Another new lineup for the Marlins yielded the same old fizzle. Team Sominex turned in another snoozer at the plate Thursday, coming up empty in a 9-0 setback to the Washington Nationals as the Marlins suffered their 16th shutout loss and 12th series sweep of the season.
It was the 64th time the Marlins have been held to two runs or less. It was also their worst thrashing since a 10-1 loss to Milwaukee on June 12 and their worst shutout loss since a 11-0 spanking by Tampa Bay last season.
Their lineup packed with right-handers to counter Nationals southpaw Gio Gonzalez, the Marlins produced yet another typical yawner, tapping out only four measly hits and providing more evidence — not that any more was necessary — that addressing the offense ought to be the front office’s top priority this winter.
Everything manager Mike Redmond has tried so far to spark the offense has gone for naught.
“We’re just going to keep mixing and matching until we find one [a lineup] that works,” Redmond told reporters before Thursday’s game. “We’ve been trying since April 1.”
The Marlins have lost eight of their past nine games and are in danger of reaching 100 losses on the season for only the second time in franchise history. In order to avoid a triple-digit number in the loss column, they will need to go no worse than 14-16 over the remaining 30 games. Given they have gone 10-20 over their previous 30 with no sign of letup, 100 losses is a distinct possibility.
Gonzalez wasn’t sharp early, but the Marlins couldn’t take advantage. The Marlins had the Hialeah native pinned against the wall in the second, loading the bases with two outs.
But the inning came to an unfulfilling end for the Marlins. Ed Lucas, who was 1 for 19 with runners in scoring position and two outs entering play Thursday, was retired on a shallow fly ball to center.
“We’re waiting on a two-out knock that never comes,” Redmond said.
The Marlins didn’t have many chances after that. Gonzalez struck out five over the next three innings and retired 16 of the final 17 batters he faced before his exit after seven.
Koehler fell to 3-9 with the loss after giving up a two-run homer to Bryce Harper in the fourth and a three-run shot to Jayson Werth in the sixth. Sam Dyson, who was called up Thursday as reinforcement for a tired bullpen, gave up three runs on five hits in two innings.
“Things kind of unraveled,” Koehler said.• Because of Wednesday’s rain delay that forced the Marlins’ bullpen to cover 6 1/3 innings, the club
called up the right-hander Dyson to replace Arquimedes Caminero, who was optioned to Triple A New Orleans after pitching one inning in the 4-3 loss Wednesday and giving up a game-tying home run to Jayson Werth.
Coming up• Friday : Marlins RHP Jose Fernandez (10-5, 2.30 ERA) at Atlanta Braves RHP Julio Teheran (10-7, 3.08), 7:30 p.m., Turner Field.
• Saturday : Marlins RHP Jacob Turner (3-5, 3.12) at Braves LHP Mike Minor (13-5, 2.99), 7:10 p.m., Turner Field.
• Scouting report : Fernandez will be making his first career start against the Braves. Fernandez has held opponents to two runs or fewer in each of his past eight starts. In his eight starts since his All-Star Game appearance, Fernandez has gone 5-0 with a 1.33 ERA.