Ruggiano homers in Marlins’ 4-3 loss to Rockies


MIAMI  | The Miami Marlins committed two errors and left 11 men on base. There also was a costly wild pitch.

It’s a very familiar story for manager Mike Redmond.

“We’re not a team that’s equipped to make a lot of mistakes, and when we do make mistakes they usually come back to haunt us and you saw that again today,” Redmond said after Sunday’s 4-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies. “That’s why we came away with three wins on this homestand.”

After Miami Marlins' Giancario Stanton (27) was forced out at second, Colorado Rockies shortshop Jonathan Herrera is unable to complete a fifth-inning double play during a Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013, baseball game in Miami. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)
After Miami Marlins’ Giancario Stanton (27) was forced out at second, Colorado Rockies shortshop Jonathan Herrera is unable to complete a fifth-inning double play during a Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013, baseball game in Miami. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

Miami went 2 for 13 with runners in scoring position. The Marlins loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth and failed to score, a damaging sequence in the final game of a 3-7 homestand.

“To have the bases loaded and nobody out and not score a run really killed us, but really the whole homestand we didn’t play well,” Redmond said. “We made a lot of little mistakes that ended up costing us.”

Jacob Turner (3-5) hurt himself with a wild pitch in the second inning and second baseman Donovan Solano had a big throwing error. Michael Cuddyer moved to third on the wild pitch before Ryan Wheeler singled him home. Nolan Arenado scored on Solano’s error, and Jonathan Herrera’s sacrifice fly gave the Rockies a 3-0 lead.

Miami’s Justin Ruggiano homered and drove in two runs. Turner allowed four runs — three earned — in 5 2-3 innings.

Arenado was a difference-maker for the Rockies with his glove and his bat. He started a pivotal double play in the fourth and hit a tiebreaking RBI double in the sixth.

“He had a huge game,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. “That’s why it’s tough to give Nolan a day off ever, you keep running him out there because he does stuff on defense to win you games. The double play was the ball-game really and he got the big hit on top of it.”

Arenado got off to a strong start on defense with a deep throw jumping off his left foot to get Solano in the first. With the bases loaded and nobody out in the fourth, the third baseman fielded a slow grounder by Koyie Hill and threw home to Jordan Pacheco, who fired the ball to first to complete the double play.

“When I first got it I was thinking of just going to first, but I didn’t think I had a throw there,” Arenado said. “I didn’t know if the jump-throw was going to be the right play so I told myself to go home with it and make sure I got the out and then luckily Pacheco made a great play to go to first too.”

Arenado’s RBI double in the sixth put the Rockies ahead for good.

“The pitch was down, but luckily I was able to put a good swing on it,” Arenado said. “It’s good thing that Cuddy got on. He really helped me out there so it was nice.”

Jorge De La Rosa (14-6) battled through a nagging thumb injury to win his fourth consecutive decision, allowing three runs in five innings. De La Rosa improved to 7-0 with a 1.92 ERA in day games.

“Today was the worst,” said De La Rosa, who has been dealing with a thumb ligament injury all season. “Before that it was a little sore, but I was able to pitch. Today was a little more sore. When I threw a pitch it felt like my thumb was going to come off.”

Five relievers then combined for four hitless innings, with Rex Brothers working the ninth for his 13th save in 14 chances. With runners on first and second, Brothers got Ed Lucas to ground into a fielder’s choice to end the game and give the Rockies their first road series win since June 3-5 at Cincinnati.

“It’s been a while,” Weiss said. “We’ve played a lot of close games, a lot of them were just like that. We’ve had our heart broken a few times in those types of games so it’s good to see us win some tight ones.”

Ruggiano belted a two-out solo shot in the second, and then had a tying RBI single in the fourth. It was Ruggiano’s 15th homer.

After Ruggiano’s RBI single tied it at 3, the Marlins loaded the bases with no outs, but were unable to score. Turner struck out after Arenado’s double play.

The Rockies went ahead with a two-out rally in the sixth. Cuddyer singled and scored on Arenado’s double to left.

“It’s frustrating when the team comes back to tie the game, and I get two outs in that sixth and then give up back-to-back hits to score the game-winning run,” Turner said. “That’s probably the most frustrating thing and that’s sticking with me mentally.”

Adam Ottavino, Josh Outman, Wilton Lopez, and Matt Belisle combined for three innings before turning it over to Brothers for the ninth. Brothers walked Solano and Logan Morrison, but managed to wiggle out of the jam.

NOTES: The Marlins optioned INF Gil Velazquez to Triple-A New Orleans after the game to make room for 3B Placido Polanco (head), who is expected to be activated from the seven-day disabled list on Tuesday. … Ruggiano hit three home runs during the Marlins’ homestand after hitting his first 12 of the season on the road. … Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki was held out of the lineup with a sore oblique. … Rockies RHP Tyler Chatwood (elbow) will make a rehab start with Triple-A Colorado Springs on Tuesday. … Colorado returns home on Monday for a three-game series against San Francisco, which will send LHP Barry Zito (4-9, 5.63 ERA) to the hill against Rockies RHP Juan Nicasio (7-6, 4.79 ERA). … Miami will have a day off on Monday before beginning a three-game series at Washington, with RHP Nathan Eovaldi (2-4, 3.82 ERA) on the mound against Nationals RHP Ross Ohlendorf (2-0, 2.58 ERA).