Miami Marlins

Marlins let late lead slip away, fall to Brewers for third loss in a row

Milwaukee Brewers' Travis Shaw is tagged out by Miami Marlins' Dee Gordon during the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, June 30, 2017, in Milwaukee.
Milwaukee Brewers' Travis Shaw is tagged out by Miami Marlins' Dee Gordon during the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, June 30, 2017, in Milwaukee. AP

A spectator at Miller Park threw a baseball that hit umpire Joe West in the back of the head.

He was fine. It was the Marlins who came away dazed.

Stephen Vogt belted a pair of home runs, including a go-ahead shot in the seventh off David Phelps, to lead the Brewers to a 3-2 victory on Friday night and hand the Marlins their third loss in a row.

West was working first base when a ball came flying out of the stands in the fourth inning, striking him in the head. The veteran umpire was uninjured but waved the Marlins off the field as a precaution.

“I was, like, what happened?” said Marlins pitcher Edinson Volquez, who was on the mound at the time. “I didn’t know what happened. I’ve never seen that before, somebody hit an umpire from the stands.”

West declined comment afterward.

Following a seven-minute delay, play resumed and the Marlins took a 2-0 lead in the fifth on a JT Riddle RBI double and a successful suicide-squeeze bunt by Dee Gordon.

But the Marlins (35-43) missed a chance to extend their lead when Giancarlo Stanton grounded to third with runners at second and third and Marcell Ozuna struck out with the bases loaded.

“It’s one of the things I marked [down] on the card during the game,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of the squandered scoring chance. “You write down that situation where we leave runners that inning with the chance to score again. You wonder if that comes back to get you later. So you do give up a couple of runs late. But being held to two runs in this ballpark, you know you didn’t really swing the bats as well as you’re capable of.”

The Marlins wasted scoring chances as they lost their third straight.

The Brewers got a run back in their half of the fifth when Vogt hit the first of his two homers, a solo shot off Volquez.

Volquez turned in a strong outing, holding the first-place Brewers (43-39) to one run on three hits over six innings.

But the Marlins’ bullpen couldn’t deliver him the victory.

Phelps took over in the seventh and walked Domingo Santana to start the inning. One out later, Vogt walloped a two-run shot to center to put the Brewers on top.

Phelps had Santana in a 1-2 count and was unable to put him away and had Vogt in an 0-2 count.

“You can’t walk a leadoff hitter,” said Phelps (2-4), who sounded congested and acknowledged he was dealing with a cold. “A one-run lead, you’ve got to make a better pitch.”

Phelps said the home run pitch to Vogt wasn’t a good one, either.

“We were trying to go fastball up, and I threw it right down the middle,” Phelps said. “I’ve kind of prided myself throughout my career as a guy who can command a baseball. Couldn’t do it tonight.”

The Brewers claimed Vogt off waivers from the Athletics on Sunday, and the catcher was making his first appearance in a Milwaukee uniform in front of the home crowd at Miller Park.

The Marlins came close to tying it in the ninth when J.T. Realmuto walked to start the inning but was thrown out trying to score on Derek Dietrich’s double into the left-center field gap.

“I thought he was going to be safe fairly easy,” Mattingly said. “And they made two really good relay throws. The guy [Hernan Perez] made a perfect throw from left and then the shortstop [Orlando Arcia] made a great throw to home.”

Mattingly said Realmuto had to slow up just enough to make sure center fielder Keon Broxton didn’t make the catch.

“He can’t just take off,” Mattingly said. “He looked like, even from our standpoint, he was a glove length away from catching that ball. So you definitely just can’t run there.”

The Marlins have averaged just 2.6 runs over their past 10 games, going 4-6.

Related stories from Miami Herald