By Joe Frisaro and Steve Willaj
MLB.com |@JoeFrisaro |
MIAMI -- The Marlins struck early with a pair of two-run homers from Martin Prado and Marcell Ozuna, and then held on late to beat the Phillies, 9-7, on Thursday at Marlins Park.
Miami's Brad Hand was in trouble in the first inning, loading the bases with one out. But he allowed just a sacrifice fly to Darin Ruf, and minimized the damage. The lefty, who threw 97 pitches, allowed one run on four hits in six innings. Hand had plenty of support as Miami sent nine to the plate and scored four runs in each of the first two innings.
"I'm glad we had what we had the first two innings," Marlins manager Dan Jennings said. "That was great to see. I thought Brad did a great job, gave us six innings, which was huge, something we definitely needed. He did a nice job to limit the damage there in the first inning."
Phillies starter Jerome Williams, who had given up three earned runs in 18 innings (1.50) in his previous three August starts, was unable to make it through two innings. The right-hander was tagged for eight runs on eight hits with four walks in 1 2/3 innings. After throwing 38 pitches in the first inning, he was lifted after 68 pitches, and his team trailing by seven.
In the seventh inning, the Phillies chipped back with three runs off right-hander Scott McGough, who gave up five hits in his MLB debut. Odubel Herrera had a two-out RBI double in the inning. And in the eighth inning, Freddy Galvis had a run-scoring triple in a two-run frame. Cody Asche homered off A.J. Ramos in the ninth. but Ramos settled down to pick up his 21st save of the season.
"We got caught in a hole and tried to dig our way out," Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said. "We fell silent for about five innings and then we started digging. It was a [heck] of a comeback. We had a good chance to win that game."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Homer happy Marlins: Suddenly, the Marlins have become home run happy. With two-run blasts from Prado and Ozuna -- both in the second inning -- the club now has 10 homers over its last 10 games. The Ozuna home run was a towering drive that clanked off the top of the left-field foul pole, which is 90-feet high. Statcast™ projected the drive at 434 feet from home plate, with an exit velocity of 110 mph, and a launch angle of 32 degrees.
"I feel great because I'm [back], part of the team, and I try to help the team as much as I can," said Ozuna, who spent more than a month with Triple-A New Orleans recently. "I was struggling the beginning of the season and they sent me down. When I came back here, now I feel great." More >
Williams falters: Williams wasn't sharp from the beginning, allowing two singles and a walk to load the bases with no outs in the first inning. It didn't get any better from there, as the righty allowed four first-inning runs and two homers in the second inning before being pulled after just 1 2/3 innings as his ERA ballooned to 6.10.
"Everything snowballed and I wasn't throwing the ball where I wanted to," Williams said. "Command was the main problem. I couldn't throw any pitches where I wanted to and you're not going to survive like that."
Sweeney makes debut: A day after Darnell Sweeney was acquired from the Dodgers for Chase Utley, he made his Phillies and Major League debut. The 24-year-old, who arrived just a couple of hours before first pitch, pinch-hit in the pitcher's slot in fifth inning and popped out to second on the second pitch of the at-bat. Sweeney is the Phillies No. 11 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com. More >
Hechavarria extends hit streak: The Marlins enjoyed a big first inning, sending nine to the plate and scoring four runs. The fourth run came on Adeiny Hechavarria's RBI single to center. The Miami shortstop extended his career-high hitting streak to 13 games.
"You just try to limit the damage there, get a ground ball, or punch out, or a sac fly. Just get an out. You can give up one run early in the game. But it's nice for us to score four in the first and another four in the second." -- Hand, on his first inning struggle
"The 'pen picked up the slack and guys were swinging the bats later on in the game. So it [stinks] to go out there and have the performance I had when guys are busting their butt out there and trying to comeback. I feel terrible about it." -- Williams, on his outing
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Marlins now have 89 homers on the season, which is tied with the Phillies for the second fewest in the N.L. Atlanta has a league-low 74.
Phillies roster move
Lefty reliever Cesar Jimenez was designated for assignment after the game to make room for Friday's starter, Jerad Eickhoff. Jimenez, 30, tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings with three strikeouts in the loss.
WHAT'S NEXT Phillies: Eickhoff, who was acquired from Texas in the Cole Hamels trade, makes his Major League debut on Friday at 7:10 p.m. ET. The Phillies' No. 15 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, Eickhoff went 2-1 with a 2.49 ERA in three starts for Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Marlins:Kendry Flores (1-1, 2.35), the Marlins' No. 6 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, makes his first big league start on Friday. The right-hander has appeared in six games. He was credited with his first big league win on Tuesday, throwing one-third of an inning of relief at Milwaukee.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. Steve Willaj is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.