Mat Latos didn’t make many mistakes Wednesday night, allowing only five runners to reach base over seven innings.
The problem: Every one of them scored.
The first two scored on Kolton Wong’s home run off the second deck in the third inning and the last three on Jason Heyward’s homer in the seventh.
With southpaw Jaime Garcia on the mound, it was all the offense needed as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Marlins 6-1 in front of 18,492 fans at Marlins Park.
Miami (30-43) has lost six of its past seven and is now a season-worst 13 games under .500. Since Mike Redmond was fired May 17, The Marlins are 14-21 under Dan Jennings. They were 16-22 this season under Mike Redmond when he was fired May 17.
Latos fell to 2-5 with a 5.49 ERA this season in 12 starts.
“It just seems to be a theme of my season. The minute I make a mistake, I’m getting hit,” he said.
“[First I was] ambushed on a changeup. It was right down the middle. And [then] I made a mistake with a fastball away. We’d been jamming Heyward pretty good all day. All of a sudden, we go away, and I made a mistake with a ball up out over the plate — five runs.”
Once again Wednesday it was Giancarlo Stanton who provided the Marlins’ offense. He had three of the team’s seven hits, and for the second consecutive day the 25-year-old slugger launched a missile into orbit.
His leadoff home run in the second inning – his major-league-leading 27th and the first he has crushed on the first pitch of an at-bat this season — traveled 454 feet to center field and landed in the soft bushy area above the wall.
It was the eighth homer he has hit this season 450 feet or longer and also his 12th this month, matching the club record for a month shared by Stanton (May 2012) and Dan Uggla (May 2008). Of Stanton’s 181 career homers, 113 have been solo blasts.
“We had Giancarlo lead off four innings,” Jennings said. “You have to get people on in front of him the way he’s swinging the bat right now. He crushes the home run, the [single] off the wall [in the seventh], the hard single up the middle [in the ninth].
“It’s not where he is in the lineup. We have to have guys on in front of him so that when he gets balls in the gap or hits a monster home run, it’s counting for two and three runs. We did not do that [Wednesday].”
With 16 games remaining before the All-Star break, Stanton is one home run and nine RBI shy of matching the club record prior to the All-Star Break (28 homers, 76 RBI) set by Mike Lowell in 2003.
Before the game, Jennings said it was “up to the rest of us to pick up” the Marlins offense with better situational hitting, moving runners into scoring position and “all the things that help you manufacture runs.”
The Marlins did none of that Wednesday.
They finished 0 for 4 with runners in scoring position, stranding Dee Gordon at second after he singled and stole his 25th base with one out in the third inning. Then, after J.T. Realmuto singled to put runners on first and second with one out in the seventh, Garcia worked himself out of the jam by getting Adeiny Hechavarria to fly out softly to center, and Donovan Solano to ground out back to the mound.
Garcia, now 3-3, lowered his ERA from 1.76 to 1.69 by going seven innings, scattering five hits and allowing no walks to go with four strikeouts.
“We’re not getting the hits when runners are on base, in bigger situations [we’re not] putting them together back to back in the same inning,” Stanton said. “At the end of the day, we’re still getting seven to 10 hits, but it’s a matter of how important they are.”