Uggla, Marlins top suddenly punchless Phils
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) – Dan Uggla drove in both Marlins runs and Nate Robertson took a shutout into the seventh inning, as Florida beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 2-0, in the rubber match of a three-game set.
Robertson (2-0) gave up four hits and walked four, keeping the Phillies’ offense in check over 6 1/3 innings to help Florida take the series win and continue its recent dominance in Philadelphia.
The Marlins have won the last six series between the teams at Citizens Bank Park, going 13-5 over that span.
Robertson also doubled while Uggla homered in the second inning and hit a run-scoring double in the ninth for Florida, which has won four of five overall.
Cole Hamels (2-1) took the loss despite turning in his best start of the year. In two prior starts this season, he didn’t pitch out of the sixth inning and had a 5.06 earned run average. But Sunday, Hamels used an effective cutter to go eight-plus frames. The left-hander was charged with both runs and seven hits, but didn’t walk a batter and struck out eight.
“He made some good pitches today,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of Hamels. “He had real good command. He didn’t make too many mistakes.”
While Hamels was effective, Philadelphia’s lineup struggled for the second straight game, as the Phillies dropped a 5-1 decision to the Marlins on Saturday, when Ricky Nolasco threw a complete game.
“We had great, great efforts out of both Ricky and Nate,” Uggla said. “We didn’t score a lot today. But we played pretty well, played good enough to win. And like I said, our starting pitching the last two days has been unbelievable.”
Jayson Werth and Ben Francisco each went 1-for-3 with a walk for Philadelphia, which has lost three of four overall.
Uggla slammed a hanging breaking ball off the left field foul pole to begin the second inning, putting the Marlins ahead, but the score remained that way as neither team had success with its scoring opportunities. The Phillies went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position, while Florida went 0-for-11.
Both teams had opportunities in the fourth inning. The Marlins put two runners on with one down before Hamels induced a fielder’s choice ground out from John Baker and struck out Gaby Sanchez to end the threat.
In the bottom half, Werth led off by sliding head-first into first base for an infield single, and Francisco followed by blasting a ball to center. However, the ball bounced over the wall for a ground-rule double, preventing Werth from scoring. Robertson then fanned Juan Castro, got Carlos Ruiz to fly out and retired Hamels on a grounder to escape the jam.
The Phillies had another chance in the seventh, which Ruiz began with a single. Hamels bunted him to second, and Shane Victorino was safe on Hanley Ramirez’s throwing error. Robertson was removed for Burke Badenhop, who retired the next two batters on fly outs to snuff out the scoring opportunity.
“They were there for us today,” Manuel said. “We couldn’t get the win. I think hitting comes and goes.”
Hamels had settled into a groove at that point and retired 11 straight heading into the ninth, but Jorge Cantu singled to left to chase him. After Ryan Madson entered, Uggla ripped a ball inside the third base line. The ball rolled to the wall for a double, plating Cantu for a 2-0 lead.
Leo Nunez then worked a 1-2-3 bottom half, striking out the final two batters, to secure the victory and his third save.
The Phillies lost for the first time this season when their starter worked more than six innings (3-1)…The Marlins have lost the first game in each of their series this season, but have not lost a matchup yet. They beat the Mets and Dodgers, then split a four-game set with Cincinnati before this weekend’s series…Uggla finished 3-for-4, while Cameron Maybin was 2-for-4 for Florida. Robertson’s double was the first of his career, and just his second career hit.
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