Logan Morrison rattled Pesky’s Pole. But he also struck the Green Monster with such force that the impact shook the numbers on the hand-operated scoreboard.
The pole job was a home run — a solo shot — good for one Marlins run.
The Monster slam was Morrison himself crashing into the antique green wall as he tried, but did not succeed, in tracking down a bases-clearing double by Cody Ross. Three Red Sox runs scored.
That’s life in the loss lane for the Marlins.
The Red Sox unloaded on the unraveling Marlins in a 15-5 laugher at Fenway Park on Wednesday night. David Ortiz crushed a grand slam, Jarrod Saltalamacchia added a solo blast and Will Middlebrooks socked a two-run homer as the Red Sox went to (Bean)town on the Marlins.
“This is the kind of game that gets you down and try to wonder what’s going on,” Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said.
Said Morrison of the Marlins’ boon-to-bust season: “You think there would be a gradual falloff [from the team’s record May]. But it’s hot and cold. We’ve got to find a way to come out of it and just get warm.”
For those still keeping score at home, the Marlins lost for the 12th time in their past 14 games, slipped to two games under .500 for the first time since May 4 and lost to Boston for the fourth time in five tries this season. They get one last stab at the Red Sox on Thursday. But given how poorly things are going for them these days, they might wish to slip out of town under the cover of darkness and just forget they were ever here.
It has been that kind of misery for them, so dreadful that even their good moments contain bad. Example: In the seventh, with the game already out of reach, catcher John Buck connected on a solo homer down the line in left. But as the ball was heading toward the pole, Buck didn’t wave it to remain fair like Carlton Fisk. Instead, Buck grabbed his right hamstring before limping around the bases. He remained in the game to catch but was pulled in the ninth after taking one swing for a strike. Guillen said Buck had a leg cramp.
It’s hard to pick out one rock-bottom moment for the Marlins during their June skid, but Wednesday’s debacle ranked with the worst. Starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco was lit up like the Citgo sign that towers over Fenway, giving up nine runs on an equal number of hits in only 3 1/3 innings.
“Very frustrating,” Nolasco said. “I made a lot of bad mistakes that I probably shouldn’t have.”
For the month, Marlins starters are 3-13 with a 5.94 ERA. For the second night in a row, the Marlins started out on a promising note, scoring a run in the first and another in the second to take a 2-0 lead. But after a 1-2-3 first inning, Nolasco began imploding in 3’s.
He gave up a three-run homer to Mike Aviles in the second, a three-run double to Ross in the third and three more runs in the fourth and final inning for the right-hander. Chris Hatcher took over in mop-up duty and promptly gave up a bases-loaded blow to right by Ortiz. It was the 11th grand slam of Ortiz’s career. Saltalamacchia also took Hatcher deep to center, and the rout was on.
After starting 4-0, Nolasco is now just 6-6. He’s lost three in a row and five of his past seven starts. His performance was a far cry from his only previous appearance at Fenway, when he pitched a five-inning one-hitter in a 2009 game that was cut short by rain.
Morrison and Justin Ruggiano were about the only bright notes offensively. Morrison, who drove in five runs with a homer and two doubles Tuesday, kept up his Fenway assault Wednesday with a home run that hugged the right-field line and struck the foul pole, nicknamed for the former Red Sox slap hitter.
Ruggiano started in center and contributed a double and a triple. Gaby Sanchez drove in a pair of runs with a ground out and bloop single to center. But Austin Kearns struck out three times, including once with a runner at third and no outs. Giancarlo Stanton, the National League Player of the Month in May, remained in a June slump by going 0 for 3. Stanton is now hitting .172 this month with only one home run and three RBI.