On a day that began with the sobering news Jose Fernandez is injured and could be lost for the season, the bad times continued for the Marlins on Monday when the Dodgers handed them their fourth consecutive defeat.
The Dodgers played punching bag with Tom Koehler and the rest of the Marlins’ pitching staff in a 6-5 victory.
“It’s been a tough day,” said manager Mike Redmond.
Koehler, who was coming off back-to-back performances in which he had not allowed a run, was all over the map and walked five before being lifted with two outs in the fourth.
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Koehler, who threw 103 pitches, became only the second pitcher in Marlins history to throw as many as 100 pitches in fewer than four innings. The other was Mark Redman, who totaled 100 pitches in only three innings on July 12, 2003.
“I really struggled with command of breaking pitches,” Koehler said. “When you’re not throwing breaking pitches for strikes, they’re able to eliminate it.”
The Dodgers weren’t done happily accepting free passes after Koehler was finished, either.
Henry Rodriguez, who was called up Sunday, walked four batters in only 2/3-inning of relief work. The Marlins combined to walk 10 -- two shy of the team record for a 9-inning game.
Over the four-game losing streak, the Marlins’ starters have given up 16 earned runs in 17 2/3 combined innings. Only one of them -- Fernandez -- made it into the sixth inning, and he was knocked out after giving up a grand slam and not retiring a batter in the sixth.
“It’s a little weird,” Koehler said of the string of poor starts. “But now we’ve all had them and it’s time to step up and show what we’re really capable of doing.”
Unfortunately for Fernandez and the Marlins, that grand slam by the Padres’ Jedd Gyorko could be the last batter he faces for quite some time if he has Tommy John surgery.
“We’ve thrown the ball well as a staff, so if we look at it as we have to do something totally different (with the loss of Fernandez from the rotation), then we’re going to get in trouble,” Koehler said. “We need to just continue to do what we’ve done all year. You can’t replace a guy like that. It’s just not doable.”
For Koehler, his personal road woes continued in Dodger Stadium. He is now 0-3 this season on the road compared to 3-0 at Marlins Park. Then again, the road remains the Marlins’ Achilles. for the Marlins in general. They are now 3-13 in road games -- worst in the majors.
Monday’s game began on a high note for the Marlins when Giancarlo Stanton drove in a run in the first and Miami added two more runs in the third on a Christian Yelich homer and Stanton RBI single.
Both Yelich and Stanton, who extended his hitting streak to a career-long 14 consecutive games, both were raised in the Los Angeles area: Yelich in Thousand Oaks and Stanton in Panorama.
But the 3-1 lead wasn’t long in evaporating.
Koehler walked Drew Butera and Dee Gordon in the fourth before Yasiel Puig hit a 3-run homer to put the Dodgers on top. The Dodgers added two more runs in the fifth off Rodriguez, who walked Matt Kemp after nearly drilling him in the head with one off-target pitch.
Reed Johnson came off the bench for the Marlins in the eighth and delivered a pinch-hit home run off Brian Wilson, a 2-run shot to left that cut the Dodgers’ lead to one run. It was the sixth pinch-hit home run of Johnson’s career, and the first of the year for the Marlins.
But the Marlins came up empty in the ninth against Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen.