MIAMI (AP) — When asked why the formidable Philadelphia Phillies bring out the best in his last-place team, Miami Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas had a colorful response.
“I think it’s the red, probably,” Rojas said. “We’re like bulls. We see red and we go hard.”
Rojas’ answer was the second-best comeback of the day. Neil Walker homered and drove in three runs to help Miami rally from a five-run deficit and beat Philadelphia for the fifth consecutive time, 9-6.
Saturday’s deficit was the largest erased by Miami in a victory this year.
“The guys just kept playing,” manager Don Mattingly said. “A lot of good at-bats.”
The Marlins fell behind 6-1 before starting their comeback when Walker snapped an 0-for-15 skid with a two-run homer in the sixth inning. He contributed an RBI single in Miami’s six-run seventh , and JT Riddle delivered a tiebreaking two-run double off Adam Morgan (2-3).
Philadelphia starter Zach Eflin allowed three runs in six innings and was pulled by manager Gabe Kapler after throwing 89 pitches.
“I didn’t feel there was much left there,” Kapler said.
Eflin said he respected the decision, but it blew up on the Phillies. Morgan and Juan Nicasio each gave up three runs in one-third of an inning.
“When we get to the bullpen, we know that’s their weakness,” said Rojas, whose single started the seventh. “It was really cool to see everybody putting good at-bats together after Eflin was out of the game.”
The Marlins have the worst record in the National League, but they’re 7-5 against the Phillies.
“It’s easier to play when you have confidence and you have proven to yourself you can beat a team,” Riddle said.
Kapler’s take: “I don’t think it matters as much who we’re playing right now as how we are playing right now.”
But the Phillies arrived in Miami after a four-game sweep of the Mets. Now they face the prospect Sunday of being swept by the Marlins for the second weekend in a row.
Rookie Jordan Yamamoto, the first Marlins pitcher to win his first three career starts, had that streak end when he allowed four runs in four innings.
Jarlin Garcia (2-0) worked a scoreless seventh, and Sergio Romo pitched a perfect ninth for his 15th save.
Rookie Harold Ramirez had three of the Marlins’ 15 hits to hike his average to .316. Garrett Cooper added two hits and two RBIs.
Rhys Hoskins hit a two-run homer for the Phillies. Scott Kingery had two hits and two RBIs and scored a run.
Bryan Holaday was twice robbed by the Phillies’ defense. Eflin missed a diving attempt to catch a popup near the first-base line but then collected the ball and tossed it for the out. Shortstop Jean Segura made a leaping catch of Holaday’s line drive with a man on to prevent a run.
Attendance was 14,774 — the largest this month at Marlins Park.
“The crowd was awesome,” Riddle said. “We need more crowds like that.”
At the halfway point in their season, the Marlins are averaging 9,348 fans per home game, which puts them on pace for the lowest average attendance in the majors since the Expos’ 7,935 in 2001.
Phillies: LF Jay Bruce (left elbow) was scratched from the starting lineup but was available to pinch-hit.
Phillies: RHP Jake Arrieta (7-6, 4.33), who is scheduled to start the series finale, has allowed eight home runs in 27 2/3 innings this month.
Marlins: RHP Trevor Richards (3-8, 3.94) is tied for the National League lead in losses even though opponents are batting only .233 against him.
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