Giancarlo Stanton looked like a human corkscrew Sunday, twisting and falling to the ground with a mighty swing after striking out for the third time in the Marlins’ 10-6 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.
Stanton later collected his long-awaited first RBI of the season with a two-out single in the ninth inning before Miguel Olivo hit a pinch-hit, three-run home run to make the score respectable.
But Stanton’s cartoonish downward spiral into the dirt in the seventh symbolized the direction of the Marlins, who head to Minneapolis with baseball’s worst record after losing three of four games in Cincinnati.
As Stanton has struggled, so have the Marlins.
“I probably could have batted left-handed and done the equivalent of what I have done so far this year until that last at-bat,’’ said Stanton, who’s batting .188 with one RBI and no homers in 13 games. “You can only look forward from here.’’
The Marlins (4-15) are off to their worst start in franchise history. They’re within reach of breaking the 1999 team’s record (6-17) for the worst April.
That ’99 club went on to lose 98 games, but the 2013 Marlins look like they’re intent on breaking the 1998 team’s record of 108 losses.
“I do believe we are better than what our record is. We have stayed in ballgames,’’ said starting pitcher Alex Sanabia (2-2), who lost on the road for the first time in 12 such career starts.
On Sunday, the Marlins entered the seventh inning tied at 2 before the Reds sent 12 men to the plate and scored eight runs — more runs than the Marlins scored in their previous four games combined.
There are many reasons for the Marlins’ terrible start, but some of the blame goes to Stanton. He has looked lost so far this season. On Sunday, he went 2-for-5 with three strikeouts and made his third fielding error in three games.