By Joe Frisaro and Steve Wilaj
MLB.com |@JoeFrisaro |
MIAMI -- Dan Haren danced in and out of danger in his six innings, while Casey McGehee and Justin Bour each notched two-run doubles as the Marlins beat the Reds, 8-1, at Marlins Park on Sunday to take three of four games in the series.
Haren (7-5, 3.24 ERA) allowed just one run on five hits and three walks to earn his first victory since June 3. He stranded nine runners. Meanwhile, Reds starter Johnny Cueto (6-6, 2.73 ERA) couldn't do the same. The righty was charged with five runs (three earned) on seven hits as he threw just 68 pitches in five innings.
The Marlins, blanked 1-0 on Friday, rebounded to combine for 22 runs on 31 hits in the last two games, taking three of four in the series.
"We'd like to see that momentum carry right into the second half," Miami manager Dan Jennings said. "Just a tremendous performance the last couple of days by our offense, the way guys are grinding their at-bats. Tremendous approach. Hit the ball all over the place. Great to see the quality of the at-bats."
McGehee put the Marlins on the board with a two-out, two-run double in the fourth. Bour did the same in the fifth, and he finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs. Miami scored three more runs in the seventh thanks in part to an error by Reds shortstop Eugenio Suarez that allowed two to score.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Haren minimizes damage: Haren has been the Marlins' most consistent starter the entire first half, and Sunday was more of the same. The veteran kept the Reds off stride, working around three walks and a hit batter. When he got in trouble, like in the fifth and sixth, the right-hander wiggled out of it. In both those innings, the Reds had runners in scoring position with less than two outs, but couldn't score. More >
Frazier's error a costly one: Frazier had a chance to end the bottom of the fifth inning when Adeiny Hechavarria sent a soft grounder his way with two outs. But the All-Star third baseman bobbled and dropped the ball, and the Marlins made him pay. Bour followed with a two-run double to extend the Miami lead to 5-1.
McGehee chips in: McGehee's return to Miami has gotten off to a good start. The 32-year-old third baseman, who signed Friday, put the Marlins up with his two-run double to right in the fourth, and they never looked back.
"I'm just happy," McGehee said. "I don't know how else to describe -- whether it is comfortable surroundings or whatever. I do like hitting here. There are times you are going to get your feelings hurt, hitting the ball hard and it's an out. At the same time, it's one of those places, you look around and you feel like there are hits out there. I like playing here. It's nice to be somewhere where you're comfortable, I guess."
Cueto's short day: Cueto had been sizzling through his first two July starts, but he couldn't keep the pace on Sunday. The righty entered 2-0 while allowing just one run in 17 innings for the month, but he was removed after just 68 pitches. He gave up five runs -- three earned -- on seven hits, and reacted to his removal from the contest by throwing equipment in the dugout.
"I feel bad," Cueto said. "Those things happen when you get frustrated. We're all frustrated. But the manager is the manager and he has chances to do things like that." More >
"There's been a lot of transition, a lot of things that occurred, getting off to a slow start and a managerial change, and a few injuries. That being said, after Giancarlo [Stanton] went down, we've actually shown more consistency and definitely more energy. We're playing with energy and the fire that it's going to take to achieve our goal." -- Jennings
"The last two games were disastrous. Just not good baseball and not the way we wanted to go into the All-Star break." -- Reds manager Bryan Price
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Marlins' offense went a combined 16-for-29 (.552) with runners in scoring position on Saturday and Sunday.
WHAT'S NEXT Reds:Mike Leake (6-5, 4.08 ERA) gets the call at 7:10 p.m. ET on Friday against Cleveland at Great American Ball Park. The contest is the opener of a seven-game homestand, as the Cubs come to Cincinnati for four games following the first post-All-Star break weekend.
Marlins: After the All-Star break, Miami embarks on a 10-game road trip, with the first three starting off at Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park on Friday. Jose Fernandez (2-0, 2.08) makes his first road start of the season. The Phillies are going with lefty Adam Morgan (1-2, 4.32) in the 7:05 p.m. ET contest.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. Steve Wilaj is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.