The Marlins ended their longest homestand of the season Sunday with another disappointing performance.
Rookie pitcher Anthony DeSclafani suffered his shortest and worst outing of his brief major-league career as the Marlins gave up a season-high 11 runs in an 11-5 defeat to the Mets at Marlins Park.
The Marlins (37-38) lost their second in a row and dropped under .500 for the first time since April 30.
“This obviously was not a good homestand and we all recognize that, but we have to turn the page,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. “It’s not time to panic. We just have to keep fighting.”
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They finished what began as a promising 10-game home stretch with a 3-7 record, winning only one game each against the Pirates, Cubs and Mets — all teams with sub-.500 records.
The Marlins have dropped their 12of their past 18 games at home — a stark change for a team that went a major league-best 19-6 during its first 25 home games.
The silver lining for the Marlins is that they dropped only 2 1/2 games out of first place in the National League East after entering the homestand one game behind the Braves and Nationals.
“We just have to keep playing and stay with it,” Redmond said. “This is a great group of guys and nobody is quitting in [that clubhouse]. “We’re just going through some bumps in the road. It happens to every team. Up to now we have played good baseball. We just have to ride this out.”
The serious problem for the Marlins, who begin a four-game road series in Philadelphia Monday, has been lack of hitting.
The Marlins hit only .218 as a team over the past 10 games and averaged 3.4 runs per game during the homestand.
The Marlins also suffered some setbacks during the homestand, losing shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria for two games with a sore elbow.
They also lost shortstop Rafael Furcal to another potentially long-term injury even though he had been hitting only .171 in nine games.
And they are still waiting for left fielder Christian Yelich to return from the disabled list.
“It may take a great pitching performance or a huge hit or a series of both to get us out of this,” Redmond said. “We’re not there right now, but we’ll get there.”
The Marlins did snap a 15-inning scoreless streak Sunday but managed its offensive output only after falling behind 7-0 by the fourth inning.
Reed Johnson, who started in left field, doubled home a run, and Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna each drove in runs to cut the Mets’ lead to 7-3. But with the bases loaded, Jon Niese struck out Derek Dietrich to end the inning.
The Mets (35-41) scored two runs in the second and third and chased DeSclafani from the game in the fourth when Daniel Murphy blasted a fastball over the right-center field fence for a three-run home run.
All seven runs surrendered by DeSclafani were earned and he struck out only one, walking two and giving up seven hits in 3 2/3 innings. The Mets finished with a season-high 17 hits.
“It definitely wasn’t the start I wanted,” DeSclafani said. “Pretty much my slider was a non-factor, and I fell behind hitters. I had fastballs flying into the zone. I didn’t give my team a chance to get outs and have a chance to win. That falls on me for sure.”
DeSclafani’s ERA rose to 7.59 as the Marlins continue to lack a consistent fifth starter in its rotation. Jacob Turner, who lost his spot in the rotation to DeSclafani, entered the game in relief but also gave up four runs on seven hits in three innings.
“I’m happy we battled back, but then we gave it all right back,” Redmond said. “We gave up way too many big numbers in innings, and that crushes you.”
Stanton left the game after seven innings Sunday in what Redmond said was a precautionary move to give the Marlins right fielder some rest.
Stanton, who left Wednesday’s game against the Cubs early with what was reported as a wrist contusion, went 2 for 3 and recorded his 25th multi-hit game of the season He entered Sunday tied for ninth in the National League in that category.
Backup first baseman Justin Bour recorded his first career extra-base hit and multi-RBI game when he belted a double to right field in the bottom of the ninth that drove in two runs.