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.”