Extra-base hits eluding scuffling Marlins

Extra-base hits eluding scuffling Marlins

PITTSBURGH -- Don't take Logan Morrison the wrong way. To him, singles are just fine, but what the Marlins have been lacking are the game-changing extra-base hits.

A reminder came in the Marlins' 4-3 loss on Tuesday night to the Pirates.

Miami slapped out 11 hits -- 10 singles and Ed Lucas' double.

"We've got to drive balls in the gaps," said Morrison, Miami's 25-year-old first baseman. "Eleven hits are nice, but it doesn't matter if you don't put any runs up, and they're all singles. Credit their pitching, but at the same time, we've got to find a way."

A lack of offense has plagued Miami all season.

The Marlins rank last in numerous significant hitting categories. They're last in the Majors in runs (357), home runs (63), doubles (145), batting average (.232) and slugging percentage (.334).

"Singles are great, but what does it really do if there is nobody in scoring position?" Morrison said. "It prolongs the innings, makes the pitcher throw a couple of more pitches. All that matters is you scoring more runs than the other team."

Morrison encountered some bad luck on Tuesday, as his long drive to right field clanked off the top of the 21-foot wall in right field. Instead of a three-run homer, it was an RBI single, as he had to stop at first.

Because legendary Roberto Clemente played right field and wore No. 21, the wall in right at PNC Park was set the same height as the Hall of Famer's number.

A foot lower, and Morrison likely would have had a three-run homer.

"Singles aren't working, so try to drive more balls into the gap," Morrison said.

Collectively, the Marlins have to focus on winning the mini-battles throughout games.

"I think it's just about competing," Morrison said. "It's going out and winning every pitch, whether you get out or not. If you're tough, you're making them work and you don't just give yourself up. You're grinding it out. I think guys are doing that. We're a young team. We're going to go through spells like this, even if you're old. I'd rather be young."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter