One of these days, Jacob Turner is bound to win his first game in an opposing ballpark. It just won’t happen this year.
Making his final road start of the season, Turner remained winless away from home for his career when the Washington Nationals kept their slim playoff hopes alive with an 8-0 victory Friday night in which the Marlins were held to two measly hits.
Turner (3-8) is now 0-9 in his career on the road.
And the Marlins remained winless this season at Nationals Park, where they have lost all eight of their meetings against the Nationals. It is the Marlins’ longest road losing skid against one opponent since they lost nine in a row to the Reds in Cincinnati from 2006 to ’09.
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Turner was locked in a scoreless pitching duel with the Nationals’ Jordan Zimmermann until the sixth when Washington unleashed its offense with a seven-run outburst in which it sent 11 men to the plate.
“It’s not about who throws the ball well for five innings,” Turner said. “Their guy went nine. That’s really the ultimate goal as a starter.”
The loss for the Marlins was their 98th, tied for the second-most in franchise history with the 1999 team that finished 64-98. The 1998 Marlins hold the record for futility by losing 108 games.
Despite what will show up as an ugly pitching line alongside his name, Turner pitched well for five innings, scattering three singles and issuing just one walk.
“Pleased with the first five innings and the sixth definitely frustrating,” Turner said.
But Zimmermann (19-8) was so much better.
The Marlins (56-98) were hitless against him until Donovan Solano singled up the middle with two outs in the sixth. Chris Coghlan singled with two outs in the ninth to prevent the Marlins from suffering their ninth one-hit loss in team history.
Zimmermann retired the first 11 batters before issuing a walk to Giancarlo Stanton in the fourth. He struck out five in a row at one point and finished with nine whiffs.
“He was nasty,” Solano said.
Logan Morrison cited several factors for what has been a mostly disappointing season: his continuing recovery from two knee operations in two years, inconsistent mechanics at the plate, inconsistent playing time and the large dimensions at Marlins Park.
“I think, honestly, what it is is not playing for a long time and then coming back and trying to be consistent, and just not really knowing how to do that, forgetting how and trying to remember,” Morrison said.
Morrison, who missed the first two months of the season while working his way back from a second surgery to his right knee, has hit only .229 since the All-Star break, and his six home runs are tied for the fewest among major-league first basemen with at least 300 plate appearances. Morrison has hit only one home run all season at home — albeit a tape-measure blast — compared with five on the road.
“It’s definitely a factor,” Morrison said of the Marlins’ huge ballpark. “And that translates into the average not being there, too. You drive balls to the wall and they get caught. Not only is it not a homer, it’s not a hit.”
Morrison is not alone among Marlins players who would like to see the team bring the fences in.
“I think that would make it fair,” Morrison said. “But it’s not my decision.”
Morrison said he is looking forward to his first surgery-free offseason since 2010-11.
“I hope it makes all the difference,” Morrison said. “Actually being able to build strength in my legs instead of having to rehab and get my other leg as strong as my nonsurgical leg and having a nice relaxed offseason without adding scars would be good.”
He will also begin the salary arbitration process for the first time following the season.
Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (3-10, 4.51 ERA) at Washington Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg (7-9, 2.96), 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park.
Marlins LHP Brian Flynn (0-2, 9.64) at Nationals RHP Dan Haren (9-13, 4.88), 1:35 p.m., Nationals Park.
Strasburg takes the mound after having his start pushed back two days because of forearm soreness. Two of Strasburg’s previous three outings have been against the Marlins. On the season, he has gone 2-1 with a 5.82 ERA in four starts against Miami.