The game ended just like it began, with the Marlins stranding runners on base.
A leadoff single and double set the stage for what looked like a big first inning for Miami, but Derek Dietrich and Martin Prado were left stranded and that letdown seemed to carry over the rest of the way in Tuesday’s 3-1 defeat to the Philadelphia Phillies.
Dietrich hesitated on Christian’s Yelich grounder to deep short and was stuck on third. Then, Giancarlo Stanton struck out and Justin Bour popped out.
“We’ve got to score there,” Yelich said. “That’s something you have to take advantage of early off the bat. We didn’t and it came back to cost us.”
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Marlins manager Don Mattingly said he would’ve liked to have seen Dietrich running on contact but allowed that the hard-hit ball was difficult ball to read.
“We’re definitely going contact, but I think the one thing that ball does is it comes off the bat not on the ground, but a low one-hopper to short,” he said. “So, it’s a little (in-between) read. Obviously, we want to be moving on that ball, but (Dietrich) kind of froze there.”
The surprising turnaround set the dour tone as the Marlins tied a franchise record for nine innings with 17 strikeouts while snapping their three-game winning streak.
“You never know what changes the game, or when momentum slips away,” Mattingly said. “He gets off the hook there. It would’ve been nice to put a couple up. We didn’t.”
The Marlins threatened in the ninth when they loaded the bases with one out off closer Jeanmar Gomez, but they managed only Dietrich’s sacrifice fly — a little better than the opening frame but still not good enough.
“After the first three (batters), we didn’t seem to have the same type of at-bats,” Mattingly said.
Wei-Yin Chen (3-2) was solid again for the Marlins, as the lefty allowed two earned runs on six hits with six strikeouts and no walks in six innings.
“I thought he was good; we just didn’t do enough for him,” Mattingly said.
The only trouble Chen had was with recent Phillies call-up Tommy Joseph, who entered batting .167 and left hitting .400 after going 3-for-4 with a homer.
Joseph led off the second with a solo shot, the first of his career, off the netting of the foul pole in left. The Phillies scored again in the fifth on Peter Bourjos’ RBI single and were gifted a run in the sixth when Marcell Ozuna misplayed Joseph’s single in center.
It was a tough night for Ozuna, who snapped his 16-game hitting streak with an 0-for-3 night at the plate.
Vince Velasquez (5-1) struck out 10 and gave up three hits, but had to leave after five innings after throwing 103 pitches. Miami hitters couldn’t solve relievers Elvis Araujo, Andrew Bailey, David Hernandez and Hector Neris, who combined to strike out seven in three scoreless innings.
They did show some life against Gomez but just not enough.