One big ugly inning has usually been what spells doom for Jacob Turner.
On Wednesday, it was two things: a four-run third inning and a hard liner back to the mound in the fourth. The latter nailed Turner above his right hip and just below his ribs, helped end his night early and punctuated another rough start for the Marlins’ young right-hander.
With Yu Darvish pitching, the Rangers didn’t need much else. Texas put an end to the Marlins’ 13-game interleague record-tying win streak with a 6-0 shutout behind their ace in front of 31,512 at Globe Life Park. It was the first of Darvish’s career.
“When you go up against a front-line pitcher, a guy where you know it is going to be tough to score runs, you’ve got to play better baseball than that,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. “By no means is it one area. We made some mistakes running the bases. We made some defensive mistakes. It’s not one of our better games.”
The Marlins (34-31) still ended their road trip on the winning side for the first time this season at 4-3. And they’ll return home to open a 10-game homestand Friday — likely with second baseman Rafael Furcal in the lineup for the first time all season.
Wednesday, though, it was Turner’s continuing struggles that were the story. With top prospect Andrew Heaney waiting in the wings, Turner did little to evoke confidence.
His performance wasn’t very good before Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor drilled him with a laser shot back to the mound with one out in the fourth. Turner, 23, stayed in the game and finished the inning. But he didn’t return after that, giving up six hits and five earned with one walk and four strikeouts on 75 pitches in matching his shortest outing of the season.
Afterward Turner said he could have continued pitching. Redmond, though, didn’t let him.
“It got me pretty good, but it got me in a pretty good spot,” Turner said. “I felt like I could have gone back out. But obviously they went somewhere else. It tightened up a little bit, but it didn’t really affect how I felt out there.”
Turner is now 2-4 on the season and his ERA stands at 6.38 — worst among National League pitchers with at least nine starts.
After being acquired from the Tigers in the Anibal Sanchez-Omar Infante trade in 2012, Turner made it past the sixth inning in five of his first seven starts for the Marlins and looked like a promising prospect.
But he has only been able to get through six innings now in 14 of his last 29 starts. He is now 6-16 with a 4.27 ERA in 36 starts for the Marlins.
In all four of his losses this season big innings have hurt Turner.
Wednesday, he retired six of the first seven hitters he faced before he became unraveled in the third.
He gave up a leadoff walk, a single and then a bases-clearing double to Shin-Soo Choo, who drove in four runs for the Rangers (32-34). The fourth Rangers’ run scored on a wild pitch by Turner, who was later called for a balk in the fourth which led to another run.
In the end, that was all Darvish really needed.
After Christian Yelich led off the game with a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch, the Marlins didn’t have another runner get into scoring position the rest of the game.
Of the Marlins’ six hits, four came with two outs and nobody on base. Marcell Ozuna led off the seventh with a sharp single to left. But he was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double with a pinpoint throw by Michael Choice.
Darvish struck out 10 and walked three on 116 pitches.
It’s only the third time this season the Marlins have been shut out and the first time since April 27 at the Mets. Miami was shut out 18 times last season.
“He’s just one of those guys who has a bunch of pitches he can throw for strikes,” Yelich said. “He’s got an above-average fastball, four-seamer. He’s got a cutter, slider, curveball, split. He might have a changeup. I don’t know. He was throwing them all. Those days are going to happen. I think you just kind of learn from that and move on.”