MIAMI -- Odúbel Herrera came through with a two-out single to score Freddy Galvis, and the Phillies salvaged the series finale at loanDepot park on Sunday afternoon with a 4-3 win in 10 innings over the Marlins.
The win kept Philadelphia (70-66) within two games of Atlanta (72-64) for the National League East lead, with the Braves prevailing in their series finale against the Rockies.
Herrera bounced a single through the right side of the infield to make the difference in the 10th and keep the Phillies from being swept.
“We need that win, every game is important,” Herrera said. “We win today and now we go to Milwaukee and stay positive.”
Manager Joe Girardi’s bullpen game turned into just that. He churned through nine pitchers. The group combined to limit the Marlins to just two hits, with Ian Kennedy closing out the final two innings. The right-hander retired all six batters he faced, four by strikeout.
“I knew he was fresh,” Girardi said of extending his closer an extra inning. “When you draw it up, you draw it up better than that. You don’t plan on using your closer two innings. But he had a quick first inning, and I felt like he could go back out because he was pretty rested.”
Girardi said that it is definitely a luxury to have a veteran like Kennedy who can come in to close out big games.
“You know he’s not going to get rattled,” Girardi said. “He’s not going to beat himself. He’s going to make pitches. You know he can handle the situation.”
Right-hander Sam Coonrod, who had allowed just one earned run over 4 2/3 innings across four appearances since returning from the injured list on Aug. 24 with right forearm tendinitis, started it off. After a clean first inning that included two strikeouts, he ran into trouble in the second. A walk and hit batsman helped load the bases with one out.
And that started the revolving door to the Phillies’ bullpen. Lefty Bailey Falter was able to keep the damage to a minimum, limiting the Marlins to a lone run on a groundout.
Moving forward, Girardi said that bullpen games every fifth day would probably be the norm.
“We’ll figure it out,” he said. “If we have to shuffle some people back and forth (from Triple-A Lehigh Valley), you have to shuffle people back and forth. You get fresh arms.”
Bryce Harper got the Phillies’ first hit of the game with one out in the fourth and made it count. He hit a 79 mph hanging slider from Marlins starter Elieser Hernandez off the top of the fence in right field and into the Phillies’ bullpen for his 27th home run of the season, tying the game 1-1.
It was the first of two homers that inning. Galvis gave Philadelphia a 3-1 lead with a two-run shot to right, his 11th home run of the season.
“It’s a huge win, a great opportunity to put this series behind us and make sure that we at least got one of the games of the three going into Milwaukee,” Harper said. “First two games I didn’t think we played well at all, myself included. I think this whole series I haven’t played well at all. I didn’t hit well at all. I need to be better, especially in these last three weeks of the season.”
Falter gave back one of those runs in the bottom half of the inning. After being plunked in his previous at-bat, Miami’s Bryan De La Cruz got his revenge with a solo homer just out of the reach of Phillies left fielder Andrew McCutchen, whose leaping effort at the wall was in vain.
Héctor Neris, Philadelphia’s sixth pitcher of the game, couldn’t hold the lead in the sixth inning, though he did not give up a hit. The Marlins tied the game, 3-3, on a groundout, with the run charged to José Alvarado.