Winning was the worst thing that could have happened to pitcher Kevin Slowey.
Or so it would seem.
Outstanding in April when pathetic run support prevented him from recording a victory, Slowey has been a disaster on the mound ever since ending a three-season winless drought on May 5.
Arizona shelled Slowey on Friday night, belting three home runs off the right-hander and knocking him out after three innings in a 9-2 victory at Marlins Park before the smallest crowd in the ballpark’s brief history: 13,444.
“I’m at a loss for words,” manager Mike Redmond said of the latest loss.
The loss was the sixth in a row for Miami and left it with a dismal record of 11-31, matching the 2006 team for the worst start in franchise history at the 42-game mark.
These Marlins can only hope history repeats itself.
The ’06 team caught fire after its lousy start under rookie manager Joe Girardi, climbed back above .500, entered the fringe of playoff contention in early September and finished a respectable 78-84.
A lot will have to change for these Marlins to get back on track.
For starters, they’ll need to find a way to score more runs than the 2.8 they’ve been averaging. For another, they’ll need their pitching to perform better than Slowey did Friday when he was lit up by the Diamondbacks.
Slowey was tagged for home runs on back-to-back pitches in the first inning by Paul Goldschmidt and Eric Chavez, and Goldschmidt hit another one out in the Diamondbacks’ three-run third. In the second of the two home runs, Goldschmidt fouled off six consecutive 3-2 pitches before unloading.
The right-hander didn’t look like the same pitcher who finished April with an 0-2 record but a sparkling 2.15 ERA, one of the lowest figures in the majors. He finally won May 5 in Philadelphia, ending his three-year quest to record a victory.
But his two starts since have been awful.
After allowing only nine earned runs in six April starts, Slowey has given up 11 in the two outings since Philadelphia.
“Second time in a week I haven’t given my team a chance to win,” Slowey said.
Then again, Slowey still isn’t receiving much in the way of offensive support. After providing him with 14 runs in the Philly win against an ailing Roy Halladay, the Marlins have gone back to their meager ways. Since that 14-run outburst, the Marlins have lost nine of 10 games while scoring 16 total runs — or 1.6 per game.
The Marlins didn’t get on the board Friday off Arizona starter Trevor Cahill until the seventh when Rob Brantly drove in Miami’s only run with an RBI single.
Friday’s outcome brought a roster casualty.
Reliever Jon Rauch was designated for assignment following the game. Rauch entered in the ninth and failed to retire a batter, giving up four consecutive hits to the Diamondbacks before being lifted.
The Marlins called up left-handed pitcher Duane Below from Triple A New Orleans to take Rauch’s roster spot.
Rauch was 1-2 with a 7.56 ERA for the Marlins.
Below was 2-3 with a 4.06 ERA in parts of two seasons with Detroit before being claimed off waivers by the Marlins.