Logan Morrison couldn’t do it alone. He couldn’t put the Marlins on his shoulders and lift them to victory.
Morrison turned Fenway Park into a personal play toy, driving in five runs with a homer and two doubles off the Green Monster. But the slide continued for the slumping Marlins, who dropped a 7-5 decision to the Boston Red Sox and sunk below .500 for the first time since May 5.
“The team comes first,’’ Morrison said. “We’ve got to start winning games.’’
On a night when their dormant lineup finally showed a pulse, it was their pitching — and Mark Buehrle, in particular — that underscored the latest loss. Just like last year, June is turning into their baseball apocalypse.
“Buehrle didn’t have it [Tuesday],’’ manager Ozzie Guillen said.
It was not only a poor outing for Buehrle, it was his worst as a Marlin. Buehrle gave up home runs to David Ortiz, Kelly Shoppach and Cody Ross — the most allowed by the pitcher since the 2009 season — and he was finished after five innings.
Buehrle’s 24 inter-league victories are the most of any pitcher. But none has come with the Marlins, and Boston has had his number. He’s now 2-4 against the Red Sox, with two of those losses occurring within the past eight days. His record this month so far: 0-4 with a 5.48 ERA.
His subpar performance Tuesday came on a night when the Marlins finally mustered some life at the plate. After being shut out twice in Tampa Bay — once on a one-hitter and the second on a two-hitter — they produced their highest run output since June 3.
All thanks to Morrison.
Morrison, who served as the Marlins’ designated hitter, hit a two-run home run to right off Clay Buchholz in the first inning, caromed a one-run double off the Green Monster in the third, and doubled off the fabled wall for two more runs in the fifth. His five RBI marked a career high, and were the most ever for a Marlins DH.
It was Morrison’s first time seeing Fenway.
“The fans are great,’’ Morrison said. “I get in the on-deck circle for my fourth at-bat and [someone yelled], ‘Hey, take the rest of the night off. You’re crushing us.’ So that was fun. It’s definitely cozy.’’
But Morrison’s one-man performance wasn’t enough to offset Buehrle’s repeated failings. The Marlins’ first-inning lead vanished almost instantly when Ortiz took him deep to knot the score. The Red Sox grabbed the lead in the second on a two-run shot by Shoppach. And after the Marlins tied it 5-5 on Morrison’s second double off the Monster, Buehrle quickly gave up the go-ahead run to the Red Sox in the bottom of the fifth on a one-out sacrifice fly by Adrian Gonzalez.
“We come out and get two runs in the first inning, and I go out there and give it right back,’’ Buehrle said. “You try to throw up a zero after we score and I think twice I didn’t tonight, after we got the quick lead and after we tied it the fifth, I went back out and gave it right back up. I felt like stuff was working, but when I made a mistake, they made me pay for it.’’
Beyond Morrison, though, the Marlins continued to be hurt by the same problems that have plagued them not only in June, but throughout the season — a paucity of timely hitting.
They totaled 10 hits. but, aside from Morrison’s, they didn’t add up to anything. Down 7-5 in the seventh, Jose Reyes opened the inning by reaching third on an error by center fielder Ryan Kalish, who dropped a routine fly ball.
But with the infield playing back, conceding a run, Hanley Ramirez struck out, Giancarlo Stanton flied out to shallow left, and Morrison lined out to center, marking the only time during the game that he was retired.
“They got a man on third base with less than two outs and got a sacrifice fly,’’ Guillen said of Gonzalez’s sac fly in the fifth. “They did. We didn’t. We had our best three hitters. We had our second, third and fourth hitters at the plate and couldn’t get it done.’’
Morrison wasn’t infallible, either. After his double in the fifth, he tried to score from second on a ground ball that was backhanded by Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks. But after taking the throw for the out at first, Kevin Youkilis rifled a throw to the plate that beat Morrison by plenty.