The Miami Marlins’ seven-game winning streak came to an end Sunday, but even a 14-5 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers provided a glimpse into a team that just doesn’t go quietly.
Rough outings for starter Tom Koehler and reliever Cody Ege left the Marlins in an 11-1 hole after just four innings, yet they actually created some hope in the middle innings before finally being put down in the eighth.
While the last game was far from ideal, the Marlins flew home Sunday evening with a 7-3 mark on their 10-game trip and an overall mark of 12-12.
The true negative was Koehler’s day on the hill. He allowed six consecutive batters to reach in the third, including Chris Carter’s long two-run homer.
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“Early on I felt like I made some good pitches,” said Koehler, who fell to 2-3 and saw his ERA balloon to 7.25. “They did a good job hitting them.
“From there on out it was just, I guess you could call it a battle. They hit everything I threw. I didn’t have great command. I didn’t give the team a chance to win. I expect a lot more from myself.”
The score was just 5-1 when Koehler exited with the bases loaded. Ege came on and allowed all three runners to score and one of his own.
“[Koehler] fought his butt off, and I was in a situation I wanted to be in, where you come in and get a shutdown inning and pick up the starter,” the rookie left-hander Ege said. “I didn’t do that. I left too many balls over the plate, and it went south real quick.”
Trailing 11-1, the Marlins pulled within 11-5 and had two opportunities with runners on base in both the sixth and seven innings that could have made things much tighter.
Derek Dietrich, Martin Prado and J.T. Realmuto each had three hits, as the Marlins posted 16 of their own. But leaving 11 runners on base — one night after tying the club mark with 17 — kept the Marlins from making things interesting.
Dietrich figures to pick up most of the playing time in the wake of Dee Gordon’s 80-game suspension.
“I guess you could say, ‘You can’t win them all,’ but we’ve been playing great baseball,” Dietrich said. “Even today we showed we were coming back and putting together great at-bats late.
“It’s just one of those games. You can’t win them all, but we had a great road trip. I’m excited.”
Marlins manager Don Mattingly moved Dietrich to the third spot in the order, giving Christian Yelich the day off. Ichiro Suzuki took Yelich’s spot in left and batted in the leadoff spot.
After singling in the first, Dietrich laced an RBI triple in the fifth and scored on Giancarlo Stanton’s grounder. Marcell Ozuna’s second homer in as many days made it 11-4.
Dietrich delivered an RBI single in the sixth, as the Marlins chased Milwaukee starter Wily Peralta, but they couldn’t get the big hit to get any closer.
Stanton came up with two runners on in the sixth and flied out to center.
The Marlins put two more on in the seventh with one out, but Adeiny Hechavarria flied to center and Yelich grounded out to second in a pinch-hitting appearance.
Marlins relievers retired 12 consecutive batters after Martin Maldonado’s single in the fourth.
Ryan Braun broke that streak with a one-out single off Bryan Morris in the eighth.
That was the first of four consecutive hits that made the final margin ugly.
“It would’ve been nice to put a little cherry on the top of this trip, but it’s actually a really good trip for us,” Mattingly said.
“We got ourselves back to .500. From here, we can take off a little bit.”
▪ While he struggled on the mound, Ege collected his first major-league hit in the top of the fourth, beating out a roller to shortstop. As is the custom, he got to keep the ball.
“They gave it to me,” Ege said. “It’ll be cool to keep. But it’s by far the last thing on my mind today.”