PHILADELPHIA -- Bordering on four months since they last held a .500 record in late April, the Marlins have once again pulled even in the win and loss columns after beating the Phillies, 7-4, at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday night.The win, which gave the Marlins a doubleheader sweep against
PHILADELPHIA -- Bordering on four months since they last held a .500 record in late April, the Marlins have once again pulled even in the win and loss columns after beating the Phillies, 7-4, at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday night.
The win, which gave the Marlins a doubleheader sweep against the Phillies, puts Miami 5 1/2 games behind the Rockies for the second National League Wild Card spot. Jose Urena notched his 12th win of the season with five innings of three-run ball.
"You can't really talk about anything, really, if you can't get to [.500]," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "We'll see where we go, try to keep winning series. This was a good start to being able to win this series. That's what we keep our mind on. Tomorrow, we have a chance to win the series."
"Five-hundred doesn't really get you anything," Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich said. "It's a long way from where we started a few months ago, but we haven't really been checking the standings, checking the records. It's been the mentality of the last few months of just win tonight, or win today."
Not long after hitting four homers in a Game 1 victory, Miami (62-62) was back at it again. The Marlins slugged homers in the first and second innings, a two-run shot from Marcell Ozuna and a three-run clout from Yelich, to stake out an early 6-0 advantage. Philadelphia hit five homers of its own in Game 1 and another three in Game 2.
"We scored early. That was good, too. We got some momentum," Mattingly said. "But [the Phillies] just kept coming back. It was one of those games you don't feel good about, honestly, because they seemed like they were going to keep scoring, and it looked like we were done."
Phillies right-hander Nick Pivetta struggled again, allowing six earned runs over 1 1/3 innings. His 6.73 ERA through his first 19 career starts is the second highest in Phillies history, according to Elias Sports Bureau, to Hal Elliott's 7.45 in 1929-30.
"It's difficult," said Pivetta, who served as the Phillies' 26th man for the doubleheader. "I failed the team today, failed myself. I'll go back to Triple-A, work hard and get back up here eventually. I just wasn't locating my pitches today. I got behind. They took advantage of it. That's what happened today."
The Phillies' bullpen backed Pivetta with 7 2/3 innings of one-run ball, highlighted by Edubray Ramos' three scoreless innings and Yacksel Rios' Major League debut. Rios worked 1 2/3 scoreless innings, walking one and striking out two.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Ozuna sets the tone: Two of the Marlins' first three batters reached against Pivetta, and after an RBI groundout by Yelich, Ozuna crushed a two-run homer that gave Miami a lead it wouldn't relinquish. It was his 29th homer of the season and his second of the day, having also hit one in Game 1.
Highway robbery: On a day when the homers sailed at Citizens Bank Park, Yelich took it upon himself to curb that tally. In the fifth inning, an inning after Nick Williams' first homer of the night, the rookie outfielder launched another ball to center field, which is where he deposited his previous homer. But Yelich leaped at the center-field wall -- the shortest outfield wall in Philadelphia -- and brought the would-be homer back. He caught the ball in the very heel of his glove, impressively keeping control as he tumbled to the ground. More >
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Tommy Joseph and Andres Blanco homered for Philadelphia in both games of the doubleheader, marking the first time since June 5, 1949, that a pair of Phillies teammates each homered in both games of a twin bill.
• Blanco ends 14-pitch AB with HR off his mug
Marlins: Lefty Justin Nicolino will continue to try to prove he belongs in the Marlins' 2018 rotation on Wednesday against the Phillies at 7:05 p.m. ET. The left-hander has a 4.11 ERA this season, but he has looked great in his last two starts since returning from Triple-A New Orleans, allowing two runs across 10 1/3 innings.
Phillies: Right-hander Mark Leiter tries to get the Phillies back on track Wednesday night against the Marlins. He is 1-2 with a 4.22 ERA in four starts this season, but he allowed eight runs (four earned) in five innings in his last start on Aug. 15 in San Diego.
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Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia who covered the Marlins on Tuesday.
Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.