MIAMI (AP)Kyle Schwarber hit his NL-leading 38th homer for Philadelphia in the playoff-contending Phillies’ 5-3 loss to the Miami Marlins on Thursday night on Roberto Clemente Day throughout the majors.
Schwarber connected off Pablo Lopez in the sixth with a solo shot to right-center. The Phillies are second in the NL wild-card race.
Miami rookie Jordan Groshans hit his first major league homer and Bryan De La Cruz also went deep and had four RBIs.
Lopez (9-10) completed 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs and six hits. Lopez, the Marlins’ Roberto Clemente Award nominee, walked one and struck out five as he bounced back from his previous outing, when allowed eight runs and 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings against the New York Mets.
”That’s the beauty about baseball,” Lopez said. ”You may have a rough game here and there but if you keep your head up and analyze things, you’re going to get another shot.”
Brandon Marsh tripled, doubled and singled twice for the Phillies. They won the season series over Miami 12-7.
Philadelphia will open a three-game series at NL wild-card leader Atlanta on Friday. The Braves lead the Phillies by eight games.
”We’re playing good,” Phillies interim manager Rob Thomson said. ”I feel as confident as ever with our ball club. We’re battling. There’s a lot of energy in the dugout. Everybody’s pulling for each other.”
Groshans gave the Marlins an early lead with his shot to lead off the third. He drove Phillies starter Noah Syndergaad’s sinker into the left-field seats for his fourth consecutive hit after he went 3 for 3 on Wednesday. Syndergaard (9-10) gave up four runs, six hits, walked one and struck out three in six innings.
De La Cruz’s three-run blast in the fourth made it 4-0. The 434-foot drive bounced off the facade above left-center for De La Cruz’s ninth homer.
”I think for the most part I executed my pitches, just the two that I wish I could have back,” Syndergaad said of the homers to Groshans and De La Cruz.
Although De La Cruz made the opening day roster, he was twice optioned to the minors after he struggled. He was recalled a second time Sept. 1.
”It’s about the opportunity the team has given me,” De La Cruz said. ”I’m trying to take advantage of it as much as I can. I feel the contact and power is there. I hope it stays there constantly.”
Lopez’s outing ended after Bryson Stott’s two-out double in the seventh. Steven Okert relieved Lopez and allowed Marsh’s RBI double that got the Phillies to 4-2.
Tanner Scott followed Okert in the eighth and gave up Nick Maton’s leadoff single and walked Schwarber. But Scott retired Jean Segura on a double play grounder and struck out Bryce Harper.
De La Cruz’s sacrifice fly in the eighth padded Miami’s lead.
”To have a little cushion was huge,” said Marlins manager Don Mattingly, whose club squandered one-run leads in the first two games of the series.
Dylan Floro pitched the ninth and surrendered Marsh’s run-scoring single for his fifth save.
”We had some opportunities, just didn’t score,” Thomson said. ”But they battled ’til the end. We put some good bats on them late.”
DIFFICULT STRETCH ENDS
For the Marlins, Thursday’s win concluded 31 of 36 games against post-season contenders. The Marlins were 7-24 during the stretch, which featured multiple series losses against the Phillies, Dodgers, and Braves. The Rays and Mets also beat the Marlins in single series. Miami’s only series win over a contender in the five-week span was against the Padres.
”The majority of our club is young and we can use these games as motivators to complicate things for those clubs,” Lopez said. ”It’s important for us to play these teams that are in contention because they are playing for everything and we should be just as a motivated.”
The Marlins placed RHP Tommy Nance (right groin strain) on the 15-day injured list retroactive to Wednesday and selected LHP Jake Fishman from Triple-A Jacksonville.
Phillies: INF Edmundo Sosa exited in the sixth because of right hamstring tightness. … 1B Rhys Hoskins (right hand bruise) had treatment Thursday and is hopeful of returning soon. Hoskins was hit on the hand by a pitch from Edward Cabrera in the third inning Wednesday and was replaced in the bottom half. X-rays indicated no fracture.
Marlins: OF Jorge Soler (low back spasms) was transferred to the 60-day injured list.
Phillies: LHP Ranger Suarez (9-5, 3.62) will start the opener of a three-game series at Atlanta on Friday. LHP Max Fried (13-6, 2.50) will start for the Braves.
Marlins: LHP Jesus Luzardo (8-10, 4.04) will start Miami’s three-game road set at Washington on Friday. The Nationals will go with Josiah Gray (7-9, 5.06).
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