MIAMI — With the Miami Marlins on their way to another shutout loss, the biggest cheers from a small crowd Wednesday came when highlights of the Heat’s playoff victory over the Chicago Bulls were shown on the video scoreboard.
So it goes for the Marlins, who managed 11 hits but couldn’t score and lost to the Cincinnati Reds 4-0.
Last in the majors in runs, batting average, slugging percentage and homers, the Marlins went 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position.
“We’re just not getting it done,” manager Mike Redmond said. “I don’t know how to dress it up any more than that. I’m trying to be patient, but at the end of the day, somebody’s got to step up and get a hit with a guy in scoring position.”
Lucky breaks on a couple of squibbers didn’t help. The Marlins managed three infield hits among their 10 singles and had 14 baserunners, but they stranded 12 and hit into two double plays.
“We got guys on base, but you’ve got to keep grinding,” said rookie Derek Dietrich, who had two hits. “We just didn’t get the hit when we needed to.”
Shin-Soo Choo went 4 for 5 with two homers to help the Reds extend their winning streak to a season-best five games.
Choo hit solo homers in the fourth and sixth inning, giving him nine this season. His ninth career multihomer game came in a spacious stadium where sluggers tend to struggle.
“This ballpark is big,” Choo said. “Some balls fly, some don’t. I’m not thinking about hitting homers. I’m just swinging hard.”
The two-homer effort was his second in eight days, but he came into the game batting only .225 in May.
“I haven’t been feeling great,” he said, “but tonight I hit the ball on the barrel.”
Mike Leake (3-2) went 6 2-3 innings and pitched around nine hits. Three relievers completed the shutout, the seventh this year against the Marlins, most in the majors. Cincinnati climbed a season-high eight games above .500 and improved to 5-1 against Miami, which has lost four in a row.
The Marlins fell to 0-10 this year with the retractable roof open in their stadium. The ball carries better in those conditions, and Choo twice sent it flying off Alex Sanabia (2-6).
Choo also led off the game with a single and scored on a double by NL RBI leader Brandon Phillips. Joey Votto added two hits and an RBI for the Reds, who improved to 20-6 when they score first.
Choo’s four hits tied a career high, and he raised his average to .322. He improved to 5 for 5 lifetime against Sanabia.
“Other than that he’s batting like 1.000 off me, there’s not much to say,” Sanabia said. The right-hander allowed four runs in six innings and has lost five consecutive starts.
The Reds led 4-0 in the seventh when Miami mounted a threat. With runners at second and third, Sean Marshall came on and struck out Dietrich with a 3-2 curve to end the inning.
Miami put two runners aboard again in the ninth. Aroldis Chapman then threw seven fastballs of at least 100 mph to Dietrich, who finally struck out looking on a changeup.
“That guy can bring it,” Dietrich said. “He made a great pitch when he needed to.”
The Marlins rank last in the majors in wins at home, where they’re 5-13.
NOTES: Miami’s Chris Coghlan singled in the seventh to improve to 6 for 18 as a pinch hitter. … Cincinnati 3B Todd Frazier, batting .229, was given the night off. … Reds starters have allowed one earned run in 22 1-3 innings over the past three games. … Cincinnati RHP Mat Latos will try to win his fifth consecutive decision in the series finale Thursday against rookie Jose Fernandez.