By spending $200 million on free agents last winter, the Marlins figured to get better. A lot better.
The Marlins lost for the 90th time Thursday, matching last season’s dismal total. And they still have six games remaining.
The Braves completed a sweep of their series with the Marlins in a 6-2 victory at Turner Field. The loss was seventh in a row for the Marlins, making it the longest drought of the season.
It was another night of costly miscues for the Marlins, as left fielder Bryan Petersen dropped a fly ball in the fourth inning that allowed two runs to score for the playoff-bound Braves.
“One of these days, when this kid pitches, we might play better for him,” manager Ozzie Guillen said of rookie starter Jacob Turner, whose record with the Marlins fell to 1-4. “I hope we do before his career is over. The last two outings he pitched, he pitched well. But I think his teammates let him down.”
Atlanta dominated the season series with the Marlins, winning 14 out of 18 games from its division rivals.
The Marlins had a 2-0 lead heading into the fourth when the Braves erupted for four runs off Turner. Two came in on Petersen’s costly two-out error.
With the bases loaded, Martin Prado sent a liner in Petersen’s direction. While he appeared to look the ball into his glove, it glanced off his webbing and fell to the grass.
“It’s a ball I have to catch,” Petersen said. “It kind of went in and out. There’s really not a whole lot of excuses I can make right there.”
The Marlins, who return to Miami on Friday to open their final homestand, closed out their road schedule by going 31-50 in opposing parks.
String of K’s
Detroit Tigers pitcher Doug Fister struck out nine batters in a row on Thursday, and the Marlins’ Ricky Nolasco knows exactly how that feels. Nolasco and Fister are two of the only four pitchers in major-league history to whiff nine in a row.
Tom Seaver holds the major-league record of 10 in a row.
“It’s hard to strike out one person,” Nolasco said. “To strike out nine in a row, you pretty much have to get lucky as heck, that’s all I can say.”
Nolasco struck out nine consecutive Braves in Atlanta on Sept. 30, 2009.
Fister, who was facing the Kansas City Royals, joined Nolasco, San Diego’s Jake Peavy in 2007 and the Dodgers’ Aaron Harang to strike out nine consecutive batters.
“All the stars have to be aligned for that to happen,” Nolasco said.
Even though Giancarlo Stanton was crushing home runs during batting practice on Thursday at Turner Field, Guillen said he now intends to wait until Saturday before putting him in the lineup.
And even those plans aren’t set in concrete. He said if Stanton is unable to play this weekend, there might not be any sense in playing him in the final series of the season against the Mets. Stanton has been out with an intercostal injury.
“Shut it down, go home,” Guillen said. “Why play three games?”
Friday: Marlins LHP Mark Buehrle (13-13, 3.84 ERA) vs. Philadelphia Phillies LHP Cliff Lee (6-8, 3.18), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.• Saturday: Marlins RHP Ricky Nolasco (12-12, 4.35) vs. Phillies RHP Roy Halladay (10-8 4.40), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
• Scouting report: The Marlins return to Miami for their final homestand of the season, starting with a three-game series against Philadelphia.
The Marlins have gone 7-8 against the Phillies this season.