Juan Pierre stole his 600th base and scored because of it. After that, the highlight reel sputtered to a halt for the Marlins, who began their longest road trip of the season with a 7-2 loss to the Phillies.
With a headfirst slide into third base in Thursday’s first inning, Pierre became the 18th player to reach the 600-steal plateau, joining the likes of Rickey Henderson and Lou Brock. He then scored on a double-play grounder, giving the Marlins the early lead.
Pierre’s reward: The Marlins proffered the base from the Phillies while traveling secretary Manny Colon had a stack of Hawaiian Punch and Honey Buns — on the suggestion of Pierre’s wife — waiting at his locker after the game.
“I love Honey Buns and Hawaiian Punch,” Pierre said. “I don’t drink, so champagne doesn’t do any good for me. So Hawaiian Punch and Honey Buns is a very good surprise.”
But the Marlins couldn’t keep the wheels turning after Pierre etched his name in the record books. And though the Phillies are getting up in years and not the juggernaut that ruled the National League East from 2007-11, they’re still trouble for the Marlins, who have taken only one season series from Philadelphia over the previous eight years.
They’ve already lost three of four meetings this season, suggesting the Marlins are not yet in position to reverse the trend.
On Thursday, a couple of Philadelphia’s old iconic figures figured prominently in the outcome, as Ryan Howard delivered the go-ahead blow with his solo home run and Jimmy Rollins fueled the Phillies’ two-run fifth.
After Pierre had given the Marlins a 1-0 lead, Domonic Brown tied it with a line-drive shot to right off Alex Sanabia.
Howard’s blast was the complete opposite of Brown’s, an opposite-field moonshot that barely got over the wall in left and touched down in the first row of seats.
It was Howard’s fourth home run of the season, and his 35th in 123 career games against the Marlins.
“Long at-bat, a lot of pitches, and finally I made a mistake and left a pitch over the plate,” Sanabia said. “And he did what he does best. He hit it out.”
But it was a sloppy fifth inning that did in the Marlins.
Eric Kratz walked to start the inning before advancing to second on pitcher Kyle Kendrick’s sacrifice bunt. Rollins hit a sharp grounder toward second that Donovan Solano tried to backhand. But the ball caromed off the glove for an error.
Another member of the Phillies’ old vanguard, Chase Utley, made it 3-2 with a sacrifice fly before another run scored on catcher Rob Brantly’s third passed ball of the season.
Justin Ruggiano’s fourth home run, a solo shot that landed in the shrubs beyond the center-field wall at Citizens Bank Park, trimmed the Phillies lead to 4-2.
But Philadelphia broke it open with three runs in the eighth.
Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria returned to the Marlins lineup after spending the past two weeks on the disabled list and tripled in four at-bats.
Pierre became the ninth-fastest player in MLB history to reach 600 steals, and is just the eighth player whose career started after 1920 to amass at least 1,000 runs, 2,000 hits and 600 stolen bases.
The others: Henderson, Brock, Tim Raines, Joe Morgan, Willie Wilson, Bert Campaneris and Kenny Lofton, according to STATS LLC.
“You start mentioning the names that you’re accomplished with ... honestly, I don’t feel like I deserve to be mentioned with those guys,” Pierre said.
The loss for Sanabia was his first in six career road starts against NL East opponents.