"I had a walk-off fielder's choice last year -- this was a little
better," Lucas joked after his Miami Marlins beat the Philadelphia
Phillies, 5-4, in 11 innings.
"But I feel like the walk-off fielder's choice kind of suits me
better and my role on the team -- kind of like, 'ho hum, OK, let's
The Marlins went home happy at least after their seventh walk-off
win of the year at Marlins Park.
Miami's winning rally started when pinch-hitter Jeff Baker singled
off Phillies reliever Justin De Fratus (2-1) and was bunted to
second by left fielder Christian Yelich. That set the stage for
Lucas, who came in as a late-game defensive replacement at
On a 2-2 fastball, Lucas went the other way and lofted a soft liner
just over the head of first baseman Ryan Howard.
Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, who leads the National
League in homers (21) and RBIs (61), was on deck, so it was obvious
that the Phillies were coming after Lucas.
"That was the situation, and then we were going to make a decision
on (whether to walk) Stanton," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said.
Lucas was well aware that Stanton was on deck.
"I knew I had the big guy behind me, and (De Fratus) didn't want to
walk me," Lucas said. "He made a couple of good pitches, but I was
able to squirt one to right field.
"Once I knew (the hit) was down, and (right fielder Marlon) Byrd
wasn't going to get to it, that was a big sense of relief. It's nice
to finally get a win."
Indeed, the Marlins (40-43) snapped a four-game losing streak in a
battle between National League East rivals.
Miami also won its ninth straight game in which Henderson Alvarez
has started. That tied the franchise record for a pitcher, set by
Chris Hammond in 1993.
The Phillies (36-47) lost their fifth straight game and remained in
last place in the division. They have also lost nine of their past
The Phillies tied the score 4-4 in the eighth, hitting consecutive
homers for just the second time this year. This time it was solo
blasts by Byrd, his 16th, and third baseman Cody Asche, his fifth.
Both homers came off Marlins reliever Kevin Gregg, who had inherited
a 4-2 lead from Alvarez (seven innings, two runs allowed). Byrd's
shot made a loud clang off the Marlins' sculpture in left-center,
and Asche's homer hit the fair pole in right.
Despite the no-decision, Marlins manager Mike Redmond said Alvarez
gave his team what was needed, especially since it was his fourth
time facing the Phillies this season.
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"It gets tougher the more a team faces you," Redmond said. "But
(Alvarez) was great."
The rally got Phillies starter A.J. Burnett (six innings, four runs
allowed) off the hook.
Philadelphia opened the scoring in the first inning. Shortstop Jimmy
Rollins hit a one-out double, and second baseman Chase Utley
followed with a run-scoring single.
The Phillies stretched their lead to 2-0 in the top of the fourth.
Byrd led off with a single and came around to score on left fielder
Domonic Brown's single.
Miami tied the score in the bottom of the fourth. Stanton led off
with a walk, and third baseman Casey McGehee followed with a single.
Both runners scored on catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia's single to
The Marlins took the lead in the fifth, scoring twice. Yelich
singled, stole second base and scored on Stanton's single. Stanton
then advanced on a walk, a passed ball -- Burnett appeared to cross
up catcher Cameron Rupp on the play -- and a wild pitch on a curve
ball in the dirt.
"Burnett had (four) walks," Sandberg said. "There were wild pitches,
tough blocks, a cross-up -- he was uncharacteristically wild."
NOTES: Marlins RHP A.J. Ramos (shoulder) was placed on the disabled
after Tuesday's game. He hasn't pitched since June 26. ... In June,
Marlins relievers led the majors in innings pitched and pitches
thrown. ... The Marlins acquired LHP Donnie Joseph, 26, from the
Kansas City Royals for cash considerations. Joseph, a reliever, was
sent to Triple-A New Orleans. ... From June 3 to the end of the
month, the Phillies had the third-best bullpen ERA in the majors
(1.86). ... The three-game series continues Wednesday with Phillies
LHP Cole Hamels vs. Marlins RHP Tom Koehler. ... Phillies SS J.P.
Crawford, 19, will play in the All-Star Futures Game on July 13.
Crawford plays for Class A Clearwater.
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