DENVER -- The drought is over.
After going 37 innings without scoring a run -- the longest dry spell in the majors in nearly three decades -- the Marlins on Monday ended the skid when Ed Lucas did what no Marlins base runner had done in over a week.
He crossed home plate.
Lucas scored on Giancarlo Stanton’s RBI double in the first inning, and the Marlins went on to defeat the Colorado Rockies, 3-1. The victory snapped a four-game losing streak.
"You could sense the relief in the dugout," Lucas said. "I think it was important for us to do it early today, to get that monkey off our back and go back to our game."
The scoreless drought had become the headline topic, and a very dispiriting one for the Marlins. They had last scored on Derek Dietrich’s home run in the fourth inning of a 10-inning loss to Washington on July 14, the day before the All-Star break.
Upon their return from the break, the Brewers blanked them three times in Milwaukee for a series sweep, with the finale culminating Sunday in a stinging 1-0 loss in 13 innings.
The 37-inning scoreless streak was the longest in the majors since the Houston Astros went 42 innings without producing a run during the 1985 season. The Marlins didn’t allow their drought to linger that long.
After Lucas singled with one out in the first, Stanton cracked a 1-1 fastball from Drew Pomeranz into the right-center field gap, enabling Lucas to score easily from first.
Two batters later, Placido Polanco made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly.
The Marlins took a 3-0 lead in the third on a Lucas home run that was hit so high and far that Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez didn’t leave his tracks. It was the second career homer for Lucas, a 31-year-old rookie out of Dartmouth.
The Marlins totaled only 15 hits the entire Milwaukee series, which covered 31 innings. And only one of those hits was for extra bases.
The end to the scoring streak overshadowed a strong outing by Marlins starter Tom Koehler, who turned in one of his finest performances. Koehler gave up a solo homer to Troy Tulowitzki in the fourth, but that was the only run he gave up over his seven innings.
Koehler, who was making his first start for the Marlins since July 2, struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter.
"Fortunately, I spent some time in the PCL (Pacific Coast League) where I got to play at some higher altitude parks," Koehler said. "What I did learn is when you're trying to throw a breaking ball or a change up, when you try to do too much with them, they just continue to spin. So all it is about sitting your sights a little bit lower than where you normally throw them."
Chad Qualls took over in the eighth and worked a scoreless inning as he continued to enhance his trade value. Qualls has not allowed a run in his past eight appearances and, with the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline quickly approaching, there’s a good chance he won’t be in a Marlins uniform for much longer.
Steve Cishek closed out the win for his 18th save.
But it was the struggling lineup that finally gained some satisfaction. Lucas, Stanton, Marcell Ozuna and Placido Polanco each had two hits, while sizzling hot Adeiny Hechavarria bunted his way aboard in the seventh for his only hit.
Prospects called up
Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick -- two of the most promising young prospects in the Marlins' farm system - will be making their way to the Mile High City on Tuesday and make their big league debuts.