On Wednesday night the Miami Marlins squeaked out a victory against the Philadelphia Phillies to win the three game series. The 3-2 win came with some help from the Phils and a very good outing by the Marlins pitching staff.
September call-up Brad Hand started for the second time this season for the Marlins and turned in six shutout innings before running into trouble in the seventh. The Marlins had staked Hand to a 2-0 lead through six, but he gave up a double and two singles to consecutive hitters in the seventh to make the score 2-1. Manager Mike Redmond decided to remove the obviously tiring Hand at this point and replaced him with A.J. Ramos to try to preserve the lead.
Ramos struck out the first batter he faced, but gave up an RBI single to the next Phils batter which allowed the tying run to score. He would get the next batter to pop out ending the inning and maintaining a 2-2 tie.
The Fish would take the lead back in the eighth inning as a Justin Ruggiano walk would be followed by a Placido Polanco single to place runners at the corners with one out. Adeiny Hechavarria then slapped a high chopper to Phils shortstop, Jimmy Rollins, who elected to throw home in an attempt to keep Ruggiano from scoring the go ahead run. The Phils catcher was unable to hold on to the throw as he attempted to swipe tag a sliding Ruggiano before he scored the deciding run.
Hechavarria wound up driving in all three Marlins runs on the night as his triple to deep centerfield in the second inning produced the first two runs on the night. Just like in the eighth inning, Ruggiano had reached on a walk and Polanco had followed with a single before scoring on Hechavarria’s 8th triple on the season.
Hand threw seven and a third innings in the start allowing 2 earned runs on 7 hits and just one walk. He struck 3 in the no decision and lowered his ERA to 3.05. The win would go to Chad Qualls who recorded just one out in relief and ran his record to 5-2. Ethan Martin took the loss for the Phils and fell to 2-5.
Steve Cishek pitched a scoreless ninth to record his 33rd save on the season and establish a new Marlins record by saving his 28th straight game.
Up Next: The Marlins have a day off on Thursday before facing off against the American League Central champion Detroit Tigers to end the 2013 season. The Marlins will send Tom Koehler (4-10) to the mound on Friday against Rick Procello (13-8) for the Tigers.