PHILADELPHIA -- Marathons have not been a Marlins strong suit this season. Having already lost three 13-inning games since June 6, their luck didn’t improve any on Thursday when they lost in 14 to the Phillies, 5-3, on Chase Utley’s walk-off, two-run homer.
After Jimmy Rollins reached on an infield single to begin the 14th, Utley belted an 0-2 pitch from Chris Hatcher over the fence in right for his third career walk-off hit.
"Tough to end that way," Hatcher said. "It was one pitch, and he got me."
If not for Jeff Baker’s costly fielding error on a routine grounder in the seventh, the Marlins would have prevailed in the standard nine frames and Miami would have won its first four-game series in Philadelphia following 12 failed tries.
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But Baker mishandled Rollins’ ground ball for what would have been an inning-ending out, and the tying run scored for the Phillies on the play, nullifying a power surge at the plate earlier in the game for the Marlins.
"It's a routine play I should have made," Baker said. "The ball was hit one step to my right. I knocked it down, and then I kind of looked up instead of just picking it up and throwing it to first for the out."
Jarrod Saltalamacchia put the Marlins on top with a drought-ending solo homer off Cole Hamels in the third. It was Saltalamacchia’s first home run since May 2, ending a run of 106 consecutive at-bats without a long ball.
Giancarlo Stanton followed in the fourth with a solo shot of his own off Hamels. It was Stanton’s 21st homer of the season and the 138th of his career, moving him into a tie for fourth with Miguel Cabrera on the Marlins’ all-time list. Only Dan Uggla (154), Hanley Ramirez (148) and Mike Lowell (143) hit more as a Marlin.
After Stanton homered, Casey McGehee extended his road hitting streak to 17 consecutive games with a single. McGehee still has a ways to go to threaten the club mark for longest road hitting streak, 27 consecutive games by Luis Castillo in 2002.
After McGehee’s single, however, Hamels struck out the next three batters to end the fourth and the Phillies began chipping away at the Marlins’ lead.
A Carlos Ruiz sacrifice fly in the fourth cut the Marlins’ lead in half, 2-1, and Utley tied it in the fifth with a RBI single.
The Marlins went back on top in the seventh when Marcell Ozuna hammered yet another solo homer off the Phillies’ left-hander. It was Ozuna’s 13th home run.
But that lead failed to stand, either.
The Phillies tied it in the seventh when Baker, who was making his eighth start of the season at first, muffed a routine grounder for what would have been the third out. His error enabled Domonic Brown to score the tying run.
"That's a play I've got to make," Baker said. "I take pride in making routine plays and being well prepared, and I just missed it tonight. Unfortunately, it ended costing us and we lost the game."
Neither starter factored in the decision.
Tom Koehler turned in six strong innings but had nothing to show for it. Hamels, despite giving up three home runs, went seven and managed to avoid the loss.
It came down to the bullpens for both teams.
With A.J. Ramos on the mound for the Marlins in the 10th, the Phillies put their first two aboard but couldn’t make anything out of the scoring opportunity.
Ramos ended up remaining on the mound for two innings, throwing 50 pitches.
After Ozuna’s homer in the seventh, the Marlins’ bats went quiet. They totaled only three hits the rest of the way. Garrett Jones doubled with two outs in the 14th and Saltalamacchia was walked intentionally.
But Cody Asche speared Donovan Solano’s line drive, preventing the Marlins from scoring the go-ahead run.