Kyle Lohse was a party-killer when the Marlins inaugurated their new ballpark last year. Pitching in his home park Friday, Lohse was no more hospitable.
The Marlins returned from the All-Star break looking very much like the punchless outfit manager Mike Redmond was hoping would become a thing of the past, dropping a 2-0 decision to the Brewers.
It was Lohse who drained the excitement out of the inaugural game at Marlins Park a season ago, taking a no-hitter into the seventh as the Marlins fell to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Different year. New team. Different venue.
But it was still the same Lohse, who won his fourth in a row against the Marlins in a battle of bottom-dwellers with the two worst records in the National League.
“We got really shut down, couldn’t get anything going against Lohse,” Redmond said. “Lohse did a nice job keeping us off balance, mixing it in and out.”
The Marlins opened the second half exactly the same way they began the season in April — with a shutout loss. It was also the first blanking for the majors’ lowest scoring team since May 22.
Jacob Turner gave up solo home runs to Juan Francisco and Carlos Gomez while the Marlins sputtered.
Redmond is hoping for much better in the second half, telling reporters before Friday’s game that offense was the one aspect he wished to see the greatest improvement. He didn’t see anything of the sort at Miller Park, where the Marlins produced five hits off Lohse over six innings before the Milwaukee bullpen took over and Francisco Rodriguez closed out matters.
Giancarlo Stanton, Logan Morrison and Marcell Ozuna each hit long fly balls that were caught on the warning track, and Morrison just missed coming up with his fifth home run when his long drive in the sixth curled just foul.
Long outs led to a long night for the Marlins.
Outside of Adeiny Hechavarria, the lineup did little.
Hechavarria had three opposite-field singles that lifted his average to .248, a shade higher than Stanton’s .245 mark. He’s had two or more hits in six of his past seven games and is hitting .444 this month.
“Hech had a good night with three hits,” Redmond said. “But we need those big boys at the top of the order to do the damage, and that didn’t happen.”
Redmond said there’s a chance he could move Hechavarria up higher in the order.
“It might be worth it,” Redmond said. “We’ll sleep on it tonight and see what we come up with tomorrow.”
The Marlins had few scoring chances.
Hechavarria singled to start the fifth and advanced to second when Brewers right fielder Jean Segura bobbled the ball for an error. But he went no further, as Lohse punched out Jeff Mathis and Justin Ruggiano on called third strikes and he induced a ground out from Turner. Ruggiano has gone hitless in his past 20 at bats.
Morrison doubled with two outs in the sixth. But Lohse closed out his evening by getting Ozuna on a fly ball to center.
In his past four starts against the Marlins dating to last season’s inaugural game in Miami, Lohse is 4-0 with a 1.63 ERA.
Turner was nowhere near his equal Friday.
“I definitely didn’t have my best stuff,” Turner said. “It was just a battle the whole time it felt like. Definitely some work to do between starts.”
The Brewers had runners aboard in every inning except the eighth, as Turner gave up five hits and walked four in five plus innings. Turner threw 101 pitches.
But the Brewers got their runs on a pair of solo shots. Francisco clubbed his 12th home run in the fourth while Gomez followed with his 15th one inning later.
“Gomez was an 0-2 pitch, and that was just a terrible pitch,” Turner said. “Francisco, I had him 1-2, and threw a couple of terrible pitches, got to 3-2, and threw another terrible pitch. There’s really no excuse for the home runs. They put good swings on bad pitches.”