Phillies snap losing streak, beat Marlins
MIAMI -- The lead changed three times in the last four innings on Thursday night, but the Philadelphia Phillies -- mired in a long losing streak -- kept battling.
The Phillies have been swept seven times this year, but the eighth time was not coming -- at least not on this night at Marlins Park.
Philadelphia scored two runs in the top of the ninth inning to defeat the Miami Marlins, 5-4
"The good thing is we didn't get swept," Phillies outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. said. "Getting swept is a bad feeling, and having to get on a plane after that is even worse."
The Phillies (37-48) can now enjoy a happy plane ride after snapping their six-game losing streak. The Phillies had scored a total of 12 runs during the skid, which matched their longest of the season.
Miami (41-44) had its modest two-game win streak halted in a game that featured lead changes in the sixth, eighth and ninth innings.
The Phillies trailed 4-3 entering the ninth but rallied against Marlins closer Steve Cishek (4-4).
The inning started with a walk by pinch-hitter Gwynn, who raced to third on center fielder Ben Revere's single. After Revere stole second, shortstop Jimmy Rollins tied the score on a groundout.
The Marlins looked like they might get out of the inning on a ground ball by second baseman Chase Utley. But Marlins second baseman Donovan Solano bobbled the ball and could only get one out, allowing Revere to score the winning run.
"You can't walk the leadoff batter, especially on four pitches," Cishek said of losing Gwynn. "I didn't even give him a chance (to get an out). We're battling to move up in the (NL East), and you can't have that happen."
Marlins Manager Mike Redmond also focused on the base on balls.
"You walk the leadoff guy -- after that, I don't think it really matters," he said. "It's a tough way for the series to end."
The Marlins still had a shot in the bottom of the ninth, but Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon earned his 19th save of the season. With a runner on second, he struck out Miami's final two batters, pinch-hitter Reed Johnson and left fielder Christian Yelich.
Miami scored twice in the eighth off Phillies reliever Jake Diekman. The big blow was a pinch-triple by Jeff Baker that gave Miami a 4-3 lead.
"The biggest thing is our guys fought back," Phillies Manager Ryne Sandberg said. "We put the ball in play with men on base."
Miami took a 1-0 lead in the third inning. Center fielder Marcell Ozuna doubled to right-center field, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a squeeze bunt by pitcher Brad Hand. Phillies pitcher Kyle Kendrick fielded Hand's bunt with his bare hand and flipped the ball home, but it wasn't in time to get Ozuna.
The Marlins extended their lead to 2-0 in the fifth and, again, Ozuna scored. He led off with a single, advanced to second on a single by Solano and to third on Hand's second sacrifice bunt. Ozuna then came home on a single by Yelich.
Philadelphia, which hadn't scored in 17 consecutive innings in the series, broke through in the sixth. Consecutive no-out singles by Utley, first baseman Ryan Howard and right fielder Marlon Byrd loaded the bases, knocking Hand out of the game.
Reliever Chris Hatcher came in and allowed a run-scoring groundout by third baseman Cesar Hernandez. Then, with two outs, catcher Cameron Rupp hit a 3-2 pitch off the wall in right field for a two-run double, putting the Phillies up 3-2.
Rupp, 25, was hitting .167 at Triple-A Lehigh Valley this season and was batting just .143 with the Phillies entering Thursday.
"That was nice," Kendrick said of his catcher's big hit. "Rupp battled -- that was a big at-bat."
NOTES: Marlins RHP Tom Koehler and his wife, Ashley, had their first child on Thursday, a girl, Riley. ... Marlins RF Giancarlo Stanton is the fourth player in franchise history to have at least 20 homers and 60 RBIs before the All-Star break. The others were Gary Sheffield (1996), Cliff Floyd (2001) and Mike Lowell (2003). ... LHP Mario Hollands had his 19-game scoreless streak -- a Phillies rookie record -- snapped Wednesday. In addition, Hollands suffered a bruised right knee after getting hit with a batted ball and is listed as day to day. ... The Phillies were blanked for the 11th time this year on Wednesday, the most shutouts they have suffered at this stage of the season since 1969. ... Up next, the Phillies make their second stop on their 10-game road trip, playing at Pittsburgh on Friday to open a three-game set. ... Phillies LF Domonic Brown, who is on paternity leave, is expected to join the team in Pittsburgh. ... The Marlins start a three-city, nine-game trip on Friday in St. Louis that will take Miami into the All-Star break.