Schwarber blasts his 42nd homer of season as Phillies drill Marlins
PHILADELPHIA — Kyle Schwarber hit a three-run homer and Brandon Marsh drove in three on a bases-clearing double to lead the Philadelphia Phillies to an 8-4 win over the Miami Marlins on Saturday night.
Schwarber hit his 42nd this season and his three RBIs gave him 93, one shy of his career best set last season. He led the National League a year ago with 46 homers. Schwarber may set career highs in both categories — all while his batting average hovers under .200 this season.
Schwarber’s shot into the Phillies’ bullpen off Marlins starter Johnny Cueto (1-4) broke open a five-run second inning. Nick Castellanos, in his first game since the All-Star was dropped to eighth in the lineup, added a two-run double.
The Marlins entered just one game out of an NL wild-card spot and had defeated the Phillies — the wild-card leaders — a night earlier. Cueto, though, labored from the start and threw 92 pitches in 3 2/3 innings.
The Marlins’ best chance in the wild-card race is trying to catch Arizona for the third spot. The Diamondbacks beat the Chicago Cubs 3-2 on Saturday for their fourth consecutive victory.
Miami, though, gamely rallied on a stormy night in Philly against erratic right-hander Aaron Nola
Garrett Hampson hit a solo shot and the Marlins got run-scoring doubles from Jacob Stallings and Josh Bell that cut it to 5-4 in the fifth. Nola couldn’t escape the fifth, his second straight start where he couldn’t get out of the inning. Nola, who gave up seven hits and struck out six, heard scattered boos from Phillies fans as he trudged off the mound.
No worries. The Phillies offense — which boasted three players with 85-plus RBIs and had seven hitters with double-digit homer totals — erupted again when Marsh ripped a double in the fifth that made it 8-4.
Jeff Hoffman (4-2) tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings for the win and three other relievers shut down the Marlins.
BIG LEAGUE DEBUT
Marlins reliever Enmanuel De Jesus allowed Marsh’s double and struck out three over 4 1/3 innings of relief in his first MLB outing.
Phillies 2B Bryson Stott was pained and clutched his side after he was drilled in the ribs by De Jesus in the fifth. Phillies trainers checked on Stott but he remained in the game.
Castellanos went from All-Star to the eight hole.
Phillies manager Rob Thomson counted on a demotion in the batting order as the solution to jump-start the slumping slugger.
Castellanos hasn’t been the same since played in the All-Star game. He hit .162 in July and grounded into three double plays in a loss this week at San Diego. He’s walked only 31 times this season and has struck out a career-worst 163 times.
Thomson said Castellanos, who had two hits, took the demotion like a pro.
“I’m sure he’s not exactly happy and I don’t blame him for that,” Thomson said. “He’s an experienced guy. For the most part, he’s been our most consistent hitter, especially in the first half.”
Third baseman Alec Bohm moved to the cleanup spot.
Thomson briefly moved shortstop Trea Turner to eighth in the lineup during a slump earlier this season. Turner rebounded and entered Saturday on a 16-game hitting streak. Thomson said the opportunity is there for Castellanos to regain his cleanup spot.
“I’m confident he’s going to start hitting again, and when he does we’ll think about moving him again,” Thomson said.
The Phillies send LHP Ranger Suarez (2-6, 3.91 ERA) to the mound to wrap the three-game set. The Marlins did not name a starter.