Reporting Tim Kephart
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OAKLAND, Calif. (CBSMiami.com) – Don’t look now, but the Marlins are threatening to win their first series in the month of June on the final day of one of the most miserable months in the history of baseball.
Behind a five-hit, shutout performance by Ricky Nolasco, the Marlins knocked off the Oakland Athletics Wednesday night, 3-0. Hanley Ramirez and Logan Morrison both homered for the Marlins in the victory.
The Marlins are 4-23 in the month of June and have not won a series all month. That could change Thursday when the Marlins and A’s battle in an afternoon game on the west coast.
During the Marlins’ June swoon, the Fish went from being tied for first place at the end of May to being all alone in dead last in the NL East by the end of the month. The Marlins are currently 15.5 games behind the division leading Philadelphia Phillies.
In Wednesday night’s victory, Nolasco (5-4) overcame a shaky start for his first win since May 24, and that came across the bay against San Francisco. He struck out three and walked two for his fifth career complete game.
Oakland was held scoreless for the ninth time this season and second in four games.
The offensive power came after McKeon’s unusual team meeting.
The 80-year-old turned the clubhouse into a classroom for about 15 minutes before batting practice, even using a bat as a prop while he delivered his speech to hitters. He made his players chuckle with tales about former A’s owner Charles Finley when McKeon managed Oakland from 1977-78 and gave more instruction than motivation.
“We had an educational meeting,” McKeon said. “It wasn’t one of my usual, ‘Go get ‘em, babies.’ It was educational, how we’ve got to go about it.”
Whatever the reason, the Marlins finally started to swing the bats.
Ramirez’s drive in the first inning landed over the 400-foot sign in straightaway center field for his first home run since May 21. It was his fifth of the year and it put Florida ahead 2-0. Morrison added a solo shot to right in the fourth to give the Marlins a three-run lead.
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