Marlins slide continues; hammered by Red Sox 15-5
BOSTON—From riding high in May to struggling in June. The Miami Marlins hope their swoon ends soon.
Starter Ricky Nolasco was pounded for nine runs and nine hits in 3 1-3 innings, Chris Hatcher gave up two homers -- including David Ortiz's grand slam -- and the Marlins lost for the 12th time in 14 games, falling 15-5 to the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday.
All of this has come after a club-record 21 wins in May (21-8).
"It's all part of playing 162 games in the big leagues. It's going to happen," Logan Morrison said. "Everybody's positive to get it done. You'd think there'd be a little gradual falloff (from last month), but it's been hot and cold."
Miami allowed a season-high runs as Boston posted a season-high of its own.
"I just think we're all trying to get on a positive run right now. It's just not happening," said Nolasco (6-6). "The last two games we swung the bats well, we just haven't pitched."
Mike Aviles, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Will Middlebrooks also homered one night after Ortiz hit one of Boston's three homers in a 7-5 victory over Miami.
"This is the type of game that can get you down and wonder what's going on," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I always wonder about starting pitchers. The starting pitchers have not been doing their job of late. We've been pitching well all year long. When the starting pitchers don't give you what you want, you can get into a lot of trouble."
The Marlins dropped to 4-12 in June despite scoring four runs and nine hits in six innings against Felix Doubront (8-3).
Carlos Zambrano, pounded for 11 runs in just 4 1-3 innings in his last two starts, looks to end the recent futility in the series finale on Thursday.
"The only thing I come here everyday at 2:30 is to win," Guillen said. "Everybody out there (in the clubhouse), if you get four hits, you're happy. If you get an RBI, you're happy. All I want to do is win. We don't win games, that's when I go unhappy."
With a game-time temperature of 95 degrees, the Red Sox pounded out 16 hits and won their fourth straight game and sixth in their last seven. They moved out of last place in the AL East at 35-33, passing Toronto after the Blue Jays lost 8-3 to Milwaukee.
The Red Sox offense has come alive in the past week with at least seven runs in four of their last six games.
On Wednesday, Aviles's three-run homer gave Boston a 3-2 lead in the second. In the third, Cody Ross' three-run double, on which Ortiz hustled home where the throw hit him and bounced away from catcher John Buck, made it 6-2.
Then Ortiz's 11th career grand slam, and 18th homer of the year, highlighted a six-run fourth that put Boston on top 12-4. Daniel Nava was on base at the time with one of his four singles.
Before the game, Guillen said he wouldn't change his lineup to help stop the slide. His offense has been better, scoring five runs in each game of the series after going 12 straight with four runs or less. But even when the Marlins scored, it wasn't always easy.
Buck hit his fifth homer, a solo shot that made it 13-5 in the seventh, but immediately clutched his right hamstring and trotted slowly around the bases. He remained in the game before leaving for a pinch hitter in the ninth.
Guillen said he after the game he had cramps and was not going to play anyway on Thursday.
For the second straight game, the Marlins led 2-0. They scored in the first on singles by Jose Reyes and Hanley Ramirez and a double-play grounder by Giancarlo Stanton. They added a run in the second on a double by Justin Ruggiano, a single by Omar Infante and a groundout by Gaby Sanchez.
But the Red Sox quickly jumped ahead by four runs after three innings.
Then the Marlins cut the lead to 6-4 in the fourth on a solo homer by Morrison, who drove in all five runs on Tuesday, and a run-scoring groundout by Sanchez.
Boston drove Nolasco from the game in the fourth when singles by Aviles, Nava and Ryan Kalish produced one run. After a single by Adrian Gonzalez loaded the bases, Ortiz homered for the third straight game, a grand slam off Hatcher. Saltalamacchia's 13th homer finished the inning.
Nick Punto scored the Red Sox 13th run on Hatcher's wild pitch in the fifth and Middlebrooks hit his seventh homer, a two-run shot in the eighth.
NOTES: Nolasco lost his third consecutive start and fourth in his last five. ... Zambrano (4-5) will face against Daisuke Matsuzaka (0-2).