Helms' groundout. But with one out and Stanton on third, Bonifacio struck out looking. Then Cody Ross drew a walk, and it was up to pinch hitter Donnie "bleeping" Murphy.
Well, when all was said and done, there were plenty of "bleeps" shouted among Fish fans, but none of them were uttered out of elation. Donnie struck out, and the Marlins got swept in Cinci.
Three games. Zero hits with runners in scoring position. That's just great.