Saunders, D-backs routed by Marlins
PHOENIX (AP) — Joe Saunders made a handful of good pitches that went for short, bloop hits and a pair of terrible pitches that traveled a very long way.
“That’s all you can do in this game — make pitches — and whatever happens, happens,” Saunders said.
What happened Monday night was Saunders gave up 12 hits and was charged with all the runs in Miami’s nine-run fourth inning as the Marlins routed the Diamondbacks 12-3.
“Joe just didn’t throw the ball very good,” said D-backs manager Kirk Gibson. “It happened quickly. With all the games we have coming up, we were kind of forced to try and stick with him and save the bullpen, but it didn’t work out that way.”
Saunders (6-10) gave up a career-worst nine runs on 12 hits with two strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out two as his ERA soared from 3.70 to 4.22.
The Diamondbacks had their four-game winning streak snapped. After the game, they announced that longtime shortstop Stephen Drew had been traded to the Oakland Athletics for a minor-league infielder.
“More than likely, he would have tested free agency,” said general manager Kevin Towers, “so we probably would have only had his services for another six weeks.”
The Marlins’ big inning started innocently enough.
Donovan Solano singled softly to center, and Reyes hit a broken-bat blooper just onto the grass behind the infield cutout. Lee followed with a broken-bat popup that landed harmlessly on the infield dirt between first and second as Aaron Hill was wrong-footed while breaking to cover second on the hit-and-run, scoring Solano.
“If Aaron doesn’t slip, maybe we get out of it and it’s still 0-0,” Saunders said.
But the bloop hits ended there.
Stanton drove a pitch into the second deck, just short of the restaurant above the left-field fence, to give Miami a 4-1 lead. Ruggiano then homered into the camera well in the batters’ eye in center field to make it 5-1.
Both home runs, coming on the heels of three singles that traveled less than 350 feet combined, were estimated at 442 feet.
“They hit them about five miles,” Saunders said.
Buck singled before Saunders earned a sarcastic cheer from the crowd by retiring Murphy on a fly ball to center, and Mark Buerhle popped a bunt into Saunders glove five feet in front of the mound.
But Emilio Bonifacio easily beat out a grounder to third, Solano singled for the second time in the inning to bring home Buck, Reyes doubled and Lee singled to complete the Marlins’ outburst.
“You’ve just got to turn the page,” Saunders said.
Jose Reyes had four hits — including three doubles — scored twice and drove in a run. John Buck homered among his three hits and Donnie Murphy added an RBI triple for the Marlins, who have won three of their last four.
Miami’s 10 hits in the fourth matched a franchise record set last September 9 at Pittsburgh, and the 12 runs and 20 hits were season highs.
Buehrle (11-11) was the beneficiary of the offense while allowing two runs on six hits over seven innings for his second straight win. He struck out four without a walk.
Chris Johnson snapped a 0-for-18 skid, singling in Paul Goldschmidt in the fourth for the Diamondbacks.
Murphy tripled home Buck in the fifth for Miami, and Stanton and Buck homered in the seventh against reliever Brad Bergesen.
Since returning from the disabled list Aug. 7 following surgery to remove loose bodies from his right knee, Stanton is 13 for 43 with four doubles, five homers and 11 RBIs. His 26 home runs rank him third in the National League.
Jason Kubel, who had homered in the first, added an RBI groundout in the eighth off Chris Hatcher. He also tied a franchise record in the first with his 12th outfield assist of the season, throwing out Reyes as he tried to stretch a double.
NOTES: Stanton has six career two-homer games, including two this season. … Saunders, who allowed nine runs — six earned — on August 25, 2010, gave up 12 hits for the third time in his career. He failed to get out of the fourth for the second time this season. … The Marlins’ biggest-ever inning also came against the D-backs, a 10-run effort on July 9, 2009. … The Marlins are the second club to record six straight hits in an inning against the Diamondbacks this season. … Gibson said Willie Bloomquist is expected to return to the lineup on Friday. . Nolasco takes the mound for the Marlins on Tuesday against RHP Trevor Cahill in a matchup of pitchers looking for their 10th win of the season. Nolasco pitched a complete-game loss against Colorado on Thursday, his only complete game of the season. Cahill, 0-2 with a 5.68 ERA in his last two starts at Chase Field, also will be going for his 50th career win.