Sun Sentinel Broward Edition

With Dee Gor­don off, Mar­lins end solid home­s­tand with loss

- By Har­vey Fialkov Staff writer

MIAMI— Mar­lins manager Mike Red­mond was feel­ing so good about his team’s tor­rid play of late that he had the au­dac­ity to rest three starters in­clud­ing Dee Gor­don, the lead­ing hit­ter in the ma­jor leagues who had reached base in his pre­vi­ous nine plate ap­pear­ances.

For a while Red­mond’s good in­ten­tions be­fore an up­com­ing gru­el­ing 10-game, 10-day road trip seemed to be pay­ing off and even had a po­ten­tial sto­ry­book plot line af­ter the Solano broth­ers — bat­ting in the same ma­jor league lineup for the first time — gave the Mar­lins a short­lived 2-1 lead af­ter five innings.

But Red­mond’s plan un­rav­eled from there as starter Jarred Cosart tired while awak­en­ing slum­ber­ing gi­ant Ryan Howard, who ig­nited two-run ral­lies in the sixth and sev­enth to pro­pel the Phillies to a 6-2 victory Sun­day af­ter­noon at Mar­lins Park.

So Red­mond, whose job went from ten­u­ous to se­cure while the Mar­lins won nine of their pre­vi­ous 10, was once again fac­ing a sec­ond-guess­ing me­dia who won­dered how could he rest the 27-year-old Gor­don and his ab­surd .440 bat­ting av­er­age.

The Mar­lins also were with­out Gor­don’s re­li­able glove at sec­ond base (one er­ror in 127 chances) as his re­place­ment, Dono­van Solano — play­ing his first game in the field this sea­son — made two er­rors, in­clud­ing a run-cost­ing add-on in the Phillies’ two-run sev­enth.

“It’s tough but at the same time it’s just his sec­ond full sea­son in the big leagues and he played 148 games last year,’’ Red­mond ex­plained. “He hadn’t had a day off yet

so you’ve got to make sure th­ese guys rest over a course of a sea­son.

“I’d like to say you could play nine guys for 162 games but it’s not pos­si­ble.’’

While Phillies manager Ryne Sand­berg smiled and said, “It was good to see,’’ Gor­don out of the lineup, Gor­don was OK with it.

“It’s a long sea­son,’’ he said. “It’s fine and I’ll be ready to play [Mon­day].’’

So the Mar­lins’ fourgame win­ning streak ended and they failed to rise above .500 for the first time this sea­son, how­ever, they com­pleted a ster­ling 7-2 home­s­tand and are right back in the di­vi­sion race.

“Every­body had us dead and buried 10 days ago,’’ Red­mond said. “We never pan­icked. We’ll start a new streak to­mor­row. We’ve got a chal­lenge ahead of us with Wash­ing­ton and tough places to win in San Fran­cisco and L.A.

“It’s a re­silient group, a great group of guys who play to­gether. They were ex­cited when Solano got the big hit and were fired up when [Ichiro Suzuki] stole a cou­ple of bases. It didn’t work out to­day but we’ll get them to­mor­row.’’

Cosart was cruis­ing along, al­low­ing just a scratch hit through the first four innings be­fore the Phillies tied it on a tainted run. With first and sec­ond and two outs, speedy lead­off hit­ter Ben Re­vere slapped a bouncer to the left side where Adeiny Hechavar­ria seem­ingly had a back­handed bead on it only to al­low the ball to slip un­der his glove for what was char­i­ta­bly scored an RBI sin­gle.

Tied at 1-1, the Solano sib­lings lived out a dream as Dono­van, 27, led off with a sin­gle up the mid­dle and big brother, Jhonatan, mak­ing his first ap­pear­ance for the Mar­lins since be­ing re­called from Triple-A New Or­leans on April 24, ripped a dou­ble into the left-field-cor­ner to score his baby brother.

“I felt happy; it was a dream play­ing with my brother but we lost the game and that’s all that mat­ters,’’ said Jhonatan, 29, who last played with his brother in the Win­ter leagues two years ago. “

How­ever, the frus­trated Phillies, who snapped a five-game slide, an­swered with a two-run sixth. Cosart hit Darin Ruf with a pitch to bring up Howard, who had been mired in a 3-for-24 slump — in­clud­ing two whiffs in his first two at-bats — be­fore crush­ing a 2-0 sinker to dead cen­ter for an RBI triple. Grady Size­more ripped a sin­gle to left for a 3-2 lead to end Cosart’s out­ing at five innings (three runs, five hits, six strike­outs and one walk).

“That sixth in­ning was as bad as you can get,’’ said Cosart, who threw 92 pitches, 54 for strikes. “We talk about shut-down innings as a pitcher and I wasn’t able to do that.

“I hit him there and threw pitches right down the mid­dle. I don’t care if you’re bat­ting .000 or .500, you can’t throw ma­jor lea­guers pitchs down the mid­dle.’’

While the Phillies’ bullpen (one hit over last four innings) pre­served rookie starter Sev­erino Gon­za­lez’ first big-league victory in his sec­ond start, Mar­lins’ re­liev­ers — mostly Bryan Mor­ris — im­ploded. …

The re­vamped lineup in­cluded Reid Brignac at third in place of Martin Prado, the hit­ting hero of Satur­day’s 7-0 win with four RBI, in­clud­ing a three-run homer. Prado was struck on the ham­string by a pitch in the late innings but Red­mond said it’s just sore and, “he’s go­ing to be fine.’’ ...

Mar­lins starter Mat Latos, who limped off the field in the fifth in­ning of Wed­nes­day’s 7-3 win over the Mets with a tweaked ham­string, threw a suc­cess­ful bullpen ses­sion on Satur­day and will re­join the ro­ta­tion for his regular start on Tues­day against the Na­tion­als.

 ?? WIL­FREDO LEE/AP ?? Philadel­phia’s Chase Ut­ley slides into home to score on a sin­gle by Ryan Howard as Miami catcher Jhonatan Solano at­tempts the tag dur­ing the sev­enth in­ning on Sun­day.
WIL­FREDO LEE/AP Philadel­phia’s Chase Ut­ley slides into home to score on a sin­gle by Ryan Howard as Miami catcher Jhonatan Solano at­tempts the tag dur­ing the sev­enth in­ning on Sun­day.

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