SAN DIEGO (AP) — Tom Koehler might not stand out in any one area — but the Miami Marlins right-hander just stays consistent.
Koehler pitched seven strong innings, combining with two relievers on a three-hitter that lifted the Marlins to a 4-0 win over the San Diego Padres on Thursday night.
Koehler (8-6) walked four and hit a batter, but the right-hander limited the Padres to three singles and successfully worked out of the only jam he faced. Koehler, Steve Cishek and Mike Dunn handed San Diego its major league-high 14th shutout.
“I’ve run out of descriptive adjectives,” Marlins manager Dan Jennings said. “I know the guy continues to step up and battle. He’s truly one of those guys that leaves everything on the field.”
Koehler has shown improvement in recent starts. Over his last six starts, Koehler is 4-2 with a 1.62 ERA.
“When you’ve got guys like Dan, it helps a lot,” Koehler said. “He tells me when situations get tough. It’s not about throwing a nastier pitch. Stick to your game plan and slow it down.”
What about the criticism that has come Koehler’s way?
“I don’t care about that stuff,” he said. “Ask any major league pitcher what they value the most and it’s wins. People don’t ask you after the season what your QBR is or whatever. They want to know how many games you won and lost.”
Miami won its third straight on the road for the first time this season. The Marlins used five consecutive singles with two outs, along with a wild pitch and two errors on the same play, to score four runs in the sixth inning to break a scoreless tie.
Tyson Ross (6-8) was dominant early before he faltered in the sixth. Ross allowed four runs – three earned – and eight hits over 5 2/3 innings with eight strikeouts.
“It’s the third time through the lineup,” Ross said about the sixth inning. “Their hitters made a good adjustment. They were laying off some of the pitches down and out of the zone. Five base hits with two outs is a tough way to lose.”
Koehler was the recipient of two outstanding defensive plays. Left fielder Christin Yelich made a sliding catch in foul territory down the left-field line in the third, and third baseman Casey McGehee caught a foul popup right near the stands as he was falling down to end a bases-loaded jam in the fifth.
San Diego loaded the bases with one out in the fifth before Koehler got Ross to ground into a force play at the plate. McGehee followed with his catch on Abraham Almonte’s foul popup.
Martin Prado got the Marlins started in the sixth with a two-out single and went to third on a single by Yelich. Ross then threw a wild pitch to Justin Bour, allowing Prado to score and Yelich to take second.
Bour lined an RBI single to left for a 2-0 lead and took second on McGehee’s single before he scored on J.T. Realmuto’s single. When Realmuto stole second base one batter later, a throwing error by catcher Austin Hedges allowed McGehee to score.
HOMERLESS DROUGHT CONTINUES
Ross has not allowed a home run in 16 consecutive starts, a Padres franchise best and the longest such streak in the majors since Sid Fernandez of the Mets in 1992. Ross, who has given up only three homers all season, has gone 99 innings without allowing a long ball.
TWO OF A KIND
When Marlins RF Ichiro Suzuki shook hands with Fred Lynn in the Miami dugout before the game, it was the first meeting between the only two major leaguers to win the Most Valuable Player and the Rookie of the Year awards in the same season. Suzuki took the honors in 2001 with Seattle and Lynn was the first player to achieve the feat with Boston in 1975.
Marlins: RF Giancarlo Stanton (left wrist fracture) continues to swing a bat, but has not faced pitching yet. … 2B Dee Gordon (dislocated left thumb) is expected to take batting practice this weekend at the team’s training camp facility at Jupiter, Florida. … RHP Henderson Alvarez (right shoulder inflammation) suffered a setback after his last rehab start and will be re-examined.
Padres: LF Justin Upton (strained side muscle) was out of the starting lineup for the fourth straight game, but he did pinch hit in the ninth inning and struck out swinging to end the game. … RHP Brandon Morrow (right shoulder inflammation) will throw a rehab start for Triple-A El Paso on Saturday. … OF Wil Myers (left wrist tendinitis) will be examined Friday and if it goes well, he will likely to start swinging a light bat.
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