Mother Nature pelted Mark Buehrle with raindrops on Friday. The Phillies drenched him in base hits.
On a night when a win would have moved them into a first-place tie with Washington, Buehrle and the Marlins absorbed a soggy 6-4 loss to the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
Buehrle allowed a season-high 11 hits, including a two-run blast by Hunter Pence, in only five innings of work. Two of Buehrle’s five defeats this season have come in his pair of starts at the Phillies’ home park.
The Phillies sure didn’t look like a lineup missing injured stars Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. Even without those two big pieces, they still managed to riddle Buehrle with damaging hits and finished the game with 14.
“Bad day at the office,” Buehrle said.
Four singles in the first inning not only wiped out an early 1-0 lead for the Marlins but put the Phillies on top for good. Hector Luna, a fringe major-leaguer who hit .138 when he was a Marlin in 2010, ripped a two-out single off Buehrle in the first that scored two runs.
That gave Luna six hits in six career at bats against the Marlins’ left-hander. Buehrle would eventually retire him on a sharp line out to left, but that was one of the few bright moments of the pitcher. And Luna would drive in yet another run in the seventh off Chad Gaudin.
Placido Polanco went 3 for 3 off Buehrle, and Pence collected two hits off the pitcher, including his 12th home run, a two-run shot in the fifth not long after play was resumed following a 48-minute rain delay.
“One of those cutting changes, it was about eight inches off the ground,” Buehrle said of the home run pitch to Pence. “He’s a hacker and swings at a lot of stuff, and he hit it for a two-run homer.”
Not that the Marlins didn’t have their chances. They just wasted theirs, going 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position — and failing to score the one time they recorded a hit. Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick — in a matter of only 5 1/3 innings — gave up eight hits, walked three, hit a batter, and threw the ball away to allow a runner to reach on an error.
Yet, for all that, the Marlins managed only two runs off him.
“Too many chances,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “I felt we did not deserve to win this game. We got a lot of hits. We didn’t have the big ones.”
Giancarlo Stanton, who was torrid in May, started June with a RBI double in the first. The Marlins scored another run in the sixth when Omar Infante hit into a double play grounder.
Otherwise, it was a night of missed chances for the Marlins and, in particular, Logan Morrison. Morrison struck out to end the first with a runner on second, hit into a double play with the bases loaded to end the third and grounded out to first with a man at second in the fifth.
He and pinch-hitter Justin Ruggiano hit back-to-back home runs in the eighth off Antonio Bastardo, but both were solo shots that only dented the score.
After the home runs, the Marlins loaded the bases in the eighth with one out. But manager Charlie Manuel brought in his closer Jonathan Papelbon, who retired Infante on a weak infield pop and whiffed Hanley Ramirez on a called third strike.
Underscoring the Marlins’ lack of clutch hitting: three times they loaded the bases Friday, yet failed to score every time.
Papelbon pitched the ninth for his 15th save, but needed a circus catch in center by John Mayberry Jr. on a deep drive by Greg Dobbs to preserve it.