Thanks to the bat of Jorge Cantu, the Florida Marlins are in
position to secure a winning homestand.
The Marlins look for a second straight victory and split of
their four-game set with the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday night.
Cantu homered as Florida (5-4) avoided a third consecutive loss
with a 5-3 win over Cincinnati on Wednesday. The Marlins are 3-3 on
their season opening seven-game homestand.
Cantu’s has three home runs this year and became the first
player in major league history to have at least one hit and one RBI
in each of his team’s first nine games. The veteran first baseman,
who spent part of the 2007 season with the Reds, has gone 13
straight contests dating to last year with a hit and an RBI – the
longest stretch since Mike Piazza went 15 in a row from June
14-July 2, 2000.
“It’s a great honor,” said Cantu, who has 14 RBIs this season.
“I’m going to keep pushing myself and get hungrier for more.”
Cantu continues to hit well off Reds’ pitchers, batting .313
with six home runs and 14 RBIs in 20 career games versus
Cincinnati. He’s 4 for 10 against Reds scheduled starter Aaron
He helped the Marlins bounce back after they lost the first two
games of the set by a combined three runs.
After starters Ricky Nolasco and Nate Robertson allowed 11 runs
combined in the first two games of the series, Chris Volstad gave
up three in 6 2-3 solid innings for the Marlins on Wednesday.
Florida hopes scheduled starter Josh Johnson (0-1, 6.30 ERA)
returns to his All-Star form of last season after a pair of
mediocre starts this year.
A 15-game winner in 2009, Johnson has not lasted more than five
innings in either start. He allowed three runs, struck out seven
and walked three in five innings of a 7-6 win over the Los Angeles
Dodgers on Saturday.
“It’s consistency. It’s there, and then it’s not,” said
Johnson, who signed a $39 million, four-year contract extension in
January. “It’s not what you want, but you’ve got to deal with
The right-hander gave up two runs and struck out six in 7 1-3
innings of a 3-2, 14-inning Florida win in his only start versus
the Reds on May 4.
Harang (0-1, 4.50) gave up two runs and struck out nine in seven
innings of that contest against the Marlins, and will face Johnson
again in the series finale.
The right-hander, 3-2 with a 6.15 ERA in nine starts against the
Marlins, could not hold a three-run lead and didn’t factor in the
decision of a 4-3 loss to Chicago on Saturday. Harang allowed three
runs in seven innings while striking out seven and walking
He is 1-11 with a 4.75 ERA over his last 18 starts.
“You learn from the rough patches,” Harang said. “You learn
from your mistakes and just go out and do what you can.”
Paul Janish hit a two-run homer and had two of the five hits
Wednesday for Cincinnati (5-4), which had its three-game winning
Cincinnati’s Jay Bruce is batting .161 overall, but is 4 for 12
in this series. He’s a lifetime .316 hitter in nine road games
against the Marlins.