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.
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.
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.