Citizens Bank Park is a cozy ballpark that is not particularly pleasant to pitchers who are prone to giving up fly balls, which tend to be quite painful.
The ball carries and home runs are not uncommon there.
But Marlins pitcher Nathan Eovaldi managed somehow to survive the Phillies’ fly ball assault on Monday, and the result was a 4-0 victory for Miami to open the four-game series.
“They were hitting them in the air, but they were just missing it,” Eovaldi said.
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Of the 19 outs recorded by Eovaldi, 13 were by air. Seven dropped into the glove of center fielder Jake Marisnick, and left fielder Marcell Ozuna caught four. Eovaldi struck out two batters and recorded only four ground ball outs.
Though it was an unusual way for Eovaldi to get the job done, neither the hard-throwing right-hander nor the Marlins were of a mind to complain. All of the Phillies’ fly balls stayed inside the park, and the Marlins pushed their record back to the .500 mark following a deflating homestand.
“Today was a big game for us, to get the first one out of the way,” Eovaldi said of the series.
The win for Eovaldi was his first since May 26. It was also the 100th career managerial win for Mike Redmond.
It was a rare, low-scoring night all around at the Phillies’ home park. Following a 15-minute pregame ceremony honoring Jimmy Rollins for setting the Phillies’ franchise mark for hits, the Marlins went to work in the first on Roberto Hernandez.
After Derek Dietrich singled and Giancarlo Stanton was struck by a Hernandez pitch, Casey McGehee came through as he has so many times already this season by driving both in with a one-out double off the wall in right-center.
“It was really big for us to get off to a good start on the road trip,” McGehee said. “This is a tough place to play.”
The score remained 2-0 until the ninth when the Marlins capitalized on a Chase Utley throwing error. Utley cleanly fielded Jeff Baker’s ground ball, but his throw to first short-hopped first baseman Ryan Howard and Baker was aboard.
Ed Lucas, who was starting at shortstop in place of the injured Adeiny Hechavarria, followed an outstanding defensive play in the eighth with a perfect bunt single to give the Marlins two runners.
Reed Johnson then lofted a fly ball to shallow left that dropped in front of Domonic Brown and scored Baker from third. It was Johnson’s league-leading 11th pinch-hit. Dietrich, who has taken over at second for the injured Rafael Furcal, made it 4-0 with a one-out single.
Wins don’t come often for the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. They were swept there in April and have gone 40-57 there over the years.
They might have gotten away with one Monday, as the Phillies put the ball in the air, only not deep enough to inflict damage.
Eovaldi helped to create an odd-looking scoresheet. All three of the outs recorded by the pitcher in the fourth were putouts by Marisnick in center. And all three of the outs he notched in the sixth were putouts by Ozuna in left.
After Eovaldi was taken out with one out in the seventh, the bullpen completed the shutout, with Mike Dunn, A.J. Ramos and Chris Hatcher all lending a hand in the combined effort.
The shutout was the fourth of the season for the Marlins.