MIAMI In each of the last three seasons the Marlins have lost 18 or more games in a month. At least this year they got it out of the way a little earlier.
The Marlins, who lost a club record 23 games in June 2011 and followed it up with an 18-loss June last season lost for the 21st time this May. The Rays opened the second half of the home-and-home interleague series with a 3-1 victory at Marlins Park.
The loss was the club's season-high eighth straight, its longest skid since June 11-20, 2011, when they tied the franchise record (11) for the third time.
Roberto Hernandez, formerly known as Fausto Carmona, was one out away from becoming the 16th pitcher ever to hold the Marlins to two hits while tossing a complete game. Placido Polanco singled on Hernandez's 92nd and final delivery before Rays' manager Joe Maddon summoned closer Fernando Rodney to face Derek Dietrich.
Representing the tying run, Dietrich, who just missed a home to right-center in the fourth, lined Rodney's second pitch to the warning track in right for the final out.
"I don't get too excited around here because some of those balls are crushed and they don't seem to go anywhere out there," Redmond said.
Added Dietrich: "Right off the bat I knew I hit it well. That was the approach going into it, get a pitch I could drive and I did. I can't control the results."
Before Polanco's single, Hernandez sat down 26 of 27 batters. Sixteen of those outs were on the groundouts or strikeouts (five).
Wednesday's tough luck pitcher was Tom Koehler. He allowed three runs on seven hits with a walk and four strikeouts over a career-best eight innings. The first three Rays' batters reached on hits during a two-run first.
"It's tough to sit here and say I'm happy because I'm not," Koehler said. "I'm not happy about giving up two runs in the first."
Marlins' starters now have taken a loss seven times after throwing a quality start (six or more innings, three earned runs or fewer).
Marcell Ozuna in the fourth had one of the three Marlins' hits off Hernandez. He reached on an infield single that extended his hitting streak to 14 games, the longest active run in the majors. The hitting streak also is tied for the third-longest in club history by a rookie behind Edgar Renteria (22 and 14, 1996), Chuck Carr (15, 1993) and Chris Coghlan (14, 2009), according to STATS LLC.
Coghlan with a leadoff double in the first extended his hitting streak to five games. He advanced to third on Placido Polanco's deep fly to right and scored on Matt Joyce's throwing error.
Over his last five, Coghlan is 8-for-19 (.421) with four extra-base hits, three runs and three RBI.
"We've seen it before," Redmond said. "We just can't get anything going offensively…It seems like they've got 15 guys out there right now…We were aggressive in the strike zone. We just weren't able to get hits."
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