SAN DIEGO -- Marlins starter Tom Koehler didn't have his "A" game Sunday. And with Padres clogging the bases in the fifth inning, the odds were long Koehler would see the sixth.But as quickly as Koehler could say "Prado to Gordon to Bour," he had new life in what ended
SAN DIEGO -- Marlins starter Tom Koehler didn't have his "A" game Sunday. And with Padres clogging the bases in the fifth inning, the odds were long Koehler would see the sixth.
But as quickly as Koehler could say "Prado to Gordon to Bour," he had new life in what ended up a 7-3 victory.
"You are trying to get one out there but you are trying to get them to hit it on the ground and let those guys behind me play," Koehler said. "We've got to be as good as anyone in the league. They were able to turn the double play and it's a double play maybe some other teams don't make. I feel very fortunate to have those guys behind me."
Koehler induced William Myers, the Padres' best hitter, to roll a grounder to Martin Prado, who flipped it to Dee Gordon, who relayed it to Justin Bour. The Marlins escaped the inning, still only down by three runs and far from dead.
"Those are the kind of things during the course of the game that sometimes you miss them," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said.
The Marlins didn't miss many pitches when batting in the sixth. They spit out six runs in that frame to take the lead. The victory clinched the series and allowed them to split their six games on the West Coast portion of their three-city trip.
It's on to Philadelphia where Koehler will reflect on earning a win when the outcome could have easily been reversed. He put the Marlins in a 3-0 hole through four innings and it looked as though Koehler was finished, too.
Then he got the big double play, which kept the Marlins -- especially with their potent lineup -- within striking distance.
"Keeping it at three runs, that's attainable," said Koehler, who surrendered three runs on six hits and two walks, with seven strikeouts. "You get past that and you really have to work.
"At any moment, any [Marlin] can do some damage. Every guy has the potential to drive in that big run. They are hitting the ball well and hitting it where it is pitched."
Koehler's offerings were far from perfect. He bobbed and weaved through most the game, which is par for the course.
"I thought we were going to get him out a lot earlier in the game," said Padres outfielder Manuel Margot, who had two hits. "But he made a lot of adjustments and had a good outing"
He was just good enough, which is all Mattingly asks.
"He was able to keep battling and that is kind of what he does," Mattingly said. "It didn't look like he had his good stuff. He missed some spots and things like that."
Bour didn't let Craig Stammen's pitch skip his bat. His three-run homer in the sixth kept Koehler in the game when his spot came up soon after.
"We would have hit for him right there," Mattingly said. "When J.B. hits the homer, it gives us the luxury to send [Koehler] back out there for one more inning and not waste a pinch-hitter there."
Koehler didn't squander his chance. He worked a clean sixth, which included striking out Hunter Renfroe and Luis Sardinas.
"Early on, it could have gotten away from me again," Koehler said. "But I was able to make the pitches to make sure that wouldn't happen."
Jay Paris is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Marlins on Sunday.