MIAMI -- Sloppy defense has become a factor in the Marlins' slow start.
In Saturday's disheartening 5-4 loss to Houston, Miami committed three errors in the ninth inning that helped lead to four runs.
"If we intend to be a good team, we have to clean it up," bench coach Joey Cora said. "We have to play better defense. We've done it at times, but we have to clean it up, plain and simple. We have to play better defense to compete and win games, especially the way the ballpark is playing. We're going to have to catch the ball, make the right throws and win games at this ballpark. We need to clean it up."
Spacious Marlins Park has been more pitcher-friendly, as one home run has been hit in the first three games.
Whether home or away, the Marlins haven't shown consistency in the field. In Saturday's loss, Emilio Bonifacio bobbled a ball in center field, allowing Jose Altuve to reach third on a double and error. Jordan Schafer reached on catcher's interference on Brett Hayes, which is an error. And the go-ahead run scored when Brian Bogusevic's fly ball to left was dropped by Logan Morrison.
"We made some errors in Philadelphia. We have to clean it up," Cora said. "It is what it is. We have to play better defense. For us to win games, we're built on pitching and we're built on defense. We need to play better defense. That's the way it's got to be for us to be able to compete and to get to where we want to be. It's that simple."
The Marlins have nine errors, which is tied for the fourth most in the big leagues.
"It's still early in the year. Sure, it is," Cora said. "But you try to win as many games as you can, because at the end of the year, they add up. When you have a game like that, it's tough."