MIAMI — A lot has happened since the last time Miami Marlins right-hander Jacob Turner won a game on July 10, 2013.
Outfielder Christian Yelich has made his major-league debut. World Series champion Jarrod Saltalamacchia is Turner’s battery mate. The club sits near the top of the National League East rather than the cellar.
Turner snapped his streak of 17 consecutive starts without a victory in Miami’s 2-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers Saturday night at Marlins Park.
The 23-year-old allowed no runs on eight hits over a season-high 6 1/3 innings with two strikeouts and a walk. Of his 89 pitches, 57 were for strikes.
"The team played really well. The defense was just outstanding," said Turner, who ended an eight-game losing skid. "Battled the whole game. Nice to come up with the win."
Though the Brewers stranded a runner on base in all but the first against him, they left nine men on and couldn’t get the big hit.
Milwaukee thought it did against Turner (1-2) in the sixth, but the tying run didn’t make it home in time.
With runners at first and second and two outs, Mark Reynolds singled to left. Rather than throw home, Christian Yelich threw to third, where Casey McGehee tagged out Carlos Gomez to end the inning before lead runner Ryan Braun crossed home plate.
"I was supposed to be the cutoff man on that play," McGehee said. "I knew we didn’t have a play at the plate. I knew we weren’t going to throw him out. I was more than anything trying to keep Gomez from going to third. (Yelich) was pretty head’s up. Instead of assuming he was going to come up and throw to the cutoff man, to go ahead and take that out. Great throw. It was a great play."
If Turner wanted the club to improve upon its 3-14 record when he’s on the mound, it wasn’t going to come easy.
The elusive victory almost slipped away in the seventh after Turner gave up a one-out double. Lefty Mike Dunn came in relief to strike out a pair of batters to end the threat. But not before a wild pitch put the tying run at third.
"It’s hard to say," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of how Turner pitched. "You look from the side and he’s got movement on his ball. He’s got a nice slider."
In the eighth inning up 2-0, closer Steve Cishek needed to bail out righty A.J. Ramos after he surrendered a run and two men were in scoring position with two outs.
Cishek struck out Scooter Gennett. He then worked around a two-out single in the ninth for his 10th save.
"After last night’s game where the ball was flying out of here, that’s the beauty of baseball. You come out, it’s a 2-1 game," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "Every out is big. Every at-bat is a big at-bat. I thought Jake Turner did a good job today. He gave us everything he had."
Entering Saturday, Turner was 0-2 with a 6.33 ERA in five starts since coming off the disabled list with a right shoulder strain and hadn’t thrown a scoreless outing since May 31, 2013. Last season, he didn’t make the club out of spring training because of a poor performance. He needed to earn his way back.
"I feel like I’ve been pitching well the last three or four times out," Turner said. "The results are the results. I feel confident out there. I’m feeling each time I’m getting better."