Dropped ball caps Phils' rally over Marlins

May 7th, 2016

MIAMI -- Anything can happen when you put the ball in play. The Phillies found that out in the eighth inning on Saturday on Maikel Franco's routine grounder to third that should have resulted in an inning-ending double play. But first baseman Chris Johnson, who switched from third to first in the inning, dropped the ball, allowing the decisive run to score in Philadelphia's 4-3 comeback win over the Marlins at Marlins Park.

Odubel Herrera and Cesar Hernandez each slapped RBI singles to pull the Phillies even in the eighth. Herrera eventually scored the go-ahead run on Franco's grounder. Miami had its four-game winning streak snapped, and the Phillies won for the first time in four games.

Johnson's error caps 8th inning

"I just dropped it," Johnson said. "I didn't go look at it. I don't need to go look at it. Just messed up. Lost the game for us."

The Marlins, behind Tom Koehler's strong, seven-innings start, led 3-1 heading into the eighth. Marcell Ozuna and Justin Bour each homered, and Ozuna added an RBI single off Phillies right-hander Jeremy Hellickson.

Hellickson burned by HRs again in no-decision

Miami used.three relievers in the eighth. Kyle Barraclough, who hadn't allowed a run in 10 2/3 innings, was charged with two runs on Herrera's and Hernandez's singles off Craig Breslow. Bryan Morris got the groundball he was looking for, but the error by Johnson capped a three-run Phillies frame.

"That was a break," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "But it's good to get a win, especially against these guys. They've got a real good team, and that's the best I've seen Koehler. They say most close games are lost by one team, not necessarily won by the other. I think it was a little of both, but that really helped us."


Koehler Ks 8 in 7 IP: A quality start, and then some, was much-needed from a Marlins starter. During their winning stretch, they still had trouble getting their starters through seven innings. Koehler hadn't gone more than 6 1/3 in his first five starts, and he was coming off a rough 2 1/3-inning loss at Milwaukee. So getting Koehler through seven, while logging a season-high eight strikeouts, was big for Miami. Koehler allowed just two hits and walked two.

"Tommy was really good today," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "It was good to see him bounce back that way. He was really aggressive. I felt like the whole game he just kind of went after them, attacked them, changed speeds with his breaking ball. Used his slider. Used his changeup. Really good." More >

Patient hitter: Pinch-hitter Andres Blanco worked a double off Barraclough after a 12-pitch at-bat to start an eighth-inning rally that erased a 3-1 deficit and put the Phillies in front, 4-3. Blanco came back from an 0-2 count to slap his two-bagger down the right-field line. It also helped get Barraclough out of the game. The Phils greeted Breslow with back-to-back RBI singles from Herrera and Hernandez. The Phils then took the lead when the Marlins failed to turn a double play. Johnson, who started the game at third base, dropped a routine throw to first, and Herrera scored the go-ahead run.

"It's a lot of responsibility, and I make sure I [give] everything I can," Blanco said of his role as a pinch-hitter. "I got lucky. A lot of foul balls on good pitches. He threw a lot of good ones, and I was about to throw my bat to foul it off and stay alive." More >

Run saver: Phillies right fielder Peter Bourjos fired a strike to catcher Carlos Ruiz to nail Derek Dietrich at the plate to end the fifth inning and keep Miami's lead at 2-1. Dietrich was attempting to score from second on an Adeiny Hechavarria single, but Bourjos' throw was there in plenty of time for Ruiz to put a tag on Dietrich, who collided with the Phillies' catcher. Momentarily dazed, Ruiz remained in the game.

"He's fine, he's a tough guy," Mackanin said.

Open the roof: The roof was open at Marlins Park for the third straight game, and the Marlins continued to knock the ball out of the park. Ozuna and Bour each delivered solo shots. In the second inning, Ozuna's drive to center was projected by Statcast™ at 425 feet with an exit velocity of 108 mph. Bour's opposite-field shot was listed at 397 feet with a 104 mph exit velocity. Since April 24, when the Marlins got on their hot streak, they've belted an MLB-most 21 home runs.


"I am working extremely hard to get back to where I was the past couple of years. Tonight, for me, was the first night that I actually felt like my previous self. Body wise. Positioning wise. Everything was where it needs to be. You could kind of tell the way the night went for me, I was where I needed to be." -- Morris, on his 1 2/3-innings outing with one strikeout


Phillies:Aaron Nola takes the mound for the Phillies on Mother's Day. Nola brings a 2-2 record and a 2.93 ERA into Sunday's series finale at 1:10 PM ET. He has not given up a run over his past two seven-inning starts.

Marlins: The Marlins close out their series with the Phillies on Mother's Day at 1:10 p.m. ET. Lefty Justin Nicolino (2-0, 2.70 ERA) makes his third start since being promoted from Triple-A New Orleans. The lefty was 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA against Philadelphia last year.

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