SAN DIEGO -- Justin Bour and J.T. Realmuto knocked in runs in the sixth inning and Tom Koehler tossed seven shutout innings Thursday night as the Marlins defeated the Padres, 4-0, at Petco Park.
San Diego starting pitcher Tyson Ross was sharp early, striking out seven in the first three innings. But he ran into trouble in the sixth when the Marlins scored four runs -- getting five consecutive two-out singles.
Koehler allowed three hits and had seven strikeouts. The Marlins, after opening a 10-game road trip with four losses, have won their last three games.
"He's growing into a guy who is going to go out there and pretty much every night give you an opportunity to win a game," Miami manager Dan Jennings said of Koehler. "It's a testament to him, and the way he works, and is able to grind through it. He's just a winner. Straight and simple. He is a winner."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Super slider: It's no secret that Ross' best pitch is his slider and he got a lot of mileage out of it Thursday. Ross struck out seven hitters in the first three innings -- all on sliders. In fact, he struck out the side to start the game, getting Ichiro Suzuki, Martin Prado and Christian Yelich to swing through his slider.
Singles parade in sixth: Ross was cruising for 5 2/3 innings, striking out eight. But with two outs in the sixth, Prado squeezed a single to center. It triggered a string of five straight singles that led to a four-run inning. Yelich singled to right, putting runners on the corners. After a wild pitch scored Prado, Bour had an RBI hit. Casey McGehee followed with a single, and Realmuto lined a run-scoring single to left. More >
"I thought we did a pretty good job of realizing what he was trying to do, and not trying to do too much against him," McGehee said. "Once we got that first run on the pitch that got away, it took some of the pressure off."
About those wheels: Padres right fielder Matt Kemp has made some noise with his bat in the second half, but on Thursday he prevented an extra-base hit when he tracked down Adeiny Hechavarria's liner to right field to end the fifth inning. Kemp caught the ball before he ran into the padded wall near the corner.
Koehler throws up zeros: When Koehler walked Abraham Almonte to open the first inning, it could have been the sign of a wild night for the right-hander. Instead, despite walking four, Koehler gave Miami one of its most effective starts this season. He made it through seven innings, allowing just three hits, and not allowing a run. Koehler, who said he had his best slider working this year, matched his season high with seven strikeouts. His only start longer without allowing a run was in a win over the Nationals on April 25, when he went 7 1/3 scoreless.
Koehler credits some of his success this season to gaining insights from teammate Dan Haren.
"Dan has helped me out a lot," Koehler said. "Just understanding that when the situation gets tighter, you don't necessarily have to throw better pitches or nastier pitches. Just stick to your game plan and execute the pitch you were trying to do the whole time. If it is good enough to get a guy out with nobody on, it's still good enough to get a guy out with somebody on."
"I thought he was really super the first five innings. You saw in the sixth the wild pitch and then well-placed hits, still weren't hitting hard. The wild pitch threw him for a loop and he beat himself up over that. He's trying to do what they're all trying to do -- showing everybody they're a worthy team. And I think they are." -- Padres interim manager Pat Murphy
"Yelly showed why he is a Gold Glover. His catches come at big times. Again, we're moving him around a little bit right now, but the athletic ability he shows. You truly know why he was a Gold Glover and is on his way to another Gold Glove." -- Jennings on Yelich's two great catches in left field
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Ross didn't get the victory, but he earned a piece of franchise history by extending his streak of starts without a home run to 16 -- a club record. The old mark was held by Dave Roberts in 1971. The last home run Ross allowed was April 28 to Evan Gattis of the Astros. More >
THROWING IT AWAY
The Marlins got an assist for their fourth run of the game, as a throwing error by Padres catcher Austin Hedges -- coupled with a throwing error on the same play, by shortstop Alexi Amarista -- allowed a run to score, capping a vexing inning for San Diego.
WHAT'S NEXT Marlins: Dan Haren (7-5, 3.46) makes perhaps his final start as a Marlin. The subject of trade discussion, Haren gets the nod Friday in the 10:10 p.m. ET start at Petco Park.
Padres:Andrew Cashner (3-10, 4.10), rumored to be a pitcher the Padres could move on or before the July 31 Trade Deadline, gets the start against the Marlins. Cashner has only won once in seven starts at home this season.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Listen to his podcast.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.