The Miami Marlins fell behind early and were unable to recover in Wednesday's 5-4 loss to the Texas Rangers.
The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for Miami and put a minor dent in their movement up the Wild Card standings. Miami had entered the day 2.5 games back of the second Wild Card spot.
Nathan Eovaldi allowed five runs and they all came in the first two innings. Those runs came on nine hits and a walk. Four of the runs were earned and the early trouble put a down tone on the game for Miami from the get-go
Brad Hand, Chris Hatcher, A.J. Ramos and Mike Dunn combined for four scoreless innings of relief that kept the game within reach. Hand could still be a member of the rotation despite the one-inning appearance. Manager Mike Redmond has yet to tip his hand on whether he'll go with Hand or Brad Penny when next needed.
For most of the game, the Marlins looked lethargic in the field and at the plate after a terrific extra-inning win a day earlier. Despite facing a local product with limited big league success thus far in Nick Martinez, the Marlins appeared overmatched at times.
Martinez struck out seven Miami hitters while the Texas bullpen added on another three strikeouts. Giancarlo Stanton who was the hero on Tuesday was 0-3 in this game and was punched out three times.
Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna were exceptions for Miami in terms of good days at the plate. Yelich was 3-4 which included his 21st double of the season. Ozuna also had three hits including his 18th home run of the year in the ninth inning and his 20th two-bagger earlier in the game.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia pinch-hit for Jeff Mathis later in the ninth inning and hit his 11th home run of the season to cut the deficit to one run. Miami had entered the final inning down by three after scoring two runs in the fourth inning.
Miami is off on Thursday and will begin a series in Colorado on Friday with Henderson Alvarez scheduled to start for the Marlins.