Whatever Marcell Ozuna is doing before games at Marlins Park, he might want to let Adam Conley in on his little secret.
While Ozuna was busy launching two more home runs at home Monday night, Conley took another pounding.
The lefty gave up six hits, three walks, seven earned runs and didn’t get out of the fourth inning as the St. Louis Cardinals cruised to a 9-4 victory and the Marlins (13-18) lost for the 10th time in their last 13 games.
“Just not very good,” said Conley, who is now 0-3 with a 14.60 ERA in four games at home and 2-3 with a 7.53 ERA overall.
“There’s no real other way to put it. I wasn’t able to miss bats when I needed to, three walks, not very efficient. Pitch count ran up. Between the three pitches at times one or the other would be good and I just didn’t really have that consistency throughout the start.”
Marlins skipper Don Mattingly wasn’t around to see all of Conley’s start in person. He was ejected by plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt for arguing a called strike three on Derek Dietrich at the end of the second inning. It was Mattingly’s second ejection this season.
He didn’t miss much of a contest.
The Cardinals (17-14) took a 3-0 lead in the second inning on a bases-clearing double by pitcher Carlos Martinez, who came in 0-for-11 at the plate this season.
“I have to be able to get him out there,” Conley said. “Twice I threw him fastballs away. Looking back now of course in hindsight it’s probably the best shot he’s got at hitting. So I’ve got to get in there on him or throw him a breaking ball or something different. I know he can swing it a little bit. He’s a great athlete. The guy throws it 100. I just had to be better there and I think one time I shook to it. I just have to be better there. I have to be able to put that guy away.”
Martinez, who pitched six innings to pick up the victory, then struck with his bat again in the fourth with an RBI single to off Conley, who was yanked by bench coach Tim Wallach after giving up a two-run triple to Matt Carpenter three batters later.
The Marlins (13-18) fell behind 7-0 when reliever Brian Ellington gave up an RBI double to Jedd Gyorko two pitches after Conley went to the showers.
“I wish I knew enough about pitching mechanics to be able to talk mechanically, but I don’t,” Mattingly said of Conley’s start. “Obviously, the results weren’t there. It just seemed like a lot of balls flat up in the zone. No real bite to the breaking ball. He just couldn’t get the ball where he wanted to. It’s something we've been talking about with him. We talked about it earlier in the year with him, in Spring Training. He's had some good outings and rough outings.”
Ozuna and Giancarlo Stanton proved to be the lone bright spots for Miami.
Stanton crushed a 419-foot solo home run to center in the ninth, his fourth in his last three games.
Ozuna recorded his third mutli-homer game of his career and second this season.
He crushed a 433-foot home run to center field off Martinez in the fourth to make it 7-2. Then, in the sixth, he took Martinez deep again, a 378-foot blast to left-center field.
Ozuna has hit seven of his 11 home runs at Marlins Park and driven in 16 of his 29 RBI at home.
After his last at-bat, a line out to right field, Ozuna reached for the back of his right thigh as he was running to first base. Ozuna, though, didn’t seem too worried about it after the game.
“It felt like it was getting tight, but I’m OK,” Ozuna said. “That’s happened [a few] times. But at times it’s pulled a little harder, not like its going to pull so bad, but a little bit. Tomorrow I’ll drink some more water and go play.”
▪ Monday’s game opened a nine-game homestand for Miami. The Marlins play 19 of 25 overall at home through June 4.
▪ Monday’s game was played with the roof open for the first time since Opening Night. The Marlins are 0-2 this season with the roof open.