The Phillies will try for a series-best eighth straight win against the Marlins on Wednesday night, and Zach Miner will seek to help in his first major league start in four years.
Philadelphia (71-80) hasn't posted a sub-.500 record since going 80-81 in 2002 and haven't lost more than 81 games since finishing 65-97 in 2000. Barring an incredible year-ending run, the Phillies won't avoid a sub-.500 finish, but they did further their recent dominance over Miami (55-96) on Tuesday.
Chase Utley homered and had four RBIs for the second straight game as Philadelphia held on for a 6-4 victory. Carlos Ruiz contributed a two-run single in the third inning, giving him 12 RBIs in his last seven games
Miner (0-1, 3.72 ERA) will try to lead the Phillies to another win in his first start since Aug. 12, 2009. The right-hander is getting the call after Kyle Kendrick developed inflammation in his right shoulder.
"It's very cautionary and conservative," manager Ryne Sandberg told the team's website. "(Kendrick's) felt something the last few weeks. He just wanted to get peace of mind about it. He was still able to pitch and could still pitch now. But it was a precautionary move now to get him checked out."
Miner has made 13 relief appearances since being called up from the minors Aug. 2. He's facing the Marlins, losers in 10 of 12, for the first time.
Miami's Nathan Eovaldi (3-6, 3.80 ERA) is starting for the first time since Sept. 7 after having to skip an outing due to tightness in his back. He gave up five runs over three innings in his previous game, a 9-2 loss to Washington on Sept. 7.
"Eovaldi is back, literally back," manager Mike Redmond told the team's website. "It's good. You never know with those things how it's going to act this late in the season. Hopefully, he can bounce back and give us a couple of starts."
Eovaldi hasn't faced the Phillies this season and went 0-4 with a 5.85 ERA in four matchups in 2012. Ruiz went 4 for 6 with three doubles and two RBIs against him in those games while Domonic Brown was 4 for 8.
|September 09, 2013||Jeff Mathis||Day-to-Day||Left game - bruised right thumb|
|September 08, 2013||Giancarlo Stanton||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore right foot and ankle|
|September 02, 2013||Henderson Alvarez||Day-to-Day||Left game - tight right hamstring|
|September 01, 2013||Giancarlo Stanton||Day-to-Day||Right ankle|
|August 19, 2013||Placido Polanco||7-Day DL||Concussion|
|August 19, 2013||Placido Polanco||7-Day DL||Concussion|
|August 30, 2013||Domonic Brown||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore right Achilles|
|August 28, 2013||Cody Asche||Day-to-Day||Strained left hamstring|
|August 26, 2013||Casper Wells||15-Day DL||Vision complications|
|August 17, 2013||Michael Young||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore left ankle|
|August 15, 2013||John Lannan||60-Day DL||Left knee tendinitis|
|August 14, 2013||John Lannan||Day-to-Day||Knee|
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Ed Lucas ended up being the hero after he nearly wound up being the goat.
Lucas homered in the 10th inning to lift the Miami Marlins to a 4-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night.
In the bottom of the 10th, the third baseman made an error that allowed leadoff hitter Carlos Ruiz to reach base, opening the door for the Phillies to load the bases with one out.
"I was feeling pretty good after the homer, to say the least," Lucas said. "To boot that first ball, it checked up on me a little bit, but it was definitely a play that I should've made. Once that happened, you're like, `No, this is not gonna happen."'
But Marlins closer Steve Cishek struck out Roger Bernadina and induced a ground ball from Freddy Galvis to end it.
The save was Cishek's 31st overall and 26th in a row, the longest active streak in the major leagues and one shy of the Marlins' franchise record set by Todd Jones in 2005.
"He's riding a streak - I'm not gonna lie to you, that crossed my mind," Lucas said. "So I was happy to see him really bear down and close it out."
The homer was the fourth of the season for Lucas. Miami's Giancarlo Stanton tied the game 3-3 in the sixth inning with a two-run, homer to center field that was measured at 460 feet.
"It was a slider slightly down and in," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said of Lucas' homer. "A pitch you'd want back, but it wasn't a hanging pitch."
Brad Hand (1-1) was credited with the victory for pitching a scoreless ninth.
Cesar Jimenez (1-1) took the loss as Miami snapped its seven-game losing streak to Philadelphia.
"Obviously, it's something that we've been looking for all year. It got a little hairy there at the end but we made it through. It was a big win," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "That was a big building block for us tonight, to be able to secure that win with our backs definitely against the wall there."
A couple of Phillies miscues in the fifth inning set up the Marlins' first run. Following Adeiny Hechavarria 's single, Nathan Eovaldi reached first base on an error when Ruiz fielded his sacrifice bunt attempt in front of home and threw too high to second.
Luis Garcia 's wild pitch moved the runners to second and third with one out, and Hechavarria scored on Donovan Solano 's groundout.
The Phillies loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning on two walks and a single and tied it on a passed ball. Chase Utley drove in two runs with a single to right.
Philadelphia squandered an opportunity to take the lead in the eighth. Domonic Brown led off with a double and moved to third on a groundout. After Cody Asche struck out, Bernadina hit a liner toward shortstop but Hechavarria made a diving stop to preserve the tie.
"He's such a great defender, I'm glad he's on our side," Redmond said of Hechavarria. "The amazing thing is how his ease to balls is, he kind of flows and glides to balls and makes these plays look relatively easy."
Utley finished the series against the Marlins with six hits and 10 RBIs.
"He's swinging a good bat, showing power and showing his leadership," Sandberg said. "He's a real steady force and will be a big piece for next year."
Eovaldi struggled with his control through five innings, allowing three runs, four hits, four walks and a hit batter while striking out five.
In his first major league start since August 2009, Zach Miner tossed three scoreless innings for the Phillies and allowed two hits, walked two and struck out two.
NOTES: The Phillies are 11-5 against the Marlins this season. The clubs have one series left, a three-game set next week in Miami. ... An MRI on RHP Kyle Kendrick , Philadelphia's original Wednesday night starter, revealed nothing more than shoulder tendinitis. He will get a second opinion Thursday but could pitch again as soon as next Tuesday. ... After a day off Thursday, Philadelphia will host the Mets for three games starting Friday with Cole Hamels (8-13, 3.48) on the hill. ... Miami begins its final road series in Washington on Thursday, when Henderson Alvarez (4-4, 3.97) will start.