KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Miami Marlins put men on but struggled to get them in.
The Marlins stranded 11 runners and went 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position in a 6-2 loss to the surging Kansas City Royals on Monday night.
Miami loaded the bases in the fourth and seventh innings, but failed to score. Adeiny Hechavarria grounded out to end the fourth, while Ed Lucas flied out to left to end the seventh.
“You can look at it as a silver lining,” Lucas said. “We had a lot of guys left on base, but that means we’re getting on base. Guys continue to battle and to grow. Maybe our future holds a little better for us, whether it’s this year or next.”
The Marlins collected nine hits, drew four walks and Greg Dobbs was hit by a pitch. Despite having 14 baserunners, they delivered few clutch hits.
“We’re just not getting that big hit,” Lucas said. “It’s been the story of the last few months. We had a pretty good pitching performance. We just couldn’t get the hits when it counted. We’ve got to do a better job with runners in scoring position, myself especially.
“The past week or so I’ve had some pretty good opportunities. Things always seem to go that way when you’re losing.”
The Marlins have lost eight of their last nine games.
“We haven’t exactly been putting up offensive record-type performances, so we depend more on timely hits and we didn’t get them tonight,” Lucas said. “We need to do a better job of getting the hits when we need them.”
Wade Davis came off the family emergency leave list and pitched six solid innings to pick up the victory.
“He never gave in,” Lucas said. “He just kept nibbling around the corners and not giving us too much to hit.”
The Royals won for the 17th time in 20 games.
Davis had not pitched since Aug. 2, returning to Florida to be with his family after the death of his stepbrother on Aug. 3.
Davis (6-9) allowed two runs and six hits while striking out three and walking two.
Marlins starter Tom Koehler (3-8) held the Royals hitless until two out in the fourth, when they pieced together four straight hits. Justin Maxwell’s triple scored Mike Moustakas, who had an infield single for the first hit. Chris Getz’s single up the middle brought home Maxwell.
“Consistency is something I’ve tried to build on and obviously I haven’t had it these last two outings,” Koehler said. “I just have to keep working.”
Getz, Alcides Escobar and Jarrod Dyson, the bottom third of the Royals’ order, combined for six hits, a walk, three runs, three stolen bases and three RBIs. Getz went 3 for 4 in his first game off the disabled list.
Escobar, Dyson and David Lough stroked run-producing hits in a three-run sixth as the Royals snapped a 2-all tie.
In the top of the inning, Logan Morrison and Greg Dobbs punched RBI doubles off Davis.
“They didn’t hit (Koehler) hard, but they made the most of their hits,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. “It seems like that’s the way we’re going and we’re not scoring enough runs to cover up any mistakes.”
Billy Butler homered to lead off the seventh against Ryan Webb to extend his hitting streak to six games. He is hitting .438 with six extra-base hits on the homestand.
Moustakas left in the fifth with a strained left calf and will be examined further Tuesday. Newly acquired Jamey Carroll hit for him and remained in to play third.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press