Back in first: Phillies edge Marlins to grab top spot in NL East
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) – Placido Polanco’s eighth-inning two-out RBI single was the difference, as Philadelphia nipped Florida, 8-7, in the third installment of a four-game series.
The victory, coupled with Atlanta’s loss at Pittsburgh, lofted the two-time defending NL champs into first place in the NL East by a half-game over the Braves. The Phillies hadn’t seen the top of the division since May 30.
Raul Ibanez finished 3-for-4 with a homer and drove in three runs, while Shane Victorino and Ryan Howard also added solo shots for the Phillies, who have taken seven of their last nine overall.
Ryan Madson (5-2) allowed Florida’s tying run to score in the top of the eighth, but picked up the win by getting the final four outs.
Logan Morrison doubled twice and knocked in a run for the Marlins, who have dropped two in a row since taking the opener of a day-night doubleheader on Monday. Mike Stanton finished 2-for-4 with a solo shot in defeat.
Jose Veras (2-2) was charged with the loss after allowing the game-winning hit.
In the eighth, Stanton’s solo homer off Jose Contreras made it 7-5, then Brad Davis doubled with one out. With two outs, Emilio Bonifacio singled, and Davis scored on a Jayson Werth throwing error, which sent Bonifacio to second. J.C. Romero came in only to balk Bonifacio to third, then walked Morrison, paving the way for Madson. The lanky right-hander uncorked a wild pitch to score Bonifacio with the tying run before fanning Hanley Ramirez.
Veras gave up a two-out single to Victorino, who stole second before coming in when Polanco punched a hit through the right side. Chase Utley walked and Howard barely missed a three-run shot that was caught in front of the center- field wall, but the Phils snagged a one-run edge, 8-7.
Madson fanned Dan Uggla swinging and got Gaby Sanchez on a flyout to left before walking Stanton. Wes Helms then went down swinging on a high and outside 1-2 fastball to end the game.
The Phils broke through in the second, as Howard doubled and scored on a Jimmy Rollins base hit.
Florida came back with two in the third as Bonifacio singled and went to second on Blanton’s error on a Morrison grounder. After a groundout moved up both runners, Uggla plated one with a grounder to first and Sanchez added an RBI single.
The Fish tacked on one more in the fourth as Cameron Maybin started with a triple and scored on a Davis groundout.
Ibanez reached the seats in left-center with one out in the home half, then the home team picked up three in the fifth to move ahead 5-3 on a Victorino leadoff homer, a two-out solo shot from Howard and an RBI hit by Ibanez.
Florida trimmed its deficit to 5-4 in the seventh. Bonifacio walked with one out then Morrison drove him in with a double off Antonio Bastardo. Morrison advanced to third on a wild throw home, but Chad Durbin cleaned up the mess by getting Ramirez on a foul out and Sanchez on a flyout.
Polanco singled to start the home half, moved to second on a passed ball, reached third on a groundout and scored after an intentional walk to Howard on a Rollins sac fly. Ibanez followed with an RBI triple, and the home team had what appeared to be a safe 7-4 edge.
Philadelphia has won nine of 14 from Florida this season and evened their record against the Marlins at home to 4-4…Late Monday, the Phillies recalled outfielder John Mayberry, Jr. from Triple-A Lehigh Valley…The Phils also scratched outfielder Domonic Brown with a quadriceps injury…Bonifacio ended with three hits and scored three runs…Polanco had three hits, and Howard crossed the plate three times…Philly starter Joe Blanton allowed six hits and four runs over 6 1/3 innings, and Florida hurler Chris Volstad yielded five runs and nine hits over five full frames.