When hits are harder to come by than ice cubes in hell, the end result is not typically positive. That was the case for the Marlins on Super Saturday at Sun Life Stadium, where they dropped the series and their third game in a row, falling 5-2 to the Washingon Nationals.
The Fish, now riding a 3-game losing streak for the first time this season, just aren't playing very good baseball right now.
Two hits were all the lineup could manage off of Nats starter Tom Gorzelanny through seven innings. John Buck hit a two-run homer in the second inning to tie up the game, and Mike Stanton added a single in the sixth to complete the Marlins offense. Even that single ended up as an out, with Stanton being thrown out after he took a big turn toward second, and was tagged out sliding back to the bag.
The Marlins didn't fare much better defensively.
Chris Volstad had a decent outing, but for his third start in a row, a shaky first inning got things started off on the wrong foot. Vols threw 27 pitches before he recorded the first out of the game. The Nationals lineup hit four straight singles to open the game, capped by a two-RBI single from Adam LaRoche to make it 2-0.
First inning runs seem to be the theme of May for the Marlins starting rotation. Since April 30th, no starter has made it through the first without giving up at least run, and in five of the last seven games, Fish starters have given up two first inning runs.
Winning is generally easier to do when you're not working from a deficit in every game.
Volstad settled in after the first, and gave up just one more run to the Nats in his six innings of work. In the fifth, Ian Desmond tripled and scored on a sac fly by Jayson Werth to provide the go-ahead run.
One of the most pathetic points of the game came with Brian Sanches on the mound in the ninth, when two errors by Wes Helms on the same play resulted in another Nationals run. With two on, Matt Stairs hit a grounder to third, which should have started an inning-ending double play, but it went under Helms' glove for the first error. Jerry Hairston headed home from second on the misplay, and was tagged out easily at home thanks to a nice throw by Emilio Bonifacio. However, Uncle Wes was called for interference, so the Nats got their run anyway. 4-2, Washington.
Burke Badenhop made his first Major League appearance of 2011 when he was called on to take over for Sanches in the ninth. The Hopper got the outs, but induced a fly ball that allowed another run to score, and the Nats were up 5-2 heading into the bottom of the ninth.
There was no miraculous resurgence of the Fish bats against Drew Storen in the bottom of the inning, so the Fish went quietly into the night.
The Marlins have dropped three straight, and will try and avoid the sweep Sunday against the Nats.