The Miami Marlins are looking to go into the All-Star break winning. It will not get the team above .500 however they can start the second half fresh and with confidence.
Newly named All-Star Aaron Nola started off bumpy since he needed three batters to settle down. The right-hander gave up two runs in the first inning, and the tired looking Philadelphia Phillies never recovered, losing to the Miami Marlins 2-0.
“We got him early,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “That’s what you need to do.”
This season is the best for Nola (12-3) who needed 31 pitches to get through the first inning. After he loaded the bases with none out, one run scored on a groundout, and another came home on Martin Prado’s two-out single.
The NL East-leading Phillies have scored only 24 runs in their past nine games.
It was the Marlins’ day at the ballpark.
The Phillies are being led by third baseman Maikel Franco, who slugged his 13th homer of the season on Friday in game one of the series. In 53 career games against the Marlins, Franco has eight homers and 35 RBI coming in.
However, Franco had an embarrassing mental lapse in the sixth. He backhanded a two-hopper hit by Starlin Castro in foul territory behind third base, started to throw and held up, apparently thinking he had grabbed a foul ball. Franco then turned and tossed the ball to a fan in the fourth row.
The ball was fair, and because Franco threw it into the stands, Castro was awarded second base.
“That was a first for me,” Mattingly said.
The beat went on for the fish.
Marlins center fielder Cameron Maybin made a running catch as his glove banged against the wall, robbing Rhys Hoskins of an RBI extra-base hit to end the fifth.
“That was an incredible play,” starting pitcher Trevor Richards said. “He saved the game right there. He covered some ground.”
Richards (3-5) pitched six innings and didn’t allow a run. It was the Marlins’ eighth shutout of the season. The Phils went 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position.
Attendance was 14,793 on bark at the park day, with fans invited to bring along a dog. The crowd was the largest at Marlins Park since April 14.