Miami Marlins manager Skip Schumaker had a brisk evaluation of the Miami Marlins’ 5-4, come-from-behind victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday.
“Ballsy. Gutsy,” Schumaker said. “All those types of words and adjectives.”
There’s a simple reason for that.
For the second time in four days, the Marlins were held without a hit through six innings of a baseball game.
The first time it happened in that span, they were shut out by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday.
On Sunday, they broke up the no-hitter bid and managed to tie the game in the seventh before Bryan De La Cruz hit a go-ahead two-run home run in the eighth to lead the Marlins to the series-clinching win over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
With the win, Miami (74-69) clinched the three-game series with the Phillies (78-64) and won the season series against Philadelphia, taking seven of 13 games overall.
Miami has also won eight of its past 10 games and each of its past three series, sweeping a four-game set against the Washington Nationals and taking two of three against the Dodgers.
The Marlins now have 37 comeback wins and are 30-12 in one-run games this season.
“We’re in a good moment right now,” Marlins first baseman Yuli Gurriel said. “We have to take advantage of that.”
Here are three takeaways from the game.
From being no-hit to offensive outburst
Through the first six innings on Sunday, the Marlins managed to log just two walks against Ranger Suarez — first by Josh Bell in the first inning, then by Gurriel in the fifth inning.
De La Cruz drew the team’s third walk with one out in the seventh before Dane Myers hit a double to center field for Miami’s first hit of the game. Gurriel then drove both of them home with a double to left field to cut Miami’s deficit to 3-2 and chase Suarez from the game.
After a Jazz Chisholm Jr. strikeout, Jon Berti drew a walk to put runners on first and second with two outs before Nick Fortes hit a game-tying RBI single against Phillies reliever Matt Strahm.
One inning later, Bell led off the eighth with a single against Seranthony Dominguez and got to second on a Jake Burger groundout. Xavier Edwards replaced Bell as a pinch-runner at this point.
De La Cruz then gave the Marlins their first lead of the game when he sent a middle-up sinker from Dominguez a projected 421 feet to center field for his 19th home run of the season. De La Cruz now leads the Marlins with 73 RBI on the season and his 19 home runs trail only Jorge Soler (35) on Miami’s roster.
During this run of eight wins in 10 games, the Marlins have hit 19 home runs. Of their 60 runs scored, 33 have come via home runs.
Navigating through a bullpen game
The Phillies got out to an early 3-0 lead against the Marlins, who went with a bullpen game.
Trea Turner opened scoring with a two-run home run against left-handed pitcher Steven Okert, who served as an opener for the Marlins. Kyle Schwarber added a solo home run of his own in the third inning against Bryan Hoeing, who pitched through the fourth inning.
The combination of A.J. Puk, George Soriano and David Robertson got the Marlins through the seventh inning as the offense rallied to take the lead.
Philadelphia got a run back and cut Miami’s deficit to 5-4 in the eighth on a Nick Castellanos double against Andrew Nardi, who issued a pair of walks before the hit, before Tanner Scott recorded the final five outs for his seventh save of the season.
“It was huge,” Scott said of the win. “We need to keep winning.”
Where the playoff race stands
The Marlins’ win coupled with a Chicago Cubs win over the Arizona Diamondbacks has Miami just half-game out of the National League’s third and final wild card spot at the end of the day Sunday.
The full standings for the top five teams in the playoff race are as follows:
▪ The Phillies (78-64) hold the top spot.
▪ The Cubs (77-67) are in the second spot, two games behind the Phillies.
▪ The Diamondbacks (75-69) are in the third spot, two games behind the Cubs and four games behind the Phillies.
▪ Miami (74-69) is the first team out of the playoffs, a half-game behind the Diamondbacks, two-and-a-half games behind the Cubs and four-and-a-half games behind the Phillies.
▪ The Cincinnati Reds (74-71) are a game behind the Marlins and one-and-a-half games out of the playoffs.
Miami has 19 games left on its regular-season schedule: Seven against the Milwaukee Brewers (four on the road, three at home), six against the New York Mets (three at home, three on the road), three against the Atlanta Braves at home and three against the Pittsburgh Pirates on the road.
“We just have to get in,” said Robertson, who was with the Phillies last year during their run to the World Series. “If you get in, you’ve got a shot. It’s just hard to get in. We’ve got a lot of games left. We’re going to try to battle our butts off.”