Different day, same game.
Lost in the excitement of Jose Fernandez’s brilliance, the Marlins continue to struggle on the days their rookie phenom does not pitch. On Sunday, starter Jacob Turner continued his slide while the offense stranded numerous runners in a 4-3 loss.
Turner, who combined with Fernandez and Nathan Eovaldi in June and early July to give the Marlins a dominant starting trio atop their rotation, has been off the mark in his past nine starts and winless since July 10.
The right-hander started his season 2-0 with a 1.76 ERA in his first six starts. In his next eight, Turner went 1-4 with a 3.89 ERA. In his last start before Sunday, Turner allowed 10 hits and walked five.
On Sunday, Turner lasted 52/3 innings, allowing four runs — three earned — and six hits while only striking out one.
“I think any time you’re going through peaks and valleys, it’s just a matter of staying even keel,” Turner said. “You go out there every time and just try to improve on what you did good the last time.”
The offense did not fare much better, leaving 11 runners on base, including the game-tying and game-winning runners on first and second in the ninth. In their roughest showing of futility, the Marlins loaded the bases with no outs in the third inning but couldn’t bring home a run.
Catcher Koyie Hill came to the plate after two runs had already scored in the inning, but he hit into a 5-2-3 double play that quickly stalled the rally. Turner followed up Hill with a strikeout.
“Bases loaded, nobody out, [to] not score a run really killed us,” manager Mike Redmond said. “Really, the whole homestand we didn’t play well. We made a lot of little mistakes that ended up costing us games.”
In addition to lacking clutch hits, Miami was sloppy at times.
After Christian Yelich reached second on an error with no outs in the fourth, Donovan Solano not only failed to move Yelich to third with a bunt, but also bunted the ball into his own leg for an out. Giancarlo Stanton then walked to put runners on first and second with one out, but two fielder’s choices in a row ended the inning.
In the sixth, the Marlins again had runners on first and second with two outs to work with. But pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs flew out to center and Yelich struck out. In the eighth, Justin Ruggiano made it to second after a single and sacrifice bunt, but the Marlins couldn’t produce the tying run from scoring position with two chances.
“We’re not a team that’s equipped to make a lot of mistakes,” Redmond said. “When we do make mistakes, they usually come back to haunt us.”
Ruggiano did continue his renaissance after his hitless streak of 42 at-bats. He had two hits Sunday, including a 380-foot homer to right, giving him 10 hits in his past seven games.
The Rockies got to Turner early, scoring three runs in the top of the second. Ryan Wheeler hit an RBI single, followed by a Solano throwing error on the next play that allowed a second runner to score. A sacrifice fly drove in the third run.
Colorado recorded the go-ahead run in sixth with two outs. Nolan Arenado hit an RBI double to bring home Michael Cuddyer, who had singled to right.
One up, one down
After Sunday’s game, Redmond confirmed that the Marlins sent infielder Gil Velasquez back down to the minors. Velasquez was called up to replace Placido Polanco, who was placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list on Aug. 19.
Velasquez did not see in action during his brief stint in Miami. Polanco will rejoin the active roster Tuesday when the Marlins start a series with the Washington Nationals.
“I’m just happy everything’s good for [Polanco] and he’s feeling better.” Redmond said.
• Monday: Off.
• Tuesday: Marlins RHP Nathan Eovaldi (2-4, 3.82 ERA) at Nationals RHP Ross Ohlendorf (2-0, 2.58), 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park.
• Scouting report: Eovaldi hasn’t won in his past seven starts. In his last three outings, Eovaldi is 0-2 with a 5.82 ERA. Ohlendorf is 1-4 with 4.78 ERA in his career against the Marlins.