SAN DIEGO -- Petco Park will always be a special place for Derek Dietrich. The Marlins third baseman made his MLB debut in San Diego on May 8, 2013, and delivered his first big league hit that day, a single.
On Saturday night, Dietrich added another memory, with a home run in the seventh inning off Ian Kennedy. The drive to right, however, wasn't enough, as the Marlins were frustrated, yet again, in a 3-1 loss to the Padres.
"Any time you have a chance to come back to a park like this, a beautiful park, and it's where I made my debut," Dietrich said. "It's awesome."
Sentiment aside, the Marlins have now dropped two straight, and fell to 3-6 on the road trip. Still, they have a chance to salvage a four-game split Sunday.
"Hopefully, we can finish off the series tomorrow, get a win and go back home, and get rolling," Dietrich said.
The past two games have been highly frustrating. The Marlins were just 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position, and left eight on base. On Friday, it was more of the same, 1-for-10 with RISP, with nine stranded.
The Marlins have now dropped back-to-back games to the Padres, each by identical 3-1 scores. The pattern on Saturday mirrored that on Friday, an inability to come through with runners in scoring position.
"The old adage is, we're trying to do too much, or being a little too aggressive," Dietrich said. "But you have to be in those kinds of situations where the guy on the mound has a good fastball, and slider. Just stay within ourselves. Get the situational hitting done."
The Marlins had a shot to pull even in the seventh. Dietrich's homer to open the inning made it 2-1. J.T. Realmuto followed with a triple, putting the tying run 90 feet away with no outs.
With the infield in, Adeiny Hechavarria tapped to third. Pinch-hitter Casey McGehee lifted a soft liner to center, that Will Venable was able to snare while charging. Because it wasn't deep, Realmuto was held at third.
"That's the reason we pinch-hit Casey right there, because we felt confident about him getting the ball in the air, giving us a chance for the sac fly," manager Dan Jennings said. "The fact Venable was running in, it gave him a chance to get that throw off. We chose not to send him."
"We just didn't get a lot of chances, other than that one," Dietrich said.
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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.