MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – Things are just not going well for baseball fans in South Florida.
Even following an impressive victory, the Miami Marlins continue to stumble through a difficult campaign.
Now with another All-Star injured, the Marlins go up against the Cincinnati Reds’ red-hot Johnny Cueto on Sunday as they wrap up the first half of the season.
Miami (37-51) plated its most runs of the season in Saturday’s 14-3 win over Cincinnati (39-46), but lost Dee Gordon to a dislocated thumb in the process. Gordon, who was slated to be the NL’s starting second baseman at the All-Star Game, is likely to miss a week or two.
He leads the Marlins with a .338 average, and ranks second in baseball with 33 stolen bases, trailing only Cincinnati’s Billy Hamilton (44).
“There is definitely some relief it’s not as bad as it could have been,” Gordon said. “It’s just sore. I actually was moving it around afterward … It is what it is. You can’t sit there and cry about it.”
Miami’s .420 winning percentage ranks as the fifth-lowest pre-All-Star break record in franchise history, and with Giancarlo Stanton (left wrist fracture) also on the shelf, Miami will not have an active representative at Tuesday’s Midsummer Classic.
“When it rains it pours, apparently,” Stanton told MLB’s official website. “Never good to see. I just feel bad that he won’t be able to go and make his first start in the All-Star Game. … He’s trying to make plays. He’s trying to make stuff happen. It’s unfortunate, obviously.”
Dan Haren (6-5, 3.34 ERA) can add one more victory to that record Sunday when he looks for his first win since June 3. The right-hander’s ERA and WHIP (1.06) are his best since 2011, but he has received only nine total runs of support in his last six outings, wasting four quality starts.
Haren allowed only one run in six innings of a 4-3 loss to Boston on Tuesday, and took the loss against Cincinnati on June 19, surrendering two runs in 6 1-3 innings of a 5-0 defeat.
Miami could struggle to support their starter again Sunday against Cueto (6-5, 2.61), who tossed a two-hitter in a 5-0 win at Washington on Tuesday. The right-hander has a 1.17 ERA in his last three outings, but just a 3.36 ERA on the road this season, compared with a 1.64 at home.
Cueto owned a 7.08 ERA in four starts at Miami from 2008-2012 before rebounding with seven solid innings in a 3-1 win at Marlins Park on July 31.
The Reds can wrap up their first half with a 4-2 road trip, but have averaged only 2.4 runs through the first five games. Todd Frazier’s production has slowed, as the All-Star third baseman has not scored a run in 11 games, and Joey Votto is 2 for 9 in his last three.
More concerning, however, is the play of Cincinnati’s bullpen, which allowed nine runs and 13 hits – the most given up by their relievers since 2009 – in 3 2-3 innings Saturday after working 6 1-3 scoreless innings over their previous three games.
“We just made a lot of mistakes,” manager Bryan Price said. “There’s a lot of elevation mistakes. If you go back and look, see how many base hits were on good, quality, well-located pitches. There weren’t many.”
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