Marlins falter in the 10th after Nolasco's solid start
MIAMI -- Shortly before Friday night's game against the Phillies, an already struggling Marlins offense received news that slugger Giancarlo Stanton was scratched with a sore left shoulder.
Once again, the bats couldn't produce enough timely hits to back solid starting pitching, a troubling recurring theme in the young season.
Jon Rauch surrendered the go-ahead RBI triple to Chase Utley in the 10th inning as the Marlins lost to the Phillies, 3-1, at Marlins Park.
Phillippe Aumont, who induced Greg Dobbs' inning-ending double play in the ninth, earned the victory. Jonathan Papelbon pitched a perfect 10th for his second save.
"I let my team down, plain and simple," said Rauch, who dropped to 0-1. "It's tough. I'm really proud of the younger guys on this team going out busting their tail trying to go out and make every pitch because you don't know what run support you're going to get."
In the top of the 10th, Ben Revere singled to right with one out before Jimmy Rollins popped out to third. Utley, who just missed a home run on a foul ball, sent a hanging changeup into the right-field corner. Michael Young added an insurance run with an infield single up the middle following an intentional walk of Ryan Howard.
Miami failed to produce what then would have been the go-ahead run in the eighth with runners at the corners and one out when Donovan Solano grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.
"We played a good game again tonight," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "Our pitching was tremendous and gave us a chance to win. Once again, we're waiting on that big hit. I know the effort's there. Guys are playing hard and working hard and trying to get on the other side of this thing. We just got to stay at it."
After preventing runners in scoring position from reaching home in four of the first five innings, right-hander Ricky Nolasco couldn't pull the same trick in the sixth.
Howard doubled to right-center with one out -- his second extra-base hit of the game -- and moved to third on Michael Young's groundout to short. On a 1-2 pitch, Domonic Brown laced an opposite-field RBI double to left.
Three straight Miami relievers -- A.J. Ramos, Mike Dunn and Steve Cishek -- pitched a perfect frame apiece following Nolasco's six innings of work.
"I needed to make some pitches with some runners on there," said Nolasco, who stranded seven men on base while allowing seven hits. "I felt like I made pitches when I had to and got some big outs. The ball to Brown was a pitch I wanted to make, just an emergency hack down the line. I thought it was a great pitch, he just did a great job of reacting."
The Marlins responded with a two-out run of their own in the bottom half of the frame, ending their skid of 15 consecutive scoreless innings dating to Tuesday's 3-2 loss to the Braves.
With one out, left-hander John Lannan hit Juan Pierre with a pitch. On Solano's grounder to short, Rollins didn't field it cleanly and got just the out at first.
Placido Polanco ripped the first pitch from Lannan to left, driving in Pierre and knotting the score at 1. It helped Miami avoid its fifth shutout in its first 10 games.
Through the first five innings, however, the Marlins mustered just two hits - a single by Nolasco and Polanco. Miami was outhit 10-4 for the game.
"[Stanton's] a great hitter," said Lannan, who scattered three hits over six innings. "That's the one guy, if he's in there, you kind of have to really pitch around. He's just a really good hitter, so when I saw that it kind of changed my approach."
Stanton and Redmond said after the game that it was unlikely Stanton would start on Saturday. An MRI was scheduled for the morning. Austin Kearns took his place in right field.
Through the season's first 17 games, the Marlins have scored a Major League-low 17 runs. Their 1-9 mark keeps pace with the record of the 1998 club that dropped 108.
"What happened today is over, so we need to think about tomorrow and turn the page," Solano said. "That's what happens in the game. I hit into a double play. I feel bad for that because he's the winning run. Tomorrow we try and we keep working hard."