Fish Fry Williams, Hold Off Phils Rally


82. Final. 7. 6. 9

The Miami Marlins built up an 8-1 lead against Phillies’ starting pitcher Jerome Williams after just two innings, then held off a furious rally by the visitors for a 9-7 win at Marlins Park.

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Williams (4-9) showed no signs of the competent starting pitcher who had shown up on the mound in his last three outings. He was shelled early, often, and authoritatively. In 1.2 innings, he allowed 8 hits and walked 4 batters, leading to all 8 of the runs being earned.

The Phillies had jumped on top thanks to a Darin Ruf sac fly that scored Andres Blanco for a 1-0 lead in the top of the 1st inning. But the Fish fought back, using 4 singles, 2 walks, and a wild pitch to score four times for a 4-1 lead.

In the bottom of the 2nd, there was no nickle-and-diming by Miami. A pair of longballs did the damage. First was Martin Prado, lining his 5th to left field, a 2-run shot that made it a 6-1 game. Then with a man on and two outs, Marcel Ozuna blasted a tremendous home run that actually ricocheted off the tip-top of the foul pole, stretching the lead out to 8-1.

That lead held into the 7th, as Marlins starter Brad Hand coasted through the first six innings. Hand (3-3) allowed just 1 earned run on 4 hits and 2 walks before being pulled to start the 7th having thrown 97 pitches.

The Phillies then started to chip away, first against Marlins’ reliever Scout McGough. RBI singles by Freddy Galvis and Cesar Hernandez, and an RBI double from Odubel Herrera, made it an 8-4 ball game.

The Phils clawed within 8-6 in the top of the 8th as a Galvis RBI triple scored Aaron Altherr, who had walked, and Carlos Ruiz singled to bring Galvis home.

The Marlins got a big insurance run in the bottom of the 8th off Phils’ reliever Adam Loewen. With one out, Ichiro Suzuki slashed the 2,921st hit of his MLB career, a triple to center field. Ichiro then scored on a sac fly to make it 9-6.

With one out in the top of the 9th, Cody Asche pinch-hit for Loewen, driving his 7th homer of the season over the wall in left. The solo shot made it a 9-7 game. But that was as close as the Phillies would get, as Marlins’ closer A.J. Ramos struck out both Ryan Howard and Altherr swinging to end it, registering his 21st Save.

The loss puts the Phillies a full three games ahead of both the Marlins and the Colorado Rockies in the race for the worst record in baseball, and the top pick in the 2016 MLB Amateur Draft.

The two teams will go at it again on Friday night in the 2nd game of this 4-game long weekend set, with Jerad Eickhoff making his big league debut with the Phillies after coming over from Texas in the Cole Hamels trade.