Marlins pitcher Jacob Turner’s job right now is to impress the organization, manager Mike Redmond said Saturday.
Score Sunday as a missed opportunity.
After losing his starting spot when the Marlins traded for Jarred Cosart on Thursday, only to regain it when Henderson Alvarez hit the 15-day disabled list Friday, Turner lasted just four innings Sunday.
He gave up five runs on a season-high nine hits, taking the loss in a 7-3 defeat against Cincinnati.
“Today he just struggled really from the start trying to command his pitches,” Redmond said. “He missed his spots by a good margin and when you do that against major-league hitters, they make you pay.”
Turner (4-7) had surrendered three runs in 10-plus innings over his previous two starts since rejoining the rotation, but the Reds (56-55) jumped on him early Sunday.
Two hits and a walk led to a run in the second inning, and a pair of singles and a double scored two in the third. In the fourth inning, Turner drew scattered boos as a walk paired with three singles brought two more runners home.
“I didn’t get ahead of anybody [Sunday],” Turner said. “I just couldn’t locate the fastball, and it’s extremely frustrating from my end to not give my team a chance to win.”
Every Reds starter except for pitcher Mike Leake (9-9) reached base at least once against Turner.
And it could have been worse.
Giancarlo Stanton made a diving catch in the right-field corner that saved at least one run in the second inning, and Marcell Ozuna gunned down Jay Bruce at third base to get Turner out of another threatening situation in the fourth.
Miami’s offense did not give Turner much help, though. Leake held the Marlins (54-57) to three hits and one run over his six innings of work.
Garrett Jones hit a two-run home run, his 12th homer of the year, off reliever J.J. Hoover in the eighth, but Miami still finished with just five hits. Cincinnati tallied 15 hits to win its third game of the four-game series.
In the third inning, the Marlins squandered a bases-loaded, no-outs opportunity, when Jordany Valdespin grounded into a fielder’s choice out at home, Stanton struck out and Casey McGehee grounded out.
Stanton was 0 for 4 with four strikeouts.
“We had some chances with runners in scoring position where had we gotten a big hit or two, it could have changed the entire outcome of this series,” Redmond said. “Those guys executed their game plan better than we did.”
Jeff Mathis brought home Miami’s first run with a fourth-inning single after Adeiny Hechavarria doubled.
Mathis was playing on back-to-back days for the second time since June. Redmond said Saturday that starter Jarrod Saltalamacchia was dealing with a sore back, though Saltalamacchia said he felt fine before the game.
Mathis failed to bring Hechavarria home a second time, though. After the shortstop started the bottom of the ninth inning with a triple, Mathis struck out. Reds reliever Jonathan Broxton then struck out pinch-hitter Reed Johnson and Christian Yelich to end the game.
After Turner was pulled, Miami reliever Sam Dyson gave up two unearned runs over three innings, and Dan Jennings allowed two hits but no runs over the game’s final two frames.
Sunday’s loss ends a stretch of 17 games in as many days. During the period, Miami ended a six-game losing streak and put together a six-game winning streak. Thursday, the Marlins lost in part due to a controversially overturned call at home plate and Saturday they won on a Yelich walk-off.
“Guys are beat up; it’s been an emotional last three or four days, no doubt,” Redmond said. “We need a day off.”