PHILADELPHIA -- Opportunity came early for the Marlins on Tuesday night, when they put runners on second and third with no outs in the first inning against hard-throwing Phillies right-hander Vince Velasquez.
But as quickly as the chance to break through came, it went away. Velasquez pitched out of the jam, and Miami was scrambling to simply make contact the rest of the way in a 3-1 loss to the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
"It's one of those times," manager Don Mattingly said. "You never know what changes the game, or where the momentum slips away. He gets off the hook there. It would have been nice to put a couple up."
The big inning, and the big hit, eluded the Marlins throughout. They ended up striking out 17 times, which matched the franchise record for most K's in a nine-inning game. It's been done four times now, with the last being on April 10, 2014, at Washington.
Velasquez, who had his pitch count run up, fanned 10 in five innings.
"To win a game when your starter throws over 100 pitches in five innings is really a bonus," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said.
The Marlins avoided being shut out for the first time this year, pushing a run across in the ninth inning on Derek Dietrich's sacrifice fly.
In the first inning, Dietrich singled to open the game. He went to third on Martin Prado's double to left.
The inning quickly turned after that. Christian Yelich stung a sharp grounder to short. Even though the Phillies were playing their middle infielders deep, conceding a run on a grounder, Dietrich held at third.
"We're definitely going on contact," Mattingly said. "The one thing that ball does is it comes off the bat, not on the ground. It comes off on that low one-hopper at short, so it's a little tweener read. Obviously, we want to be moving on that ball, but Deet kind of froze there."
"We've got to score there," Yelich said. "That's something you've got to take advantage of early off the bat, and we didn't. It came back and cost us."
The Marlins stranded 10 and went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
It was the second straight game in which the club wasn't able to break through for a big inning. In Monday's 5-3 win, the Marlins left 12 on base and went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
"After the first three [innings], we didn't really seem to have the same type of at-bats," Mattingly said.
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.