Following another successful homestand, the Miami Marlins are hopeful that they can finally turn around their abysmal road record when they set out on their longest trip of the season.
The Marlins could use a better outing from Jacob Turner if they want to get that trek off to a winning start Thursday night against the scuffling San Diego Padres.No team has enjoyed its home field like Miami, having gone 17-5 there. The Marlins have had nearly the opposite showing on the road, going 2-10, but they'll try to use some momentum from a nearly perfect nine-game homestand.They went 8-1 during that stay and tied a season high with a fourth consecutive win Wednesday, 1-0 over the New York Mets. Marcell Ozuna's sacrifice fly in the ninth inning helped finish off the three-game sweep.Miami (19-15) has batted .299 while outscoring opponents 49-26 in its last nine games, and the Marlins' starters have posted a 2.29 ERA. The entire staff has a 2.61 ERA at home compared with a 4.66 mark on the road, and Miami is batting .215 away from home and .296 at Marlins Park.Casey McGehee, hitting .438 in his last eight games, thinks the team's confidence heading into this West Coast trip could change those stats."Just the fact that we've had the amount of success we've had at home, it makes it feel like (the tough road trips were) a long time ago," the third baseman told the team's official website. "I think we've got a lot of guys feeling good about themselves."The Marlins are hoping that Turner can feel good after struggling in his return from a strained right shoulder.Turner (0-0, 9.90 ERA) gave up six runs and nine hits over four innings in Saturday's 9-7, 10-inning loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers."He needs some innings," catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said. "Right now, he's behind the eight ball (compared with) the other guys because they've had a few more starts than him."Turner recorded the only complete game in his career -- a seven-hitter -- in his lone start against San Diego, a 7-1 victory June 29.This time, he'll face a Padres team that's batted .190 and scored 16 runs during a 2-6 stretch. San Diego (15-20) was shut out for the third time in those eight games and a major league-worst sixth time this season Wednesday, 8-0 by Kansas City."We're kind of in a team-wide funk," pitcher Andrew Cashner said. "But things will turn. It's a long season."The Padres are hoping Ian Kennedy (2-4, 3.43) can help end their woes with another strong start against Miami. He's allowed one run in each of his last two matchups, covering 12 1/3 innings, and yielded three hits in six innings in a 4-2 victory April 6 that snapped San Diego's five-game skid in the series.Kennedy has a 2.50 ERA and 21 strikeouts in his last three outings, and he's walked one in his past two. He gave up a season-high 11 hits, however, in a 4-3 loss to Arizona on Saturday.McGehee is 0 for 9 against the right-hander while Garrett Jones (5 for 12) and Giancarlo Stanton (4 for 11) have experienced more success. Stanton is 8 for 16 with two homers and five RBIs in his last five games.