Kentucky baseball is on a streak now, just not the right kind.
No. 5 Florida broke a tie in the eighth and beat the third-ranked Wildcats 5-1 Friday night at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
The Gators lead the three-game series 2-0, so UK will drop a second straight Southeastern Conference series after having won six straight.
Florida, two-time defending champs in the SEC, also pulled even in the standings with UK, tied for second place in the East. Both teams are 14-9 in conference play.
Never miss a local story.
UK (36-11) has lost four games in a row and five of six. During those six games, the Cats have stranded 54 runners, including 10 Friday.
"We gotta find a way to score a run. You leave 10 guys on, that's not what we're hoping to do," Coach Gary Henderson said. "We've got to loosen up. ... Our deal's no mystery at this point. We've got to relax and get back to being aggressive when we've got guys in scoring position. Everybody goes through a tough stretch and, obviously, this is ours."
UK collected eight hits, including two each by Luke Maile and Paul McConkey, who was making his first start in place of slumping A.J. Reed.
"The left-on-base stat, that thing's a little bit misleading to a degree," Maile said. "At least we got guys on base, you know."
But the Cats wasted another quality start by Jerad Grundy (4-2), who was backed by two double plays.
"It was probably my best outing of the year," the left-hander said. "I've got to give a lot of credit to the defense. They made an unbelievable amount of plays behind me."
Grundy matched his career best by working 71⁄3 innings. He gave up two runs on six hits and a walk, striking out two.
"He looked outstanding," Henderson said. "Found his rhythm in the second inning, was able to maintain, stay down. A very good outing for him."
Grundy's undoing came when Casey Turgeon, who finished with three of Florida's nine hits, led off the eighth with a triple.
"I was just looking for a good pitch to hit," Turgeon said. "I was laying off his stuff a little out of the zone. I was looking for that pitch down the middle, and I got that tonight.
"I hit it pretty good, and I know it's real short (310 feet) over there. I got jammed a little bit, though. I saw it hit the wall, so I just got on my horse."
Grundy got the next batter to ground out, but No. 9 hitter Josh Tobias singled.
That gave Florida a 2-1 lead and knocked out Grundy.
The Gators added three in the ninth, facing three pitchers.
Florida (35-12) struck quickly as Nolan Fontana opened the game with a double down the right-field line.
Grundy had a play at third on Daniel Piggott's bunt, but went for the sure out at first. Fontana scored on Preston Tucker's single to right.
UK matched that in the bottom of the inning.
Leadoff man Austin Cousino was hit by a pitch, took second on a wild pitch and scored on Maile's single.
The Cats would have liked more, though, as Maile's hit put runners on first and second with no outs.
UK stranded two in the first, second and sixth innings, and left the bases loaded in the fourth.
The win went to Greg Larson (6-0), the third of four Gator pitchers. Steven Rodriguez pitched a perfect eighth and ninth for his second save of the season, and second in as many nights.
"We're fine. It's a very small piece of a very big puzzle, which is the season," Maile said. "We're just going to stay positive and we're going to keep trying to square balls up and, if it doesn't happen, that's just the way it goes. But we're just going to stay positive and keep getting quality starts out of our guys."