Monday, September 15, 2014
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Marlins rally against Papelbon, Phillies

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[September 15, 2014]  PHILADELPHIA -- Miami Marlins manager Mike Redmond didn't get a good look as to what was going on along the first base line when Philadelphia Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon was ejected following the top of the ninth inning Sunday afternoon. He was too busy wondering who was going to play what position on the field.

After all, Redmond made three substitutions in the top of the previous frame. And whatever strings he pulled, it worked.

The Marlins sent eight guys to the plate in the top of the ninth and turned a 4-1 deficit into a stunning 5-4 victory -- spoiling the home team's chance at a sweep.

Following the rally, Papelbon was ejected after an obscene gesture toward the Philadelphia fans, who were voicing their displeasure with the effort of the sometimes controversial closer.

The rally was started by Marlins catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who doubled to the right-center-field gap. Then, Papelbon walked second baseman Enrique Hernandez before allowing shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to reach on an infield single, loading the bases.

Pinch hitter Jordany Valdespin grounded out to first base, plating one run. Left fielder Christian Yelich bounced a chopper over Papelbon's head for an infield single, scoring another run. Justin Bour would then pinch hit for Reed Johnson, and Bour's single plated Hechavarria with the tying run. The Marlins' go-ahead run came one batter later on a wild pitch from Papelbon.

The Phillies threatened in the bottom half of the inning, getting the first two runners on base, but Marlins closer Steve Cishek was able to strike out the side for his 35th save of the season.

"You could see the momentum and the energy turn," Redmond said. "Guys kept battling and we got the big hit. It was definitely dicey in the (bottom of) the ninth. But we've been there a few times before, Cishek pitched out of it."

Everything was going smoothly for the Phillies before Papelbon took the hill in the ninth.

Phillies starting pitcher David Buchanan (6-7, 3.90 ERA) was in line for the win after tossing 6 1/3 innings of one-run baseball. Buchanan allowed five hits and struck out a pair of batters. The only blemish on his pitching line came in the fourth inning, when Hernandez roped a line drive over the right-field wall for a home run.

Buchanan got Hechavarria to ground out to start the seventh inning with the Phillies ahead 3-1. Pinch hitter Ed Lucas then sent a comebacker to Buchanan, who had trouble handling it before throwing it too low to first baseman Ryan Howard. With the Marlins top of the order due up, Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg to take Buchanan out after throwing 89 pitches in favor of the bullpen.

Reliever Antonio Bastardo cleaned up the seventh inning in two batters. Then Justin De Fratus pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning before Papelbon took the hill the ninth.

"Buchanan was good for his 6 1/3 innings," Sandberg said. "He was solid with his fastball, had a good changeup. Bastardo, De Fratus put up the zero. They put together some hits, had a walk off of Pap with the four runs coming in.

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Buchanan continues to impress with the hopes of staking a claim for a spot in the Phillies' 2015 rotation.

"It's all a work in progress," Buchanan said. "You continue to improve every outing. I'm really just trying to stay true to myself. Sometimes you go out there and try to do too much."

After Hernandez tied the game 1-1 with his homer in the top of the fourth, the Phillies responded to score a pair in the bottom half. With the bases loaded and no one out, left fielder Domonic Brown grounded into a double play that scored second baseman Chase Utley. Catcher Carlos Ruiz then blooped a single into left field to plate Howard and put the Phillies ahead 3-1.

The Phillies added a run in the eighth inning when an Utley grounder to shortstop drew a throw home from Hechavarria, but it was not in time to beat the sliding Ben Revere, giving the Phillies a 4-1 lead.

Marlins starting pitcher Tom Koehler (9-10, 3.71 ERA) entered Sunday having dominated the National League East. But the Phillies were able to get to him in the fourth inning for a pair of runs.

Koehler pitched six innings, allowing seven hits and three runs (two earned) while walking one batter and striking out two. Just 53 of his 90 pitches went for strikes.

"He didn't have his best stuff but he battled, he always battles," Redmond said. "He kept us in the game, made pitches."

The Marlins bullpen, which entered Sunday with a league-best 2.64 ERA since the all-star break, allowed just one run and kept Miami in the game.

"You start breaking down that game from the sixth, seventh, eighth inning on, all those outs were huge," Redmond said. "It was a great team effort right there."

NOTES: Since Aug. 18, the Phillies have won six of their eight series, five of which have come against teams with winning records. ... The Marlins will head to New York for a three-game series with the Mets on Monday, finishing off a 10-game road trip.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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