SAN DIEGO: The Miami Marlins’ offense on this road trip is either a torrent or a trickle.
A day after failing to advance a runner past first base, the feast-or-famine Marlins scored seven runs in an inning for the third time in five games.
The big inning this time came in the second Monday (Tuesday in Manila) off Colin Rea on the way to a 13-4 win against the Padres at Petco Park.
Ichiro Suzuki, filling in for slumping Giancarlo Stanton, had three hits, walked twice and scored three runs as a spark in the leadoff spot. Ichiro needs 23 hits for 3,000 in Major League Baseball, and moved within one in unofficial pursuit of Peter Rose’s standard of 4,256, including 1,289 accumulated in Japan.
Martin Prado hit a two-run homer and Adeiny Hechevarria cleared the bases with a three-run triple in the second-inning surge.
Sunday in Arizona, Miami managed three singles and hit into two double plays in seven innings against the Diamondbacks’ Robbie Ray.
The scoring output was a season high for the Marlins, as was their 19 hits, and enabled them to even their record on the trip at 3-3.
Monday’s outburst was ample support for Wei-Yin Chen to end a drought of five starts without a win, even though the left-hander gave up four home runs.
Fortunately for Miami, they all came with the bases empty. But it is troubling on the heels of Chen serving three homers in his previous start at Minnesota. It also pushed his ERA to 4.68, well above his career mark of 3.80.
In addition to the generous hitting support, Chen (4-2) had the backing of a sizable cheering section of Taiwanese fans behind the visitors’ dugout.
Most of the crowd spent the evening voicing displeasure with Padres pitching, including former Marlin Brad Hand, who gave up four runs in the fifth when Miami batted around for the second time.
The Padres had back-up catcher Christian Bethancourt pitch the ninth inning. His first pitch was a 49-mph knuckleball to Chris Johnson, then got his former Braves teammate to fly out on a fastball. Bethancourt gave up a hit and a walk, but didn’t allow a run.
Marlins manager Don Mattingly said Stanton, whose average has dipped to .192, will be back in the lineup Tuesday.
“G is really frustrated with the way things are going,” Mattingly said before the game. “I just don’t want that to boil over into worse. So we’ll give him a day here,” said Mattingly, adding that it also provided an opportunity to get hot-hitting Ichiro in the leadoff spot.
“You have to admit, getting him in there is enticing right now, because of what he is able to bring to the table for us,” Mattingly said. “But I think it’s two-fold, from what we talked about with G, to help him get on track. But to have Ichy to play, and have him as a leadoff guy, and hopefully spark us.”
With Ichiro leading the way, it only took two batters to get a runner in scoring position, as he led off the game with a walk and Prado followed with a single.
Also diverging from recent habits, they grabbed advantage of the scoring chance on Justin Bour’s shift-busting single through the left side with two outs. Ichiro just beat a weak throw home from shallow left by Melvin Upton, Jr.
But it only took two batters in the bottom of the inning for Chen to give the run back when Wil Myers drove his 14th of the season the opposite way to right.
Matt Kemp, Upton and Rosales also homered for the Padres. Six of the seven hits Chen gave up in six innings were for extra bases.
Prado got the second inning going with a two-run homer to left, his second of the season. The stage was set for Hechevarria with the aid of Padres second baseman Adam Rosales dropping the feed on a potential double play. Hechavarria finished with four RBIs.
Prado had three hits before leaving after fouling a ball off his foot. Bour also had three hits, twice driving the ball the opposite way against the shift.