MIAMI (AP) - The Florida Marlins gave their biggest crowd since opening day little to cheer about. And when Hanley Ramirez grounded out in the eighth inning, there were scattered boos.
It was a frustrating night for the Fish and their fans Saturday, when a four-game winning streak ended with a 3-1 loss to Colorado.
The Marlins managed only seven hits against Colorado starter Jason Hammel, and their final seven batters were retired by the Rockies' bullpen.
``We just ran into some very good pitching,' Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said. ``Hammel was mixing up his pitches and hitting his spots. He did a very good job.'
Ramirez made his fifth error of the season on a bad throw and went 0 for 4, dropping his average to .194.
``Right now he's not doing his usual Hanley thing,' Hammel said. ``We've kind of got an advantage there.'
Ramirez, the 2009 NL batting champion, is in a 2-for-23 slump.
``He's pressing,' Rodriguez said. ``He's swinging at pitches out of the strike zone. He's forcing the situation instead of letting the ball come to him. He needs to make the pitchers throw strikes.'
One night after being one-hit, the Rockies broke out with a whopping six hits. Hammel pitched a season-high 6 2-3 innings and bunted home a run to give the Rockies' sputtering offense a boost.
``We got enough hits to win,' Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said. ``That's all that really matters. We didn't play our best game at all, but we manufactured some runs. It's one of those games that is an ugly win.'
The NL West-leading Rockies improved to 8-2 on the road thanks largely to Hammel (2-1). He allowed one run to silence a crowd announced at 37,381, although the actual turnout was about 25,000.
``We got a great start from Jason,' manager Jim Tracy said. ``And obviously we took advantage of that, because the little offense that we were able to get, he made it stand up. Something like that is what we're looking for from him on a consistent basis.'
Huston Street pitched the ninth to earn his seventh save in as many chances.
The Rockies, who were one-hit by Anibal Sanchez in a defeat Friday, this time waited only four batters for a hit - Tulowitzki's RBI single. Ty Wigginton put Colorado ahead to stay with a sacrifice fly in the sixth.
Javier Vazquez (1-2) allowed four hits, five walks and three runs in six innings.
``Holding a team like Colorado to three runs, I think that's a pretty good outing,' Rodriguez said.
Vazquez was making his first start in eight days.
``I didn't feel any rust or anything,' he said. ``I actually felt pretty good out there.'
Colorado broke a 1-all tie with two runs in the sixth. Todd Helton doubled and took third when left fielder Emilio Bonifacio took a zigzag route and let Seth Smith's deep fly fall for a double. Wigginton's flyout put Colorado ahead.
Hammel then laid down a sacrifice bunt to score Smith from third.
``It was a slider,' Hammel said with a chuckle. ``That was the first time I put a breaking ball in play on a bunt in I don't know how long. Kudos to me there.'
NOTES: Less than 24 hours after throwing 123 pitches in a one-hitter, Sanchez said he felt fine. He was hit in the right leg by a hard grounder in the seventh inning. ... The Puerto Rican salsa band El Gran Combo performed a postgame concert. Their fans include Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez, who said the band played at his high school during his senior year in 1978. ... Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta (stiff back) was held out of the starting lineup but was available off the bench. ... Right-handed hitters are 3 for 35 (.086) this season against Marlins RHP Josh Johnson, who starts the final game of the series Sunday.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved