Thursday, April 23, 2015

Defense, pitching fail Phils in series-ending loss to Marlins

Philadelphia,  PA -- Martin Prado finished with three hits and four RBI, while David Phelps turned in seven scoreless innings to lead the Miami  Marlins to  an 9-1  win over  the Philadelphia  Phillies in  Thursday's rubber match of a three-game series.

Phelps  (1-0)  was making his  second start in  place of the injured Henderson Alvarez. He struck out five and yielded just three hits and two walks over his 95-pitch appearance.

The  Marlins,  who won  the final  two in the  set to  erase a five-game skid, scored  four  runs in  both the  fourth and  sixth innings. Adeiny Hechavarria exploded  for four hits, drove in three runs and scored twice, while Giancarlo Stanton hit his fourth home run of the season.

Philadelphia  gave  the ball  to  reliever  Dustin  McGowan (1-1)  after  Sean O'Sullivan  was  placed on  the disabled  list, and he  struggled in his first start  since May 14, 2014 with Toronto. He was charged with four runs on three hits and four walks in just 3 1/3 frames.

With two more gaffes this afternoon, Ryne Sandberg's club surpassed the Nationals for top spot in the National League in most errors committed.

McGowan  threw  a 1-2-3  third inning and  appeared to be  settling in, so the Phils  tried to stretch him through another inning. He instead issued walks to Michael  Morse, Marcell Ozuna and Jarrod Saltalamacchia to load the bases, and Hechavarria started the scoring with a two-run single to end McGowan's day.

Hector  Neris,  making his  first  appearance  of  2015, promptly  hit  Phelps to reload the bases and Prado drove in two with a two-out single.

A  day after  committing three  errors and  allowing five  unearned runs,  the Phillies' defense made another key mistake.

With one out in the sixth and Hechavarria on second, shortstop Andres Blanco's throw  to retire  Dee Gordon at first was  in the dirt and Darin Ruf could not scoop  it.  Prado followed with a  two-run double, and Stanton lined a two-run homer just over the wall in left field to extend Miami's lead to 8-0.

The  Marlins  tacked on  an insurance  run in  the ninth  on another single by Hechavarria, and Cesar Hernandez's sacrifice fly in the bottom portion got the Phillies on the board.

Notes: Miami  finished its 10-game  road trip with a 4-6 record ... Miami's Ozuna and Ichiro  Suzuki  each extended hitting  streaks against  the Phillies to 12 and 11  games,  respectively ... Ruf  hit two  doubles, the hosts' only extra-base hits  of eight total  in defeat ... Each team returns to the field Friday with
the  Phillies hosting  Atlanta for  three and  Miami welcoming  Washington for three.
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