The bickering Miami Marlins are seeking a way out of a dismal
The best way out may not be another weekend series against the
Tampa Bay Rays.
The Marlins will try to avoid both a ninth loss in 10 games
overall and an eighth straight defeat in the Citrus Series when
they and the Rays square off Friday night at Tropicana Field.
Miami (32-31) fell 10-2 to Boston on Wednesday to complete a
wretched 1-8 homestand that included a three-game sweep by Tampa
Bay (35-28) last weekend.
The Marlins batted .196 while being outscored 56-17 during the
homestand. For the season, they’re among the worst offensive teams
in the majors, batting .242 overall, .218 with runners in scoring
position and averaging 3.7 runs.
“We’d better start hitting better if we want to win some games,”
manager Ozzie Guillen said.
Guillen showed his frustration Wednesday when he went to the
mound to remove Heath Bell, then became angry when his struggling
closer lobbied in vain to remain in the game. They then had another
testy exchange in the dugout, and coach Joey Cora had to step
Guillen said he removed Bell because he had thrown 19 pitches
and didn’t need any more work after allowing two hits while getting
two outs in the ninth.
“It was basically like two bulls hit in the head,” Bell said.
“Ozzie was upset we were losing. I just said, ‘I can get this guy
out.’ … I apologize. I didn’t mean any disrespect. It could have
been huge, but it really wasn’t.
“The way the team is playing, these little things are blown out
Carlos Zambrano (4-4, 3.55 ERA) is scheduled to get the ball as
he tries to rebound from his shortest outing of the season.
The right-hander allowed seven runs before being pulled with one
out in the third inning due to lower back stiffness in a 13-4 loss
to the Rays last Saturday.
Zambrano has compiled a 0.88 ERA while winning three of his last
four road starts. However, he lost his last visit to Tropicana
Field, allowing five runs in 6 2-3 innings in 2008, while with the
The Marlins have been outscored 40-13 during a seven-game losing
streak in the Citrus Series, batting .186 in those contests – .111
with runners in scoring position. They were outscored 22-7 last
Tampa Bay, though, followed that sweep of the Marlins by losing
all three games against the New York Mets, falling 9-6 in
“They just beat us up for three days … that happens,” manager
Joe Maddon said. “It’s happened here before. We’ve been able to
recover from that in the past and I anticipate we’ll be able to do
Maddon will give the ball to rookie Matt Moore (3-5, 4.59) for a
rematch against Zambrano. The left-hander allowed four runs over
six innings Saturday, but it was enough to win back-to-back starts
for the first time this season.
Tampa Bay’s Ben Zobrist is 10 for 19 with two homers and seven
RBIs in his last five games, with seven of those hits – including
both home runs – coming against the Marlins last weekend. He’s 11
for 21 in his last six contests versus the Marlins.