It had been nearly two weeks — 13 days to be exact — since Wei-Yin Chen last gave up a hit.
But that streak came crashing down on Wednesday night when he gave up a bundle of them, including a grand slam, in the Marlins’ 7-4 setback to the Phillies.
Chen was making his first start in eight days, when he held Seattle without a hit over seven innings. It was just his second outing since April 13.
Perhaps showing some signs of rust while awaiting his turn in the rotation, which was delayed by two off days and a rainout, Chen’s good fortunes ended in a rowdy third inning for the Phillies.
The lefty gave up a leadoff single to Phillies pitcher Vince Velasquez, followed by two more singles and a Maikel Franco grand slam that wiped out an early 2-0 Marlins lead.
“It was a mistake,” Chen said of the 2-2 fastball that Franco sent out.
Chen has had to alter his routine because of the long lag time between starts. He worked in two bullpen sessions instead of the normal one, then had his scheduled start Tuesday pushed back a day by the rainout.
It had seemed a long time since his hitless gem in Seattle.
“The last time I did well, so you want to keep that feeling and take it to your next game,” Chen said through his translator. “Unfortunately, we had two off days and the rain in between. That’s not something you can control.”
Chen didn’t use it as an excuse.
“As a player, you need to be able to deal with those situations,” he said. “But, unfortunately, I didn’t do it well and wasn’t able to help the team.”
Chen wasn’t the only pitcher for the Marlins to struggle on Wednesday. Relievers Jarlin Garcia and Dustin McGowan couldn’t keep the Phillies off the board, with the long ball biting both.
Garcia, who took over in the sixth, served up a solo homer to Freddy Galvis. Then Michael Saunders unloaded on McGowan with a second-deck shot in the eighth.
The Marlins have now given up 29 home runs in 19 games, and Wednesday marked the fifth game this season they’ve allowed at least three homers. All of the Phillies’ scoring came on long balls.
“Obviously, they hurt you,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “They concern you a little bit. You like to stay away from it because they’re quick runs and they change games.”
They definitely did that Wednesday for the Phillies, who have now taken five in a row from the Marlins going back to last season.
Mattingly said the home runs are simply a product of poor pitch execution.
“You’re missing spots and things like that,” he said. “When you leave balls out over the plate, you’re going to get hurt.”
The Marlins joined in on the home run act, but not to the same extent as Philadelphia. Martin Prado’s solo shot off Velasquez in the third gave the Marlins a brief 2-0 lead.
But it vanished in the bottom half of the inning on Franco’s bases-loaded shot off Chen.
“Besides that one inning, he was really pretty good,” Mattingly said of Chen. “Just that one inning there.”