Marlins tie record with 11th straight loss
With their new old manager, the free-falling Florida Marlins had the same old result.
Jered Weaver pitched seven innings and the Los Angeles Angels spoiled 80-year-old Jack McKeon's return to the dugout Monday night with a 2-1 win over the Marlins, who tied a franchise record with their 11th consecutive loss.
The game came hours after the Marlins introduced McKeon as their interim manager for the rest of the season. He came out of retirement to replace Edwin Rodriguez, who resigned Sunday.
The change in leadership failed to inspire an immediate reversal by the Marlins, who are 1-19 in June. The losing streak is their longest since 1998, when they lost 108 games.
''Everybody is trying to do too much,'' McKeon said. ''Once we get one or two wins, they'll relax a little bit.''
Florida has dropped 11 consecutive one-run games, matching another franchise record.
Weaver (9-4) tied for the big league lead in wins. He allowed only five hits and one run to lower his ERA to 2.01, second-best in the majors.
Jordan Walden pitched the ninth for his 17th save in 20 chances.
''It was a good pitcher's duel, and luckily we were able to come out on top,'' Weaver said.
''I'm doing the best I can,'' Sanchez said. ''We continue to lose games. One day we're going to stop that. We're going to figure out how to win.''
''He got a good jump,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ''I don't think there was any play at the plate.''
The Angels also scratched out a run in the sixth to tie the game. Aybar reached on a bunt single, took second on a balk and went to third on Buck's passed ball. With the infield in, Hunter grounded an RBI single up the middle.
''I just tried to make something happen,'' Hunter said.
McKeon took over the 2003 Marlins in May and led them to the World Series title, and Florida is hoping for a similar turnaround this season.
''I have the utmost respect for Jack McKeon,'' Scioscia said. ''I'm sure he's going to work hard to get them going in the right direction.''
The start of the game was delayed 1 hour, 43 minutes, by rain. When McKeon finally took the lineup card to home plate, he received a big ovation from the small crowd and responded by doffing his cap.
''That was very, very nice,'' he said. ''It makes you feel it was worth coming back.''
Then it was more of the same. The Marlins, averaging less than three runs a game this month, totaled only five hits, all singles. Their final 11 batters went down in order.
''I want these guys to have fun,'' McKeon said. ''As soon as they start having fun, you'll see the worm change.''
The breaks continued to go against Florida. Hanley Ramirez pinch-hit in the ninth and was called out on strikes on a 3-2 pitch that appeared outside. In the eighth, Gaby Sanchez hit a liner that bounced off the first base bag straight up, allowing Mark Trumbo to make an easy out.
''That kind of sums it up,'' Buck said. ''We had a couple of things go wrong, and bad luck.''
The Angels had at least one hit in every inning, but they grounded into three double plays and went 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position.
''It was a frustrating night for us on the offensive side,'' Scioscia said, ''but we did just enough.''
NOTES: Before the game, the Angels recalled RHP Michael Kohn from Triple-A Salt Lake and optioned SS Andrew Romine to Salt Lake. ... Marlins OF Mike Stanton, held out of the starting lineup for the third game in a row due to a right eye infection, saw a specialist and said he hopes to play Wednesday. ... Despite playing in sunny Southern California, the Angels this season have waited out eight rain delays totaling 9 hours, 41 minutes. ... The visit to Miami was the Angels' first since 2003.