Home far from sweet for struggling Marlins

Home far from sweet for struggling Marlins

Home far from sweet for struggling Marlins
MIAMI -- Manager Ozzie Guillen had two words to describe his team's nine-game homestand: "Very bad."

After struggling through the first eight games, the Marlins were handed a 10-2 loss by the Red Sox and lefty Felix Doubront as Miami dropped its third consecutive series and finished its nine-game homestand at 1-8. The Marlins also went 1-8 from April 20-30.

"I'm not going to deny it. ... We're not playing well," Guillen said. "They came out and kicked our butts."

Runs were scarce for the Marlins during the homestand, as they scored just 17 in the nine games. For the better part of Wednesday's rubber match, hits were even harder to come by.

Doubront held the Marlins hitless through 5 2/3 innings, giving up only a one-out walk to Donovan Solano in the first inning. After Solano's walk, Doubront retired 16 straight before Jose Reyes connected on the first pitch he saw from Doubront and deposited it into the left-field stands to give the Marlins their first hit and run of the night. It was Reyes' second home run of the season, and both round-trippers came during this homestand.

"I was feeling like something's going on, but I was just enjoying it, kind of thinking first of all to win and do a good job on the mound," Doubront said of the potential no-hitter.

The Marlins added another run in the seventh, but that's all they would get against Doubront, who pitched seven frames, gave up three hits and struck out nine, including four in a row between the third and fourth innings.

"He pitched very good and had good stuff," Reyes said. "You have to give him some credit. We're not hitting too good right now."

While Doubront was dominant for Boston, Miami starter Ricky Nolasco wasn't nearly as sharp on the mound, giving up four runs (three earned) on five hits in six innings of work.

Boston took an early lead in the third when it scored an unearned run off Nolasco thanks in part to an error on Justin Ruggiano in left. The Red Sox added another run in the fourth on David Ortiz's 15th home run of the season. The blast marked the fourth consecutive outing Nolasco has given up a homer.

Nolasco's night ended after the sixth, when Boston extended its lead to 4-0 thanks to three straight singles to open the inning, followed by a sacrifice fly from Ortiz.

"It's one of those times I was trying to make early contact there," Nolasco said of the sixth. "For the most part I thought I did a decent job, but they just scored more runs than we did."

Although the Marlins clawed back into the game in the sixth and seventh innings, the Red Sox put them away for good in the eighth.

Boston sent 11 men to the plate and scored six runs off three Marlins relievers -- including four off Randy Choate -- to put the game out of reach and send Miami backpedaling into Thursday's off-day.

"If you're not pitching or hitting or doing the little things or not doing them better than the other team, real quick you can look up and you're 1-8," Choate said.

Guillen said the team's struggles aren't for a lack of effort, it's just the results haven't been there. During the nine-game homestand, the Marlins were outscored 56-17 as both the pitchers and the hitters struggled to get in a groove. The team hit just .197 (56-for-285), including .127 (8-for-63) with runners in scoring position.

After losing five of six to the Rays and the Red Sox, the Marlins turn around after Thursday's off-day and face those same two teams again, this time on the road. Miami hopes the change of scenery helps it get back on track.

"Thank God we're playing in a different ballpark," Guillen said. "The way we're playing right now it's very hard to beat anyone, but I think leaving here to go to their cities, hopefully we get pumped and play better out there. It can't get worse than here. We're not playing very well at home."

Tom Green is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.