Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said that he would be testing his team’s young arms in the final month of the season. On Wednesday the Marlins’ fans saw the consequences.
With Miami trailing a tight ball game 2-1, the Brewers erupted with a pair of two-run home runs to spoil reliever Tom Koehler’s debut and grab a 6-1 lead in the seventh.
The Marlins (60-77) staged an immediate four-run seventh-inning rally of their own, but a base-running miscue led to a costly out and halted what could have been an even bigger inning.
Following a Donovan Solano single, Greg Dobbs was held at third, leaving Bryan Petersen caught in a run-down between second and third base. The out all but killed the rally, and Miami fell 8-5.
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“When you run the base you have to be aware and the third-base coach should be aware of the rest.” Guillen said. “I think everything was wrong in that play. There aren’t any particular people you can blame. That’s the No. 935 way we find to lose.”
The loss means that the Marlins’ dismal homestand continues. Not only is the team 2-6 on this homestand, but Wednesday’s reported paid attendance of 22,288 was just 46 above the club’s lowest attendance of the year.
All six of the Brewers’ runs came off of two-run homers. Two of them came off of the bat of Rickie Weeks, both of his dingers landing in the Marlins Park swimming pool in left field.
In contrast to Guillen, Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke received an impressive performance out of a rookie pitcher of his own.
Making his first career start, Wily Peralta pitched six-plus innings and gave up three runs to earn the victory. It was the right hander’s first appearance since he made his debut on April 22.
Starter Nathan Eovaldi came away with the loss, with one swing of the bat doing him in. That came with two outs, as Weeks followed up a Norichika Aoki single with a 418-foot home run in the third inning.
Eovaldi went five innings, striking out four and allowing two runs on four hits.
“Eovaldi pitched a very good ball game,” Guillen said.
The Marlins cut their deficit in half in the fourth inning, as Carlos Lee led things off with a double down the right field line.
Two batters later, John Buck swung at Peralta’s first pitch and singled home Lee. Buck would eventually reach second, but Petersen flew out to end the inning.
Still clinging to the 2-1 lead, the Brewers broke open the game against Koehler in the seventh.
Weeks hit his second home run of the night — once again batting home Aoki — to make it 4-1. Corey Hart then hit his 28th home run of the season to increase the Brewers’ lead to five.
But the Marlins bats quickly awoke, stringing together a walk, four singles and a hit by pitch to produce four runs and make it 6-5. Jose Reyes, Dobbs, Solano and Petersen all had RBI in that inning.
Hart, who finished 2 for 4 with four RBI, later hit a two-run double in the ninth to put the game to bed, 8-5.