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Marlins stay afloat in WC with late rally

MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- It left the bat as a routine popup to first baseman Tommy Joseph, with the Phillies well on their way to escaping the eighth in a tie ballgame. But two plays later, Marcell Ozuna scored the go-ahead run in the Marlins' 5-4 comeback win over the Phillies on Sunday at Citizens Bank Park.

Just into the grass behind first, Joseph settled under Ozuna's pop. But second baseman Cesar Hernandez ranged over into Joseph's territory, with no apparent communication, and the two bumped into each other, allowing the ball to fall to the ground and Ozuna to reach second. J.T. Realmuto smashed a ball to third baseman Maikel Franco, who gloved it but threw wide of first base to allow Realmuto to reach safely and Ozuna to score.

Full Game Coverage

PHILADELPHIA -- It left the bat as a routine popup to first baseman Tommy Joseph, with the Phillies well on their way to escaping the eighth in a tie ballgame. But two plays later, Marcell Ozuna scored the go-ahead run in the Marlins' 5-4 comeback win over the Phillies on Sunday at Citizens Bank Park.

Just into the grass behind first, Joseph settled under Ozuna's pop. But second baseman Cesar Hernandez ranged over into Joseph's territory, with no apparent communication, and the two bumped into each other, allowing the ball to fall to the ground and Ozuna to reach second. J.T. Realmuto smashed a ball to third baseman Maikel Franco, who gloved it but threw wide of first base to allow Realmuto to reach safely and Ozuna to score.

Full Game Coverage

"I was playing right field, and I know the sun was really bad," Ozuna said. "When I touched first base, I started running hard. I touched first base, then I saw he dropped it."

"We should've won that game," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "That popup that fell in, it's right at Tommy Joseph. If Cesar is going to make an attempt to catch the ball, he's gotta call it, and he never said a word. So that was a mental mistake on his part. But he's been good, made a great play on [Dee Gordon] in the last inning. It's just a shame to let that get away."

Video: MIA@PHI: Ozuna reaches second base on error

Miami's magic moved the club five games back in the National League Wild Card race after falling from four to six with losses in the first two matchups in the series. The Mets completed a sweep of the Twins, pushing them a game ahead of San Francisco for the first spot after the Giants lost to the Cardinals. MLB.com's postseason projections give the Marlins a 0.2 percent chance at grabbing a Wild Card spot.

Marlins battling in stretch run

Christian Yelich played the role of savior earlier in the eighth. He knocked the game-tying two-run homer off the left-field foul pole off Phillies reliever Hector Neris.

Video: MIA@PHI: Yelich ties game late with two-run homer

It brought home Derek Dietrich, who shifted from left field to third when Martin Prado was ejected in the third inning after throwing his bat and helmet to the ground in frustration over a called strike three by home-plate umpire Dale Scott. Dietrich collected a pair of hits and also drove in a run.

Video: MIA@PHI: Dietrich plates Hechavarria with RBI single

Before the fateful eighth, the Phillies were on their way to a sweep of the Marlins after clinching the season series in Saturday's win. It marked the seventh straight winning season for the Phillies against Miami, the second-longest such streak between division opponents in the Majors.

"Guys know you're not mathematically eliminated, but they also know you're not in a great spot," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "You see your season hopes fading a little bit, so it gets harder and harder. There will be certain guys who battle and battle and push and push, and you'll have other guys who give in. That's what you're really fighting for, to keep your club playing."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Getting on the board: Dee Gordon poked a single into left-center in the fifth inning, bringing home Jeff Mathis, who got hit to lead off the frame. The base knock scored the Marlins' first run of the game -- and their first since the eighth inning on Friday, a span of 18 frames. Dietrich followed it up with a single to score Adeiny Hechavarria for Miami's second run.

Video: MIA@PHI: Gordon gets Marlins on the board in the 5th

Joely gets out of the jam: Phillies reliever Joely Rodriguez has been a reliable left-handed arm during his first week in the Majors. Rodriguez was called upon when starter Alec Asher got into a fifth-inning jam. He induced an inning-ending double play from Ichiro Suzuki and retired the three batters he faced in the sixth in order. The 24-year-old made his debut last Sunday and has yet to allow a hit or a run in his 3 1/3 innings.

"It's a fact-finding mission," Mackanin said. "We want to find out about Joely because he has really good stuff, power stuff. If he throws strikes like he shows us he can -- other than that one outing -- he can be a part of it next year."

Video: MIA@PHI: Phillies turn an inning-ending double play

Good thing it's September: Andrew Cashner made it through just four innings on Sunday after Jose Urena lasted only two on Saturday and Tom Koehler pitched five of the 13 innings the teams played in Friday's five-hour matchup. The Marlins' bullpen logged 18 frames over the three-game series. Despite that, no reliever appeared in back-to-back games. Marlins relievers posted a 1.96 ERA for the series, compared to a 9.82 mark for their starters.

It has been a theme for much of the season. A Miami starter has gone at least seven innings just 24 times.

"With extra bodies out there, we've been able to look at a couple guys," Mattingly said. "We've been able to see [Austin Brice] and [Brian Ellington] a little more, see [Nefi Ogando] some, and get a little glimpse of the future for us.

"And they did a nice job, because the games are still games that we're obviously trying to win every one of them. They've been put in some spots that are big spots. I think it's just gonna help us going forward."

Video: MIA@PHI: Ramos retires Quinn to end game, earn save

Herrera stays hot: Odubel Herrera recorded his fourth consecutive game with an extra-base hit as he smashed a solo homer to right field in the third inning. The All-Star has been red hot in the last week and has a six-game hitting streak, five of which have been multi-hit games. In his last six contests, Herrera is hitting .500 and has a 1.311 OPS.

Mackanin noted that he thinks Herrera has been better since the Phillies called up 23-year-old outfielder Roman Quinn.

"Everybody needs a little boost once in awhile, and I think that may have something to do with it," Mackanin said. "Nevertheless, he looks much better than he has the last four, five weeks." More >

Video: MIA@PHI: Herrera drills homer to lead off the 3rd

QUOTABLE
"I'd throw my bat -- only my bat. I've had like four helmets break this year, so I don't want to break another one." -- Prado, after learning his ejection came because he threw two pieces of equipment, not just one, which would not have resulted in an ejection

"There were meetings in Spring Training about how the umpires were going to keep guys in games. Throwing equipment was going to cost you money, but it wasn't gonna get you thrown out of the game. … At least from what I've taken from it in those meetings [in Spring Training], the umpires are supposed to keep those guys in the game. Dale must have thought he went over the line." -- Mattingly, on Prado's ejection

Video: MIA@PHI: Prado ejected after striking out in the 3rd

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis hit his 20th homer in the sixth inning. Galvis, who has 11 home runs in his last 36 games, entered 2016 with just 20 long balls in his four-year Major League career (1,153 plate appearances).

Video: MIA@PHI: Galvis pads Phillies' lead with solo homer

UPON FURTHER REVIEW
Phillies reliever Michael Mariot bounced a ball to pinch-hitter Giancarlo Stanton, which momentarily got away from catcher Jorge Alfaro. Hechavarria, on first via a walk, bolted for second. But the Phillies' backstop tracked it down and fired to second, initially ruled in time to nab Hechavarria at second. The Marlins challenged, and the call was overturned, though Hechavarria was not credited with a stolen base, as he advanced on a wild pitch.

Video: MIA@PHI: Hechavarria steals after call overturned

WHAT'S NEXT
Marlins: Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen will make his first start in nearly two months when the Marlins open up a three-game home series against the NL East-leading Nationals at 7:10 p.m. ET on Monday. Chen is returning from a left elbow sprain. Miami was eliminated from the division race with its loss to the Phillies on Saturday.

Phillies: After Monday's off-day, Philadelphia starts a two-game home set with the White Sox at 7:05 p.m ET on Tuesday. Jake Thompson (2-5, 5.64 ERA) will make his ninth Major League start, facing James Shields (5-17, 5.84 ERA).

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Evan Webeck is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia and covered the Marlins on Sunday.

Stephen Pianovich is a contributor to MLB.com based in Philadelphia and covered the Phillies on Sunday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Alec Asher, Andrew Cashner, Freddy Galvis, Odubel Herrera, Marcell Ozuna, J.T. Realmuto, Christian Yelich