Miami Marlins

Losing streak hits four for Marlins, but Mets keeping pace

Philadelphia Phillies’ Vince Velasquez slides into second with a double before Miami Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas (19) can make the tag during the third inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 3, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)
Philadelphia Phillies’ Vince Velasquez slides into second with a double before Miami Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas (19) can make the tag during the third inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 3, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson) AP

The Marlins can be thankful for one thing as the losses continue to mount: they happen to be in the same division as the New York Mets.

The two, fast-fading National League East rivals remained in a virtual dead heat for last after the Marlins lost their fourth straight on Friday, a 5-1 loss to the Phillies, to equal the Mets’ four-game losing streak.

For the Marlins, it marks their longest losing skid since dropping six straight in early June.

“It seems to me like we’re a little out of alignment right now,” said Martin Prado, who went 0 for 4.

It was another dismal night at the plate for Marlins hitters, who were shut down by Vince Velasquez while being shut out for the 10th time. They totaled just six hits, one more than they put up in Thursday’s 5-2 loss to the first-place Phillies.

“We don’t have guys that drive in 100 runs, so everything has to be perfect to win our games,” Prado said. “We need to do a better job of driving in runs when we have runners in scoring position.”

The Marlins didn’t manage a base runner off Velasquez until Brian Anderson reached on a two-out walk in the fourth and didn’t register a hit until Miguel Rojas’ fifth-inning single.

And it wasn’t until the eighth that they finally put their only run on the board when Anderson’s two-out single off Pat Neshek scored Magneuris Sierra.

Velasquez threw 66 of his 85 pitches for strikes, and spotted them brilliantly.

“He commanded his fastball and that’s his bread and butter,” Prado said.

Marlins starter Trevor Richards was almost as stellar, though not nearly as efficient. While Velasquez was carving up the Marlins, Richards was doing the same to the Phillies. Richards held the Phillies to just one run over five innings, but due to a rising pitch count, was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the sixth.

That one run, though, was all Velasquez needed. And he provided it himself, doubling to start the third inning and scoring on a Rhys Hoskins single.

“They battled all night, working counts, making me throw a lot of pitches,” Richards said. “When they’re doing that, I’m throwing a lot more balls than I’d like to. I’d like to go deeper than five innings.”

The Phillies were clinging to a 1-0 lead in the seventh when Adam Conley took over from Elieser Hernandez with two outs and, with runners at second and third, uncorked a wild pitch with his very first offering. Cesar Hernandez raced in from third to give Philadelphia a 2-0 lead.

Philadelphia tacked on three unearned runs in the eighth following shortstop JT Riddle’s fielding error.

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