Bullpen blows eighth-in­ning lead as Phillies fail to sweep Marlins

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Dave Zeitlin

PHILADEL­PHIA >> Phillies man­ager Pete Mack­anin still isn’t sure why re­li­able reliever Hector Neris didn’t throw his best pitch in a big spot.

With the Phillies lead­ing by two runs in the eighth and clos­ing in on a three game-sweep of the Mi­ami Marlins, Neris al­lowed a two-run homer to Chris­tian Yelich and a go-ahead in­field sin­gle to J.T. Real­muto as the Marlins ral­lied for a 5-4 vic­tory Sun­day.

“Neris has been our best guy in the eighth in­ning,” Mack­anin said. “He’s been fan­tas­tic all year. I just wish he would have gone to the split­ter.”

Derek Di­et­rich reached base three times and added an RBI for the Marlins, who avoided fall­ing fur­ther back in the NL wild­card race.

Reliever Mike Dunn im­proved to 4-1 and A.J. Ramos pitched a score­less ninth for his 37th save.

After Yelich hit a tworun homer off the left­field foul pole, Mi­ami’s rally con­tin­ued when Mar­cell Ozuna reached sec­ond as Ce­sar Her­nan­dez and Tommy Joseph col­lided try­ing to catch a rou­tine pop up. After mov­ing to third on a ground­out, Ozuna came home when Real­muto, who en­tered the game the pre­vi­ous in­ning, hit a sharp grounder down the line that third base­man Maikel Franco fielded cleanly but threw wide.

“This is how we play,” Yelich said. “We play hard all the time. If you play hard, you can live with the re­sults.”

Freddy Galvis and Odubel Her­rera both home­red for the Phillies. Tommy Joseph, who hit his 20th home run of the season the pre­vi­ous night, added a pair of hits, in­clud­ing an RBI sin­gle in the first. Galvis fol­lowed with an­other RBI sin­gle two bat­ters later against strug­gling Mi­ami starter An­drew Cash­ner.

Her­rera added his 14th home run of the year to lead off the third, ex­tend­ing Philadel­phia’s lead to 3-0. He’s now 12 for 23 in his last six games.

Galvis hit an­other solo blast in the sixth, his 20th homer. He fin­ished with three hits and also made a spec­tac­u­lar de­fen­sive play in the third.

“We let it slip away,” Mack­anin said. “We should have won that game.”

Marlins sec­ond base­man Dee Gor­don ex­tended his hit­ting streak to 10 games with an RBI sin­gle in the fifth, break­ing up Alec Asher’s shutout bid. Di­et­rich fol­lowed with an RBI sin­gle to chase Asher be­fore reliever Joely Ro­driguez in­duced an in­ning-end­ing dou­ble play to pre­serve the Phillies’ 3-2 lead.

Mak­ing his third start of the season after serv­ing an 80-game sus­pen­sion for PEDs, Asher al­lowed six hits and two earned runs while striking out four and walk­ing zero.

“I think it went well,” Asher said. “I ex­e­cuted a lot of pitches. The hits they got, I felt were soft sin­gles. They find holes and there’s noth­ing you can do about it.”


Marlins third base­man Martin Prado was ejected after striking out to end the third, throw­ing his hel­met against the ground in dis­gust and ar­gu­ing with home plate um­pire Dale Scott. Ichiro Suzuki re­placed him.


Mack­anin was dis­ap­pointed to see Her­nan­dez col­lide with Joseph on the eighth-in­ning er­ror that led to Mi­ami’s go-ahead run.

“If Ce­sar is go­ing to make an at­tempt to catch it, he’s got to call it,” the Phillies man­ager said. “He never said a word. That was a men­tal mis­take on his part.”


Some of the big­gest cheers of the game came in the bot­tom of the sec­ond when a Phillies fan sit­ting along the right-field line caught a sharp line drive off the bat of Aaron Altherr — with one hand.


Phillies: Vet­eran slug­ger Ryan Howard missed his sec­ond straight game with knee sore­ness. Mack­anin said he could re­turn Tues­day.


Phillies: They be­gin a two-game home se­ries vs. the White Sox on Tues­day with Philadel­phia RHP Jake Thomp­son (2-5, 5.64) op­pos­ing Chicago RHP James Shields (5-17, 5.84).


Phillies cen­ter fielder Roman Quinn (24) chases a ball in the eighth in­ning Sun­day in Philadel­phia.

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