The Miami Marlins aren’t making a very good impression on this homestand. The same could be said of new manager Dan Jennings.
The Marlins attempt to put the brakes on an eight-game losing streak Saturday night against the Baltimore Orioles.
Miami failed to protect an early three-run lead Friday and went 3 for 19 with runners in scoring position en route to its eighth straight loss, 8-5. The Marlins (16-27) have lost nine straight at home for the first time since matching a franchise record with 11 straight defeats from April 15-May 9, 2006.
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The latest loss dropped the team to 0-8 on this 10-game homestand, and matters were only made worse when no players showed for a charity event benefiting an inner cities baseball program Friday.
"I hope our fans will cut these guys some slack on this event," said Jennings, who replaced the fired Mike Redmond earlier this week after acting as general manager since 2013.
Jennings has lost all five games since moving to the bench for the worst start by a rookie manager since Brad Mills went 0-8 with Houston in 2010.
"It’s little things, and right now it just snowballs," reliever Steve Cishek said. "We just want to win a game and tell ourselves we can do it at this point. It’ll happen, no doubt. I’m just thankful it’s early in the season. But we don’t want to wait around much longer. We need to win now."
Miami’s starting rotation, which has posted a 5.68 ERA during the eight-game skid, took a big hit Friday when Mat Latos (knee) and Henderson Alvarez (shoulder) were put on the disabled list. Those two are a combined 1-8 with a 6.23 ERA.
"It’s tough," Jennings said. "Someone is going to get an opportunity to step up. Hopefully it will be a boost to us."
The Orioles (19-20) have won four of five, batting .281 and totaling 27 runs. Manny Machado had two hits and three RBIs on Friday in his first game back in his hometown, where Baltimore is 2-11 all-time.
”We’ve been struggling with the bats,” Machado said. ”It was great to come back after being down a couple of runs. It’s something that hopefully we keep it going.”
Jimmy Paredes continued his breakout season with three more hits, raising his average to .353. He ranks second in the AL now that he has enough at-bats to qualify.
He’ll get his first look at Dan Haren (4-2, 3.47 ERA), who is 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA in four home starts. He allowed two runs and five hits over eight innings against Arizona on Monday, an eventual 3-2 loss in 13 innings.
The right-hander’s effort was a significant improvement after he surrendered season highs of six runs and 11 hits – two homers – in 4 1-3 innings of an 11-1 defeat to the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 12.
He’s 0-2 with a 4.58 ERA over his last three starts against the Orioles, but hasn’t faced them since May 2013.
Baltimore attempts to match its longest win streak of the season with Mike Wright on the mound. The right-hander was outstanding in his major league debut Sunday, receiving a standing ovation after allowing four hits with six strikeouts in 7 1-3 innings of a 3-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels.
"I just wanted to kind of savor it," Wright said. "Most of the advice I got was that you only make your debut once. There’s plenty of games, but you only make your debut once, so soak it all in. And that’s definitely what I tried to do."