RISP woes a big factor in Marlins' standing

RISP woes a big factor in Marlins' standing

RISP woes a big factor in Marlins' standing
PITTSBURGH -- The Marlins came into Sunday's series finale at PNC Park trailing the Nationals by 10 1/2 games in the National League East, sitting at six games below .500.

Miami has lost four straight games, and in that time has gone 2-for-29 with runners in scoring position. The Marlins are averaging 1.75 runs per game during their current losing streak.

Still, though, there isn't a sense in the clubhouse that it's too late to turn things around.

"Everyone knows there's a lot of season left. But at the same time, we know that we need to get it going," outfielder Austin Kearns said Sunday. "We've just got to keep pushing."

Kearns hasn't had much of chance to contribute lately, having had just eight at-bats during the Marlins' current road trip. In 84 at-bats this season, Kearns is hitting .262 with four home runs and 13 RBIs. His on-base percentage is .347.

In his only at-bat against the Pirates this series, Kearns entered as pinch-hitter and singled during the ninth inning of Friday's 4-3 loss, a game in which the Marlins stranded eight runners and went 0-for-8 with men in scoring position.

"Sometimes, you go through stretches where you're not swinging the bat well," Kearns said, referring to the team's production in RISP situations. "So, you've just got to try to relax and have a good at-bat, and see what happens."

Added pitcher Josh Johnson: "It's been kind of that way the whole year. You'd like to see a little bit better [performance], but what are you going to do?"

Johnson will start for Miami on Monday in the first game of a six-game homestand. In three July starts, Johnson is 0-2 with a 7.56 ERA.

"I haven't been performing up to par," Johnson said. "We've still got time, but we've got to start winning now."