Cabrera, Marlins end Phillies’ 7-game streak with 3-0 win

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PHILADELPHIA — Edward Cabrera pitched effectively into the sixth inning, Tanner Scott worked in and out of trouble in the ninth, and the Miami Marlins ended the Philadelphia Phillies’ seven-game winning streak with a 3-0 victory on Thursday.

Scott struck out pinch-hitter J.T. Realmuto with two men on to end the eighth. In the ninth, he loaded the bases on two singles and a walk, but he struck out Edmundo Sosa and Matt Vierling and got Brandon Marsh to weakly ground out, earning his 16th save in a 39-pitch outing.

Cabrera (3-1) struck out six and walked two in 5 2/3 innings and combined with three relievers on a seven-hitter.

The Phillies were coming off arguably their best win of the season, when they rallied with three runs in the eighth inning against NL ERA leader Sandy Alcantara to beat the Marlins 4-3. NL home run leader Kyle Schwarber had three hits and drove in two runs in Wednesday night’s game.

Schwarber was pulled Thursday for a pinch-runner after he walked with two outs in the fifth. The team said after the game he had a mild right calf strain. Brandon Marsh was immediately caught stealing at second by catcher Nick Fortes.

The Phillies, who hold the second NL wild-card spot, finished their homestand 6-1 and are 12-2 in their last 14 games as they prepare for a weekend series at the NL East-leading New York Mets.

Mets announcer Keith Hernandez, who won 11 Gold Gloves in his playing career, said he would not call the weekend series because, “I hate doing Phillie games.” Hernandez added of the Phillies this week on a TV broadcast, “as far as fundamentally and defensively, the Phillies have always been, just, you know, not up to it.”

Hernandez might have had a point, especially if he watched the second inning Thursday.

First baseman Rhys Hoskins failed to scoop a routine grounder for an error that let Lewin Diaz reach. Two batters later, second baseman Jean Segura lost Luke Williams‘ routine popup in the sun and the ball dropped on the infield grass for a single. Joey Wendle, a star collegiate player at nearby West Chester, ripped an RBI single to left for a 1-0 lead — and an unearned run charged to starter Kyle Gibson.

Gibson (7-5) escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the first, then watched the Phillies fail to get a clutch hit for him. The Phillies left two runners stranded in the first and second innings.

In the sixth, Gibson retired the first two batters but then gave up two straight hits and threw a run-scoring wild pitch. Diaz then hit an RBI double to make it 3-0.

PHUTILE TURNOUT

The Phillies announced a crowd of 25,444 for the afternoon game a day after franchise great and 2007 NL MVP Jimmy Rollins tweeted there were too many “empty seats” at Citizens Bank Park. “Where are the sellouts that get the bank rocking and make Philadelphia the best sports town in the world?!!!” he wrote.

Rollins remembers the heyday when the Phillies set an NL-record sellout streak of 257 straight games from 2009 to 2012. But the Phillies haven’t made the playoffs since 2011 – now the longest drought in the NL – played bad baseball for most of the last decade, and must compete against soaring ticket and concession prices.

The Phillies entered 15th in MLB in attendance with 28,703 fans per game.

UP NEXT

The Marlins return home Friday for a four-game series against Atlanta. They send RHP Pablo Lopez (7-7, 3.57 ERA) to the mound against Braves RHP Jake Odorizzi (4-4, 3.76).

It’s off to New York, where LHP Ranger Suarez (8-5, 3.68) gets the start Friday against Mets RHP Max Scherzer (8-2, 1.98). The Mets are 9-2 against the Phillies this season, with all games played from April 11 to May 29. The Phillies are 40-20 since June 3, when Rob Thomson took over as the interim manager for the fired Joe Girardi.

Manoah, Merrifield lead Blue Jays to 3-1 win over Rays

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Alek Manoah pitched seven shutout innings, Whit Merrifield hit a three-run homer and the Toronto Blue Jays regained the top AL wild-card spot with a 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday night.

The Blue Jays lead Tampa Bay by one game. The top wild card finisher will host all games in their best-of-three opening-round series, while the other two wild cards play strictly on the road.

Manoah (15-7) scattered four hits, walked two and struck out eight while throwing a season-high 113 pitches. The righty worked out of a two-on, one-out jam in the sixth by striking out Randy Arozarena and getting a flyout from David Peralta.

Jordan Romano replaced Tim Mayza with two on and two outs in the eighth and allowed pinch-hitter Harold Ramirez‘s RBI infield single but avoided further damage by striking out Manuel Margot. Romano finished the game to get his 35th save in 41 chances.

Tampa Bay starter Drew Rasmussen (10-7) gave up one run, three hits and two walks in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out five.

The teams combined for 31 runs, with the Rays accounting for 20, in the first two games of the series that were both won by Tampa Bay.

Arozarena got the Rays’ first hit off Manoah with a two-out double in the fourth. He became the first Tampa Bay player and 20th big leaguer to have 40 doubles, 20 homers and 30 stolen bases in a season.

Teoscar Hernandez ended Rasmussen’s night with a double in the seventh. Brooks Raley entered and, after a walk to pinch-hitter Danny Jansen, Merrifield made it 3-0 on his 10th homer of the season.

Merrifield homered twice in Thursday night’s 10-5 loss to the Rays.

Alejandro Kirk opened the second with a single before Rasmussen retired 12 in a row until Merrifield’s leadoff double in the sixth.

Plate umpire Corey Blaser took a hard foul ball by Margot on the mask in the eighth but remained in the game.

HONORING KK

The Rays posted a thank you on the message board for CF Kevin Kiermaier, who is out for the season following left hip surgery. Kiermaier is in the final season of a $53.5 million, six-year contract that includes a club option for 2023 that is expected to be declined.

TEAM AWARDS

Rays ace Shane McClanahan was voted the Don Zimmer MVP award winner by members of the Tampa Bay chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. CF Jose Siri was selected as the outstanding rookie. 3B Yandy Diaz received the Paul C. Smith Champions award as the player who best exemplifies the spirit of true professionalism on and off the field.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: RHP Nate Pearson (lat strain) allowed three runs and three hits over two-thirds of an inning for Triple-A Buffalo.

Rays: 2B Brandon Lowe (lower back) is done for the season.

UP NEXT

McClanahan (12-6), pulled from his start Tuesday in the fifth inning due to neck tightness, will face Blue Jays RHP Ross Stripling (8-4) on Sunday.