Marlins take control early, beat Padres for second straight night
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Marlins pitcher Tom Koehler had to wait a while before taking the mound against the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night.
His teammates were too busy batting.
Jeff Mathis hit a grand slam during a five-run first inning, Koehler pitched six quality innings and Miami beat the Padres 5-2.
"I was starting to get a little stiff," Koehler said about his first-inning wait. "But I will take it."
Koehler (5-6) won for the third time in four decisions. He allowed two runs on six hits and a walk and struck out eight.
"Sometimes the toughest games to pitch are when you go out there with that kind of a lead," Koehler said. "You have to go with the mindset to get zeros as quickly as possible and not pitch to the score."
Mathis' slam, his first homer of the year, was enough to beat Drew Pomeranz (5-7), who has been the Padres' most consistent starter. He was lifted after five innings and charged with five runs on five hits. He walked five with six strikeouts.
"I kind of got myself in a jam in that first walking the leadoff guy," Pomeranz said. "Then I made a bad pitch to Mathis."
In Pomeranz's 13 starts, it marked just the second time he allowed more than three runs.
"I think maybe he was flying (open) a little bit with his front side early on and was having trouble finding it," San Diego manager Andy Green said.
A.J. Ramos got his 20th save with a scoreless ninth.
Miami arrived in San Diego after being shut out by the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday. But in two games, the Marlins have abused Padres pitchers for 18 runs and 25 hits.
The last-place Padres, losers of four straight, fell a season-high 14 games under .500. Only the Braves (18) have fewer wins than the Padres (26) in the National League.
Alexi Amarista drove in his second run with his second hit in the fourth, cutting the Marlins' lead to 5-2. Christian Bethancourt came in after reaching via a two-out double.
Ryan Schimpf, in his first at-bat in the majors, laced a second-inning double down the right-field line. Schimpf scored his first run when Amarista lined a single, slimming San Diego's deficit to 5-1.
The Marlins picked up in the first inning where they left off in Monday's 13-4 laugher.
Chris Johnson drove in Adeiny Hechavarria, who opened the game with a walk.
But the big blow was Mathis punishing Pomeranz's 93 mph fastball for his third career grand slam to give the Marlins a 5-0 lead.
"I thought it was going to go out as I saw Melvin (Upton Jr.) drifting back on it," Mathis said. "I was happy to see the people catch it."
Before Mathis' blast over the left-field fence, Martin Prado singled, Marcell Ozuna walked and Johnson got a hit.
After Prado's broken-bat single, Christian Yelich grounded to first baseman Wil Myers and was ruled out for leaving the base path to avoid Myers' tag. Miami manager Don Mattingly's argument and the eventual review of the play -- which was upheld -- forced Pomeranz to wait nearly 10 minutes. Mattingly played the game under protest.
"I don't think it affected me that much," Pomeranz said. "In the game today, with all the replays and stuff, it kind of happens on a regular basis."
Mattingly was still baffled by the call which prompted the delay.
"That was hard for me to understand how he was out of the base line when all of his marks were inside the 45-foot box they want you to run in," he said.
Ichiro Suzuki grounded out in a ninth-inning appearance as a pinch-hitter and remains one hit shy of matching Pete Rose's major league total of 4,256. Suzuki collected 1,278 hits while playing nine seasons in Japan.
Padres: RHP Tyson Ross (sore right shoulder) could have a bullpen session this weekend.
Marlins: LHP Justin Nicolino (2-3 4.76) faces the Padres for the first time. Nicolino, who is making his 10th start, has split his two road decisions this season.
Padres: RHP Luis Perdomo (1-2, 9.50) makes his third career start and second at home. Perdomo worked a career-high 5 2/3 innings of relief on Friday, recording a career-best five strikeouts.