Marlins break out vs. Phils, but can't bail out Eovaldi

Marlins break out vs. Phils, but can't bail out Eovaldi

Marlins break out vs. Phils, but can't bail out Eovaldi
PHILADELPHIA -- A chance to play spoiler on a big night for a division foe, the Marlins stormed back from a late-inning deficit on Tuesday.

But they failed to capitalize on a good chance in the eighth inning and lost, 9-7, to the surging Phillies, who reached the elusive .500 mark for the first time since June 4. Miami's offense bounced back from a rough night in Monday's defeat -- scoring five runs off Roy Halladay -- but Nathan Eovaldi and five relievers combined to allow 15 hits as the season series between the clubs was evened at seven wins apiece.

The Marlins hope to have better success and avoid the sweep on Wednesday, when Josh Johnson matches up against Cliff Lee.

"You put up there, you're going to score this many runs against Doc, people will be laughing at you," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "He's such a good pitcher. We did a good job batting against him. But meanwhile, we did not pitch well. We did not pitch well, and we continue to leave people in scoring position."

The Marlins (63-80) went 4-for-12 with runners in scoring position, but the missed opportunity in the eighth inning was the most costly. Facing hard-throwing young right-hander Phillippe Aumont, Miami had two runners in scoring position with only one out. However, both Justin Ruggiano and Jose Reyes struck out on Aumont's splitter to end the threat.

Eovaldi (4-12), who lost his fourth start in a row, put Miami in an early hole. The 22-year-old right-hander exited with no outs in the fourth inning after allowing five runs on eight hits. He attributed his struggles on Tuesday to getting behind in counts and missing with both his fastball and offspeed pitches.

Acquired from the Dodgers as part of the Hanley Ramirez trade in July, Eovaldi fell to 3-6 with a 5.23 ERA in nine starts since joining the Marlins. He has surrendered 16 earned runs in 19 innings during his losing streak.

"Just good hitters hitting good pitches, I felt like, at the beginning of the game," Eovaldi said. "After that, I made a couple mistakes and they made me pay."

A key moment in the game came in the sixth inning, when Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins popped up behind the plate on a Chris Hatcher changeup. Catcher Rob Brantly dropped it, and Rollins launched Hatcher's next pitch into the right-field seats for a two-run home run.

"You're going to make good plays, you're going to make errors," Guillen said. "That's the reason they are there. Unfortunately, the next pitch was a home run, a big one. After that, the rally started. We're all going to drop balls and make errors, but [it was] too bad that happened right at the next pitch."

"I've definitely had some popups dropped," Rollins said. "It usually ends up with a broken-bat ground ball to the shortstop or second baseman. ... The next pitch it happened, and it was big because we needed every single run."

The Phillies certainly did. Trailing, 8-3, the Marlins put together a four-run seventh inning. Bryan Petersen doubled in a run and scored on a single by Ruggiano. Two-out singles from Carlos Lee and Greg Dobbs narrowed the deficit to a mere run. But the Phillies extended their lead to two on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning en route to their sixth consecutive win.

"We did not give up," Guillen said. "We had people on base. We had the right people at the plate when those people were on base. We just couldn't finish it off."

Ruggiano, Dobbs and Brantly each tallied two hits. Ruggiano, who also drove in two runs, is hitting .314 in road games since the beginning of July, and Brantly owns a .381 clip with nine runs scored over his last 13 games.

The hot-hitting Giancarlo Stanton matched a career high with his 34th home run of the season, a rocket to left field that came on the first pitch he saw from Halladay in the sixth. It was Stanton's National League-leading 21st home run on the road, and 14th in his last 17 road games.

A night after managing just one run on three hits, the Marlins' 11-hit performance was more reminiscent of their series win this past weekend in Washington.

But that was a small consolation for another loss to a division opponent.

Jake Kaplan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.