Eickhoff debuts with gem as Phillies drub Marlins
MIAMI -- Jerad Eickhoff's Major League debut was an eventful and successful one. The right-hander, acquired from the Rangers as part of the Cole Hamels deal, threw six shutout innings and drove in two runs with a single in the Phillies' 7-1 victory over Miami at Marlins Park.
Eickhoff, rated the Phillies' No. 15 prospect by MLBPipeline.com, scattered five hits and struck out five. He also capped a four-run fourth inning by delivering a two-out, two-run single off Kendry Flores.
"It's surreal," Eickhoff, 25, said. "You grow up dreaming about this, and words can't describe it. There's so many people you meet that help you get here, and it's just a testament to what they do. A lot of it is on them."
Flores, the Marlins' sixth-rated prospect, made his first big league start and seventh appearance overall. He was tagged for five runs on seven hits with five strikeouts in five innings.
In the fourth, the Phillies broke through with four runs, sending nine to the plate. Odubel Herrera had an RBI single and Freddy Galvis lined a sacrifice fly to left, making it 2-0. The inning came apart for Flores with two outs, after Cameron Rupp was intentionally walked to load the bases. Eickhoff, who struck out in his first at-bat, slapped a two-run single to left.
Derek Dietrich homered in the seventh for the Marlins, who had Dee Gordon, Ichiro Suzuki and Justin Bour each have two hits. But Miami was 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
"We had three guys with two hits apiece, with Dee, Ichy and J.B.," Marlins manager Dan Jennings said. "Dietrich's home run. With runners in scoring position, 0-for-8. Just not a clean game. Not what we've been doing of late."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Eickhoff's strong exit: Eickhoff worked himself into trouble in the sixth when he allowed a leadoff walk, followed by a single. But the righty promptly worked himself out of the frame -- which proved to be his last of the contest -- by getting Martin Prado to fly out and Bour and Marcell Ozuna to strike out.
"I took him out of the game because ... I think the adrenaline of his first Major League start and he hasn't run the bases ... that's why we lifted him after six innings," Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said. "He was soaking wet. He looked to me mentally exhausted more than anything." More >
Bour out at plate: After falling behind by four in the top of the fourth, the Marlins threatened in their half of the inning. Bour singled with one out, and Ozuna laced a double to left-center. Third-base coach Lenny Harris rolled the dice and waved Bour home. The relay went to Galvis, who threw home to Rupp, who made a nice leaping catch and tagged the lumbering Bour out. Instead of having second and third and one out, Miami had a runner on second and two outs.
"In that situation, with J.B. trying to score from first, Lenny has done a great job all year. He's been very aggressive over there," Jennings said. "Probably in that situation, not the best time to run J.B. Again, he's done a [tremendous] job coaching third this year, being aggressive that way. They executed a good relay. It worked for them."
Dietrich goes deep: Contained for six innings by Eickhoff, the Marlins generated a run one pitch after the rookie exited the game. Dietrich blistered Jeanmar Gomez's first pitch over the wall in right for his ninth homer of the season. Dietrich replaced Cole Gillespie, who exited with a sore left wrist in the sixth.
Howard's big day: Ryan Howard notched three doubles in one game for the first time since 2008, with two of them going to the opposite field. He finished 3-for-5, hitting his doubles in the fourth, fifth and ninth innings. Howard also recorded two RBIs, giving him 1,125, which passes Del Ennis for third place in franchise history. More >
"I hadn't had an at-bat in six or seven years. So I guess I just closed my eyes and swung." -- Eickhoff, on his two-run single
"I thought he did a nice job for a kid who has just gotten his opportunity. We've been swinging the bats pretty well overall. He did a nice job keeping us off-balanced, mixing his pitches. We had a tough time figuring him out." -- Jennings, on Eickhoff's impressive MLB debut
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Dee Gordon, who paced the Majors with 12 triples in 2014, ripped a three-base hit in the third inning. It was the All-Star's eighth triple of the season, which ties him with Arizona's David Peralta for the most in the National League.
With two hits on Friday, Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera has hit safely in 21 of his last 22 games, including 37 of his last 41.
Gillespie was ruled safe at first after beating out a slow grounder to third baseman Andres Blanco, who made a barehanded play with one out in the second inning. However, Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin challenged the call, and it was overturned to a 5-3 putout after a 56-seconds review.
Phillies: Aaron Harang (5-14, 4.79 ERA) will try to break out of his August funk in the third game of the series Saturday at 7:10 p.m. ET at Marlins Park. In three August starts, the veteran is 0-3 while allowing 18 earned runs in 15 innings.
Marlins: Rookie Justin Nicolino (2-1, 4.24 ERA) makes his fifth big league start on Saturday. The lefty was 7-7 (3.52) at Triple-A New Orleans.
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