If the Miami Marlins can't find a way to end the longest stretch without a run in club history Monday night, they might wonder if they will ever score again this season.
That's because their next contest is in another hitter-friendly ballpark against a pitcher who has been awful in three big-league starts and struggled in his most recent outing in the minors.
Miami (35-61) has gone 37 innings without a run, the longest drought by any team in 28 years. The Houston Astros were held scoreless for 42 consecutive innings in July 1985.
The Marlins pitched well this weekend in limiting Milwaukee to nine runs over 28 innings, but were swept in the three-game set as they batted .143 (15 for 105).
Miami went 0 for 16 with runners in scoring position at Miller Park and the frustration was evident after Sunday's 1-0, 13-inning defeat."We continue to get great pitching, but our bats have been hit or miss - a lot more miss," infielder Ed Lucas said. "We just can't get that timely hit. It's pretty embarrassing to have a three-game series and not score a run."
If the Marlins get shut out in nine innings Monday, it would be the second-longest streak since 1918. The Chicago Cubs went 48 innings without a run June 15-21, 1968.
The Marlins haven't scored since Derek Dietrich drove in two runs in the fourth inning of a 5-2, 10-inning loss to Washington on July 14."To get completely shut out in what I think is the best hitters' park in baseball is unbelievable," manager Mike Redmond said.
It should be easier Monday. An average of 8.6 runs is scored in games at Miller Park, but that figure jumps to 9.7 at Coors Field.
Facing Pomeranz (0-3, 8.76 ERA) figures to also give the Miami offense some hope. The left-hander will be recalled from the minors after he was sent down July 11.
Pomeranz has issued 14 walks over 12 1-3 innings with Colorado (48-51) this year.
"I just want to reset," he told the Rockies' official website. "The walks were killing me. I was walking people and thinking too much, trying to do too much out there."
He allowed seven runs over 5 1-3 innings in a start Tuesday for Double-A Tulsa, but attributed the performance to a slider he has added to his repertoire. Pomeranz has failed to pitch past the fifth inning in 15 straight major league starts.
No Marlins hitter has faced Pomeranz more than twice.
The Rockies' Nolan Arenado can relate to those woes as he was hitless in 18 at-bats before singling in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning of Sunday's 4-3 win over the Cubs."Lately, I haven't been coming through for my teammates like I wish I could," Arenado said. "But I've just got to keep hitting the ball hard and that's all I can do."
Miami will start right-hander Tom Koehler (1-5, 4.70), who has never faced Colorado. The Marlins have won three of his last five outings after losing 10 of his first 11.
|June 25, 2013||Justin Ruggiano||Day-to-Day||Sore left shoulder|
|June 09, 2013||Chris Coghlan||15-Day DL||Right calf irritation|
|June 09, 2013||Casey Kotchman||15-Day DL||Strained left oblique|
|May 27, 2013||Alex Sanabia||15-Day DL||Right groin discomfort|
|May 19, 2013||Matt Diaz||60-Day DL||Left knee bone contusion|
|May 08, 2013||Chris Valaika||60-Day DL||Fractured left wrist|
|July 15, 2013||Rafael Betancourt||15-Day DL||Appendicitis|
|July 08, 2013||Carlos Gonzalez||Day-to-Day||Sprained finger|
|July 08, 2013||Roy Oswalt||15-Day DL||Strained left hamstring|
|July 05, 2013||Carlos Gonzalez||Day-to-Day||Upper back strain|
|June 29, 2013||Jorge De La Rosa||Day-to-Day||Left game - left thumb|
|June 26, 2013||Dexter Fowler||15-Day DL||Right wrist soreness|
DENVER (AP) -- Runs at hitter-friendly Coors Field aren't normally cause for celebration. The Miami Marlins beg to differ.
After going eight days without crossing the plate, the Marlins scored twice in the first inning Monday night. It led to high-fives and cheering in the dugout. More important, it led to a victory.
Tom Koehler tossed seven strong innings, Ed Lucas homered and the Miami Marlins scored for the first time in four games in a 3-1 win over the Colorado Rockies .
"You know it's going to happen eventually," Lucas said. "You hope. It was important for us to do it early and get that monkey off our back."
Giancarlo Stanton reached base three times and Steve Cishek notched his 18th save for Miami, which snapped a four-game losing streak.
Troy Tulowitzki hit his 17th home run and D.J. LeMahieu had three hits for the Rockies, who are 2-2 in a key 10-game homestand.
The Marlins' scoring drought reached a franchise-record 37 innings after a three-game sweep at Milwaukee over the weekend. They had not scored since Derek Dietrich 's two-run homer in the fourth inning of a loss to Washington on July 14.
They failed to score the last six innings of that game before being shut out in three straight games for the second time in franchise history.
The Marlins ended their frustration right away against Colorado. Lucas reached on a one-out single in the first and scored on Stanton's double to right. Stanton scored on a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.
"All the guys were pretty excited about us scoring a run there in the first. I saw a couple of fist pumps and I know the guys were having fun with it," manager Mike Redmond said.
"We knew it was going to come. As frustrating as the Milwaukee series was, these guys have done a good job of turning the page."
Lucas said the players have stayed positive despite the lack of runs, but finally breaking through helped relax the team.
"You could sense the relief in the dugout. A lot of chatter, a lot of chirping," he said. "A lot more energy in the dugout."
Lucas gave Miami a 3-0 lead when he crushed Drew Pomeranz 's 89 mph fastball down the left-field line to lead off the third.
It was another poor outing for Pomeranz (0-4), the centerpiece of the Ubaldo Jimenez trade with Cleveland two years ago. Pomeranz began this season in Triple-A before being called up June 28. He had an 8.76 ERA in three starts and was sent to Double-A Tulsa.
He was recalled Monday, but struggled against the Marlins, allowing three runs on five hits and four walks in 4 1-3 innings.
"I think maybe I'm just over-thinking a little bit, trying to be too fine with things instead of just attacking guys," Pomeranz said.
The Rockies' offense didn't help. Colorado has scored one run or less eight times in July.
"We got some hits, but we couldn't string anything together," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "You score one run, you're not going to win many games."
Koehler (2-5) looked sharp in his first start since July 2. His only blemish was Tulowitzki's homer to lead off the fourth that made it 3-1.
Michael Cuddyer followed with a double, but Koehler struck out Todd Helton and retired Wilin Rosario and Nolan Arenado to strand Cuddyer at third.
"I wasn't as upset with the home run as I was with the double," Koehler said. "Tulo's a great hitter. You get 3-0 and he's looking for one thing and put a charge into it. I was a little disappointed I didn't come back and get right back in the zone. It took me an extra hitter, but the strikeout to Helton was definitely was a big lift."
Koehler allowed one run on eight hits, struck out seven and didn't walk a batter in seven innings. It was the fourth time in 11 starts he has pitched at least seven innings.
"He had great command. He was pounding his fastball in and out and threw some great breaking balls," Redmond said. "They had some hits off him they hit hard, but he was in complete control. It was a great effort by him and on quite a few days of rest."
NOTES: The Rockies optioned INF Josh Rutledge to Triple A to make room for Pomeranz on the roster. ... After the game, Miami GM Larry Beinfest said the team optioned Dietrich and outfielder Marcell Ozuna to Double-A Jacksonville. Beinfest said the team will select the contracts of outfielders Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick from Jacksonville on Tuesday. The Marlins will announce corresponding moves to their 40-man roster at that time, Beinfest said. ... Marlins starters have allowed three or fewer runs in 26 of the last 30 games. ... The Rockies will send RHP Jhoulys Chacin (9-4, 3.50 ERA) to the mound against Miami's Jose Fernandez (5-5. 2.75) in the second game of the series Tuesday.