In a down season, tonight may have been the peak of the Marlins struggles.
An entertaining pitchers duel turned into a clinic put on by St. Louis. Jon Jay and Randall Grichuk led off the seventh inning with back-to-back singles. Then, a sacrifice bunt by Pete Kozma turned into an RBI single as J.T. Realmuto's throw escaped Dee Gordon.
Mike Dunn relieved Haren to face pinch-hitter Greg Garcia. Dunn picked up Garcia's bunt, looked towards second, and threw to first. Dunn's throw was late, loading up the bases. He walked the next batter, Kolten Wong, putting the Cards ahead 3-0.
After Dunn struck out Carpenter, Steve Cishek came in to clean up the mess. Another run scored on a Mark Reynolds sac fly, widening the deficit to four. Although pitching well, all four runs were credited to Haren. A four-run deficit looms much larger to this struggling Marlins team, who scored just five runs throughout the series. Although Adeiny Hechavarria homered with two outs in the ninth, the Marlins' offense couldn't complete a comeback.
Missed opportunities with runners in scoring position have killed the Marlins (.234 AVG), who are MLB's 25th worst team in that category. It won't get any easier for Miami, who face the Dodgers, Giants, and Cubs in their next three series.
The Marlins begin their series against the Dodgers tomorrow night at 7:10 ET, where Justin Nicolino (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will make his second start of the year (home debut) facing Brett Anderson (3-4, 3.29 ERA).