On the night Seranthony Dominguez began his rehab job 70 miles from Citizens Bank Park, David Robertson made a save in the ninth inning as the Phillies lost to the Marlins, 6-5.
The Phils held onto the lead by one with three goals before Garrett Cooper went up to ninth by two goals and scored on a routine ground ball that went under the gauntlet of Rhys Hoskins for a two-base error. A walk and one time later, the Marlins were in the lead.
“It was very aggressive on his part,” artistic director Rob Thompson said of Hoskins’ play. “We should have gotten out but we’re moving on from there.”
Velez was unable to complete the sweep and fell to 75-62. They are sixth and final in the National League, half a game behind Padres and 2½ ahead of the Brewers, who swept two heads over the Giants.
Robertson has been an important springboard for the Phillies, but has struggled in his last three starts, allowing in four runs and putting 11 men at the base in 3 runs.
“Maybe he’s a little tired,” Thompson said. “I don’t think we put him in the danger zone but I do think he’s a little tired. But on a walk tonight, Cooper’s ball got a good hit, then a foul, then a walk where it looked like it was swaying – and you have to be able to beat that stuff – and then it bled And he hit the side. It was tough.”
Dominguez, after nearly three weeks of suffering a tendinitis in his right triceps, went down around two tracks for a goal-free run Thursday night at Lehigh Valley. The reports Thompson received were that Dominguez’s sprint was from 98 mph to 100 mph, which may hasten his return. The Phillies need to be in their folds as soon as possible, and Dominguez’s next appearance in Philadelphia could come depending on how his arm responds. Thompson said he will speak with the right-hand man on Friday.
This was shaping up to be Phils’ fourth win in a row against Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara, who leads the majors in the innings held and entered with a 2.36 ERA. They scored five runs (three won) in six rounds, taking advantage of multiple defensive errors by quarterback JJ Bleday in the fifth. Bleday dropped a can of corn off Kyle Schwarber’s racket with two ends and no one in the frame, extending the stroke for Hoskins’ solo and triple powered by Alec Bohm. Bleday had a slim chance to catch Bohm’s ball but he let go and turned a single associated with the game into an extra base hit. That was the decisive match until the ninth.
“I don’t make lists but if you’re making a list of the best shooters in the game, you’re talking about him,” Bohm said. “And to get it, to get an introduction, you want to shut it down.”
Velez will face Alcantara for the sixth and final time next week in Miami. The more they saw him, the more they hit him. They have scored 11 runs in 19 strokes in the last 15 rounds against Alcantara.
“I think if you see a man a lot … I don’t think comfort is the right word, but you kind of know what you’re going to get,” said Bohm. “It’s just a matter of hitting his mistakes or not.”
Kyle Gibson started out with the Phils and didn’t play well, allowing four runs in nine strokes over five runs for the Marlins who have averaged just 1.6 over their last 10 games. He was deeply taken in by left-handed hitters Wayne Diaz and Joey Wendell. Gibson has struggled three of his last four, and allowed 15 times in 18 innings. He felt his categorical command was the problem on Thursday.
Phils 10-6 against the Marlins this season. They managed to win the series without much from Bryce Harper and Schwarber. The left hitters are 7 for 45 in September with no hovering, no RBI, four walks and 18 strikes.
“Everyone goes through these kinds of bats,” Thompson said of Harper. “He hasn’t really had that many hits. They kind of build up on him so there might be some fatigue in there. But he’s going to come out of it.”
Maybe they can get it right this weekend against the worst knockout team in the domestic league. Velez will face Patrick Corbin on Friday, Eric Vide on Saturday, and Anibal Sanchez on Sunday. They have tattooed Corbin and Fedde for the past two seasons.
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