Mike Redmond had enough of Will Little’s strike zone.
So in the sixth inning Tuesday night when the second-year plate umpire rung up Adeiny Hechavarria on a pitch that looked high and inside, the Marlins’ skipper let Little have it. And then some.
A collection of four-letter words drew Redmond’s first ejection of the season and then a dirt-flying show, one much to the delight of the 18,699 fans at Marlins Park who watched the Philadelphia Phillies rally for a 6-5 victory.
“I tried to be patient,” said Redmond, who kicked up dirt, pointed at the plate and chewed Little out before yanking his shirt out of his pants in disgust as he walked back toward the dugout, and eventually the Marlins clubhouse.
“But at the end of the day I couldn’t watch anymore.”
It’s hard to blame Redmond for feeling a little frustrated.
A 4-7 West Coast trip and the loss of ace Jose Fernandez to season-ending Tommy John surgery preceded Tuesday night’s homecoming loss, which dropped the Marlins back to .500 at 23-23.
Even still, the Marlins had a chance to pull off another come-from-behind win. But after Garrett Jones’ two-out RBI bloop single to center pulled the Marlins to within a run and put runners on the corners, Jonathan Papelbon was able to close the door. He got Jarrod Saltalamacchia to fly out to center to end the game.
“We had tons of opportunities, lots of chances to score, to add runs and we weren't able to,” said Redmond, whose team had three opportunities with runners on third base and less than two outs – the first, third and eighth innings – and couldn’t drive in the run.
“Really just some contact would have driven in some runs. But that happens.”
Rookie right-hander Anthony DeSlafani was looking to become only the sixth pitcher to win his first two career starts with the Marlins, and had a 3-2 lead in the fifth.
Then A.J. Burnett — one of those five former Marlins pitchers to win his first two career starts — helped rally the Phillies (20-22).
His one-out double in fifth inning off DeSclafani preceded Jimmy Rollins’ go-ahead, two-run home run. The Phillies then tacked on two more big insurance runs with a two-out, pinch-hit single by John Mayberry off Brad Hand with the bases loaded in the sixth.
“Obviously if I could have one pitch back it would be the one to Rollins,” DeSclafani said. “The team gave me the lead and I have to put up zeroes after that.”
The Marlins, who still own baseball’s best home record at 17-6, can point to blown opportunities with runners in scoring position and less than two outs. They did it in the first inning, third inning and then in the eighth after Saltalamacchia’s run-scoring single to right put runners on the corners with nobody out.
Phillies reliever Mike Adams struck out Marcell Ozuna, Adeiny Hechavarria and then got pinch-hitter Reed Johnson to ground into a force out at third.
The Marlins had a chance to add to their 3-2 lead in the third. But with Jones on third and one out, Burnett struck out Saltalamacchia and Marcell Ozuna to fly out to center.
Tony Gwynn Jr. then kept another Marlins run off the board in the fourth when he chased down a Derek Dietrich moon shot to center field with an over-the-shoulder catch only a couple feet from the wall.
Before giving up the double and go-ahead home run to Rollins, DeSclafani had retired nine Phillies in a row following a rough 32-pitch first inning. He was charged with five earned runs on six hits over 5 1/3 innings.
He got no help from Hand, whose ERA rose to 6.14 after yet another rough outing. Hand walked three, one intentionally, and also threw a wild pitch while getting the final two outs of the sixth.
“It looked like his command wasn't quite as sharp,” Redmond said of DeSclafani. “It looked like his tempo was slower [Tuesday]. It looked like me to me he was feeling for it a little more than his first start. But there were some decent pitches. He just had a little trouble getting through their lineup.”
Redmond said second baseman Rafael Furcal began baseball activities in Jupiter on Tuesday.
“It just means he’s been running, hitting. He hasn’t started playing games yet,” Redmond said. “He’s got to go through that whole process again and get his legs in shape before he starts playing. We’re still a ways out from him playing in any games.”
Coming upWednesday Thursday