MIAMI– Caleb Smith pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings and recorded his first MLB hit, leading the Miami Marlins to a 4-0 shutout victory over the Padres on Friday night at Marlins Park.
Miami improved to 23-40 while San Diego fell to 29-36.
Lauer struggles with command
11 days ago, rookie left-hander Eric Lauer took the hill against the Marlins and was unable to get out of the third inning, giving up seven hits and five earned runs in a blowout loss.
On Friday night, Lauer took the mound at Marlins Park to face the same team in their throwback uniforms. He ended up laboring through five innings; allowing six hits, three runs. and a career-high seven walks.
All seemed to be going well for the Ohio native until the bottom of the fourth, when he walked Justin Bour to lead off the inning. Cameron Maybin followed with a double to advance Bour to third, and Lewis Brinson brought him home two batters later on a sacrifice fly to deep left field.
After intentionally walking the number eight hitter Yadiel Rivera, pitcher Caleb Smith brought home the second and final run of the inning on his first career base hit.
Lauer walked the next batter before escaping further damage.
In the fifth, Lauer again found himself in trouble. The Fish loaded the bases with two outs via two hits and a walk. Yadiel Rivera then worked a five-pitch walk to bring home another run.
It would take seven more pitches for Lauer to retire Caleb Smith and finally get out of the inning.
All in all, it was a mixed bag of results for the rookie, who has been looking for any kind of consistency in what has been an up-and-down rookie season. In his 111 pitches, Lauer did induce 11 swinging strikes and get 16 called strikes. He also averaged 91.2 mph on his fastball, which was up nearly two ticks from his previous start against the Marlins.
However, his calling card in the minor leagues was stellar command. That obviously has not translated to the big leagues yet. With tonight’s start, Lauer is currently walking an average of 5.49 batters per nine innings.
Smith silences Friars again
Matching up with Eric Lauer and the Padres for the second time in two weeks, Marlins left-hander Caleb Smith was able to silence the Padres once again. He shut out the Friars over 5 1/3 innings, allowing four hits and striking out five.
Smith also recorded his first MLB hit in the fourth, an RBI single to right.
The Padres were shut out on Friday, but they certainly had chances to prevent it.
In the first, Eric Hosmer hit a one-out double to put himself in scoring position. However, he then misread a soft ball by Hunter Renfroe and was doubled off of second to end the inning.
In the third, Manuel Margot led off with a double and advanced to third on Eric Lauer’s sacrifice bunt. Jose Pirela followed with a strikeout and Eric Hosmer lined out to right to end the threat.
Then, down 3-0 in the sixth, the Padres loaded the bases with one out off of Marlins starter Caleb Smith. At 92 pitches, Smith was removed from game for right-handed reliever Brad Ziegler.
Looking to play matchups, manager Andy Green pinch-hit for Christian Villanueva with Cory Spangenberg, who grounded the first pitch of the at-bat right back to Ziegler to start a 1-2-3 double play.
Manuel Margot, who has been looking much more comfortable at the plate of late, went 1-for-3 with a double. He also flew out to the warning track in center, narrowly missing a home run.
Both Jose Pirela and Eric Hosmer recorded multi-hit games for the Padres.
Beginning of a long road trip
Today, San Diego began a stretch of games where they will play 23 of their next 28 games on the road.