By Sam Bush
The Phillies have played terrible defense all year, and they have only had passable relief pitching since the trade deadline.
And both came up way short last night in the Phils loss to the Marlins.
So, this morning the Phils are still 2 games behind the Braves in NL East, 3 behind the Reds for the second wild card.
Lewis Brinson hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth and the Marlins rallied to beat the Phillies 3-2.
Brinson’s opposite-field shot off reliever Archie Bradley (7-3) ricocheted off the inside of the foul pole in right field for his eighth homer, punctuating a three-run inning.
The Phillies, who began two games behind NL East-leading Atlanta, dropped their second straight after a six-game winning streak.
“Losing these two games did not end our season,” Phils manager Joe Girardi said. “There are 27 games left and we’ve got to play better.”
The Marlins improved to 8-7 against the Phillies and will attempt to go for the series sweep today.
“That’s a game we should win and to blow that game it stings, it hurts,” Bradley said. “You regroup. We’re grown men. We’re professionals. We’re going to go home get some sleep and we’re going to show up and be ready to play (Sunday). A win will go a long way for us.”
Andrew McCutchen hit a leadoff homer and pitcher Ranger Suárez added an RBI double in the fourth inning, giving Philadelphia the lead. McCutchen’s shot off Trevor Rogers landed over the wall in left-center. Suárez’s opposite field line drive to left scored Didi Gregorius, who walked and advanced to second on an errant pickoff throw by Rogers.
Suárez lowered his ERA to 1.38 in five scoreless innings since becoming a starter Aug. 2. The left-handed former closer struck out seven and walked two.
Although his outing ended after 71 pitches, Suárez agreed with the decision to remove him. He said discomfort in his left triceps prompted the removal.
“I feel my arm getting tired because it’s been two years since I started games,” Suárez said. “I feel I’m going to get better. I’m not worried about my next start.”
Rogers made his first start since July 31 after a stint on the restricted list. The left-hander allowed two runs and six hits, struck out three and walked two in 4 1/3 innings and 83 pitches. Miami’s NL All-Star representative, Rogers remains winless since June 10.
“Definitely rusty at first,” Rogers said. “It was great to be back in that atmosphere.”