Baseball / Sports

Back from break, Marlins can't snap losing streak, fall to Giants

MIAMI -- The hope was this week's All-Star break would provide the Marlins some therapeutic benefit. Instead, they returned from the hiatus Friday playing the same sickly brand of baseball.

Starter Nathan Eovaldi retired the first four batters he faced before the visiting Giants went to work. They went 9 for their last 17 off him on their way to comfortable 9-1 romp behind ace Madison Bumgarner.

Losers of five in a row and sitting at a season-worst seven games below .500 (44-51), the Marlins trailed 4-0 before they got their first runner into scoring position. Eovaldi started the fifth and failed to retire any of the four batters he faced that inning. Pablo Sandoval ended Eovaldi's evening when he drilled his 84th and final pitch into the Marlins' bullpen in right for a three-run homer.

That made it 8-0 and caused Eovaldi's already bloated 12.27 career ERA against the Giants to distend further to 13.30 in 25 1/3 innings. He's allowed eight or more runs in a start three times. All of those outings have come against the Giants, who can boast a .396 average (44 for 111) with 20 extra-base hits off him.

"They were on him," manager Mike Redmond said. "They were on his fastball. They missed a few spots."

Eovaldi was at a loss to explain his struggles against the Giants, saying: "I have no idea. I wish I knew."

The Sandoval blast was one of two Eovaldi surrendered. The only other game this season he served up multiple homers was May 5 against the Mets.

Eovaldi barely was able to throw fewer pitches in the third (26) than he did in the second (27). With Morse on second, Brandon Crawford initiated the scoring with a two-run homer to right.

Crawford with two out fell behind 1-2 before fouling off four Eovaldi fastballs and a curve. He deposited the 11th pitch of the at-bat -- a 96-mph, 3-2 heater -- over the right-field fence.

"Everything developed after that second inning," Eovaldi said. "I was making some good pitches, getting the ball in deep on the guys and they were just finding holes."

Bumgarner had allowed just two hits through 5 2/3 innings when Giancarlo Stanton drove a 0-1 breaking ball into the base of the Home Run sculpture. Stanton's 139th career homer snapped a 59 at-bat drought and gave him sole possession of fourth place on the franchise's all-time list, ahead of Miguel Cabrera.

Stanton entered that at-bat in a 1-for-20 skid. Before the game, he said participating in the Home Run Derby Monday helped iron out his swing. His had not homered since June 26 at Philadelphia. Since then was in a 13-for-59 skid (.220) with 19 strikeouts before sending his 22nd into the seats.

The Marlins have scored exactly one run in three of their last four and three or fewer in six of seven.

"We have to pitch better," Redmond said. "We just do. ... You put a lot of pressure on your offense. We're going to go through some spells where we don't score runs, but when you're down 4-0 in the third inning, that's a pretty daunting number, especially when you're going up against a guy like Bumgarner."

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