Rare homers off Turner spell trouble without offense
Righty allows second and third HRs of year, Miami shut out for 10th time
MILWAUKEE -- It was a matchup of a power-packed team facing a pitcher with a penchant of keeping the ball in the yard.
Juan Francisco and Carlos Gomez each connected on solo home runs off Jacob Turner on Friday night to propel the Brewers to a 2-0 win over the Marlins at Miller Park.
Milwaukee came out of the All-Star Break with 90 home runs, tied for fifth most in the National League.
Kyle Lohse threw six innings, scattering five hits and striking out five. He allowed only one extra-base hit -- Logan Morrison's sixth-inning double.
Turner, meanwhile, was victimized only once by the long ball in the first half. In his first eight starts, spanning 54 innings, the 22-year-old allowed one homer.
"I definitely didn't have my best stuff," said Turner, who was pitching for the first time since July 10. "You're not going to have it every day. It's just a matter of trying to make as many pitches when you have to. Unfortunately, the home runs. Gomez was an 0-2 pitch. It was just a terrible pitch.
"Francisco, I had him 1-2, and threw a couple of terrible pitches [to get the count full], and I threw another terrible pitch. There really is no excuse for the home runs. They put good swings on bad pitches, but other than that, it was just a battle the whole time."
Even without being his sharpest, Turner was pretty effective minimizing damage. He walked four and allowed five hits in five-plus innings, but he struck out six.
"I'm very happy once again with the way we pitched," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "Turner, he had to grind a little bit there, but at the end of the day, he gave us a chance to win that ballgame. He kept them to two runs. The difference is they hit two home runs and we were really shut down. We couldn't get anything off Lohse. They got the big hits, and we didn't."
Normally, solo home runs aren't devastating for a starting pitcher. But without any run support, any margin for error is exploited.
Miami was shut out for the 10th time this season, and first since a 3-0 decision to the Phillies on May 22. For the Marlins to gain traction in the second half, they will need to get their offense going.
Adeiny Hechavarria picked up where he left off before the break. The 24-year-old shortstop had three singles, and he's had at least two hits in six of his last seven games.
"Hech had a nice night, three hits," Redmond said. "But we need those big boys at the top of the order to do the damage. That didn't happen."
Once again, Lohse shut down Miami. It's become a habit for the 34-year-old right-hander, who improved to 6-2 in his career against the Marlins. A year ago with the Cardinals, Lohse beat the Marlins three times, including Opening Day in the first game at Marlins Park.
"I think Lohsey did a nice job of keeping us off-balance, mixing it in and out," Redmond said.
Turner stranded runners in each of the first three innings, and in two of them, Milwaukee had two on base. But in the fourth, the right-hander was unable to keep the Brewers off the board.
Francisco worked the count full before lifting an opposite-field home run to left. The blast was Francisco's 12th of the season, and second against Miami.
Francisco's shot to left came on an awkward swing, but Turner knew immediately it was gone.
"He took a weird swing on it, but he got it," Turner said. "He kind of has a funky swing on some pitches. I'd faced him a few times before in the Minor Leagues. He has power to the opposite field. I knew right when he hit it, he got it. But when I looked at it on the video, he did have kind of a weird swing."
In the fifth, the Brewers capitalized on the long ball yet again. Gomez turned on Turner's inside breaking ball on a 0-2 pitch, and just kept it fair for his 15th home run.
"I kind of looked at it, but I kept my hands inside really good and I thought I hit it fair," Gomez said. "Anytime you hit a home run it feels good, especially in a close game like that. We started off on a good foot for the second half. This is a good way to start."
With the Marlins struggling to score runs, and leadoff batter Justin Ruggiano in an 0-for-20 slump, Redmond is weighing moving Hechavarria to the top of the order, either to lead off or bat second.
"I've thought about it. We'll see," Redmond said. "We've been talking about it over the last couple of days. It's kind of one of those things where he starts swinging the bat good where he is. You move him and you risk him trying to do too much. It might be worth it. We'll see. I'll sleep on it tonight and see what we come up with tomorrow."