By Sam Bush
The Phillies erased a 3-0 deficit in the eighth inning on Thursday afternoon and then Christian Yelich hit a two-out, bases-loaded RBI single in the ninth to give the Marlins their fifth walkoff win, 4-3.
Cole Hamels’ base-running mistake short-circuited a potential rally in the third inning. He tried to go from first to third on a single with none out and was thrown out by center fielder Marcell Ozuna.
“I thought I could surprise him,” Hamels said. “He probably made the best throw he has made all year.”
“In some regards it’s a hustling play,” manager Ryne Sandberg said. “But the guy has a good arm.”
With a base open, a runner at second and two out in the sixth, the Phillies decided against an intentional walk to NL RBI leader Stanton. Hamels threw a fat sinker, and Stanton singled to drive in the game’s first run.
“I didn’t think he would jump all over the first pitch,” Hamels said.
The Phillies lost two of three in the series and are 20-24 going into an 11-game homestand starting today with the Dodgers.
“We’re so close for that sort of explosion to happen and for everything to come together,” Hamels said. “It’s a matter of time before it will happen, but I know personally it should happen soon.”
Hamels allowed three runs in seven innings. Miami’s Henderson Alvarez threw seven shutout innings, but Marlon Byrd tied the game in the eighth with a two-run homer, his sixth.
Ozuna hit a two-run homer, giving him two homers and seven RBIs in the past two games, and he started Miami’s rally in the ninth.
He singled with one out off Jake Diekman (2-2), then took second on a two-out single by Jeff Mathis. Pinch hitter Reid Johnson reached on an infield single that Diekman bobbled, loading the bases.
“I don’t know if I tried to rush too much or not,” Diekman said. “Basically lost the game right there. It could’ve been the third out.”
Yelich then grounded a 1-1 fastball up the middle.
Marlins closer Steve Cishek (4-1) struck out two with a runner at second to end the ninth. The Phillies went 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position, with Byrd’s homer the lone hit.
The Phillies erased a 3-0 deficit with three runs in the eighth off the Marlins’ bullpen. Jimmy Rollins walked, Chase Utley doubled and Ryan Howard hit a sacrifice fly. Byrd hit a two-out, two-run homer over the 418-foot sign in center field off Mike Dunn.
With the Phillies trailing 1-0, Sandberg let Hamels bat for himself in the seventh. He then gave up a single and Ozuna’s eighth homer on an 0-2 cutter to start the bottom of the seventh.
“The 0-2 pitch kind of stands out,” Sandberg said. “It has been a little bit of a nemesis of ours.”
Rollins singled in the third to take over sole possession of second place on the Phillies’ hit list with 2,218. He trails on Mike Schmidt, who had 2,234.