Miami Marlins

Realmuto’s two homers not enough for Marlins after poor start against Phillies

Marlins’ starting pitcher #63 Trevor Richards throws a pitch in the first inning as the Miami Marlins host the Philadelphia Phillies  on Tuesday, September 4, 2018.
Marlins’ starting pitcher #63 Trevor Richards throws a pitch in the first inning as the Miami Marlins host the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday, September 4, 2018. MIAMI HERALD

The Miami Marlins’ Trevor Richards had an off night Tuesday, and the Philadelphia Phillies made him pay.

The rookie starter was out of the game before the second inning ended and the Phillies held on for an 9-4 win at Marlins Park.

Carlos Santana opened the game with a leadoff home run to put Richards on notice and give Philadelphia (73-65) the early lead. Richards’ command continued to be erratic as the first inning unfolded. He loaded the bases with two outs on a single, walk and hit-by-pitch before Cesar Hernandez brought them all home on a triple to right field. Richards made his unceremonious exit four batters later, leaving the bases with just one out in the second. Two of those three runners scored.

So after giving up three runs or fewer over eight of his last nine starts, Richards was charged with six earned runs in 1 1/3 inning on Tuesday. Richards is now 3-8 on the season.

His early exit created a long night for the bullpen, with Nick Wittgren (2/3 innings), Tyler Kinley (1 inning), Javy Guerra (2 innings), Brett Graves (2 innings) and Drew Rucinski (1 inning) and Ben Meyer picking up the slack. The six pitchers were responsible for three runs: a Asdrubal Cabrera home run in the fourth, a Santana groundout that scored Scott Kingrey in the fifth and a bases loaded hit-by-pitch in the ninth that scored Nick Williams.

J.T. Realmuto managed to get two runs back with a pair of home runs — one in the first and the second in the eighth. He now has 20 on the season, breaking Charles Johnson’s franchise record for most in a season by a catcher. The Marlins (55-84) tacked on two more runs in the fifth when Starlin Castro’s bloop single to shallow center scored Austin Dean and Derek Dietrich’s groundout plated Rafael Ortega.

But it wasn’t enough to salvage Richards’ poor start.

Phillies starter Jake Arrieta earned the win after holding the Marlins to those four runs and striking out 11 batters over 7 1/3 innings.

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