MIAMI (AP) — The Philadelphia Phillies own the worst record in baseball but the Miami Marlins aren’t much better.READ MORE: Florida Elections Supervisors Say Democracy ‘Under Threat’
The Marlins will try to avoid matching their longest road losing streak of the season Saturday night against the Phillies.
Philadelphia (30-62) is on pace to lose 100 games for the first time since 1961, and the foundering Phillies are the only team worse than Miami (38-52) in both the NL East and the major league.
The Marlins have dropped 12 of the past 14 games on the road, averaging 2.4 runs while hitting .219 – .155 with runners in scoring position.
That stretch started with six straight defeats from June 8-19, and Miami is on the verge of another such skid after falling 6-3 at Philadelphia in Friday’s opener of this three-game set.
Showing improvement offensively isn’t going to be easy with Dee Gordon (thumb) and Giancarlo Stanton (wrist) on the disabled list.
Martin Prado filled in for Gordon at second Friday, going 0 for 4 after spending a month on the DL with a right shoulder sprain. He’s batting .217 in his last 11 road games but owns a .375 average in his last 13 in Philadelphia.
Justin Bour is 7 for 12 with three doubles and six RBIs in the last three games overall, driving in one run with two hits Friday.
Tom Koehler (7-5, 3.40 ERA) is another Marlin struggling away from home. He’s 3-4 with a 5.07 ERA in nine starts compared to 4-1 with a 1.79 ERA in seven as host.READ MORE: Annual Money Sought For Florida Keys Protections
The right-hander surrendered five runs in six innings of a 6-3 loss at Boston on July 8. All four he allowed in the third were unearned thanks to his throwing error.
“Any time you give them extra outs, you really have to bear down and try to put up a zero. I wasn’t able to do that,” said Koehler, who had won his three previous starts with a 1.80 ERA.
Koehler is 0-1 with a 5.21 ERA in four games – three starts – at Philadelphia. He allowed three runs in five innings while not getting a decision in a 4-3 home win May 1.
The Phillies set a franchise record for the most losses entering the All-Star break, but they’re trying to win back-to-back games for the first time since a three-game winning streak June 21-23.
“The All-Star break couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Jeff Francoeur, who had a pinch-hit, three-run homer in the eighth Friday. “My tank was on ‘E’ and all of us needed to get away from each other.
“Hopefully, the second half we can stabilize more and have more outcomes like tonight.”
Ryan Howard isn’t expected to be part of it for long as one of the prime candidates to be dealt prior to the July 31 trade deadline. His value may be improving since he’s 5 for 12 with five RBIs in three games after getting a run-scoring single Friday.
Phillies starter Chad Billingsley (1-3, 6.75) is 4-0 with a 2.76 ERA in eight games – seven starts – against the Marlins, but they all came with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He hasn’t faced Miami since Aug. 24, 2012, and missed nearly two full seasons because of Tommy John surgery.
The right-hander was tagged for a four-run fourth before being pulled with no outs in the sixth in Sunday’s 4-2 loss at San Francisco.MORE NEWS: Miami Weather: Grab Your Umbrella, The Rain Returns To South Florida
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