Phillies on wrong end of sweep vs Marlins

(Photo: Steve Mitchell/US Presswire)

The half-way point of the season finds the Phillies nine games under .500 and 11 games out of first in the National League East. They reached season highs in both of those marks by virtue of a three-game sweep at the hands of the Miami Marlins.

Hanley Ramirez picked a good time to end his home run drought. Ramirez hit his first homer since June 3, ending his drought at 89 at-bats with a two-run shot in the eighth inning in a 5-2 victory over the struggling Phillies on Sunday. "We've been waiting for Hanley's big day," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said.

The Marlins completed a three-game sweep of the Phillies for the first time since August 7-9, 2009, at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies have lost five straight. "We are trying to beat everybody, but especially in our division," Ramirez said. "If you want to move up, that's what you have to do."

All-Star slugger Giancarlo Stanton also homered, and Omar Infante and John Buck each had RBI doubles for the Marlins, who have won four straight as they look to put an 8-18 June behind them.

Ricky Nolasco (7-6) pitched seven strong innings, striking out six and allowing five hits and two runs. "A sweep against anybody is big, but we know how good that team is and we're trying to prevent them from getting on a roll as well," Nolasco said. Nolasco improved to 8-4 with a 3.59 ERA over 14 starts against the Phillies.

"He's always been a better pitcher than people give him credit for," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "I've seen him pitch some real good games over the time I've been here."

With the Marlins leading 3-2 in the top of the eighth, Steve Cishek allowed two singles before getting Shane Victorino to fly out to end the inning. Ramirez's two-run homer came off Antonio Bastardo in the bottom of the eighth to extend the lead to 5-2.

"The biggest hit today was the home run by Hanley," Guillen said. "Hanley opened up the game a little bit to give you some room for a mistake."

Heath Bell came on in the ninth for his 17th save in 21 chances. Philadelphia starter Joe Blanton (7-7) allowed three runs and six hits in six innings. He struck out seven.

"If we go out and throw a good game, we have trouble scraping across a couple (runs) and that's just baseball," Blanton said. "Sometimes it goes that way."

After Juan Pierre tripled and scored on a groundout by Carlos Ruiz, Miami took a 2-1 lead on consecutive RBI doubles by Infante and Buck. Stanton's third home run in five games - his 19th overall - gave Miami a 3-1 advantage in the third.

NOTES: The Phillies have had at least three All-Star selections in four consecutive years as LHP Cole Hamels, RHP Jonathan Papelbon and C Carlos Ruiz were selected to represent the Phillies on July 10... The Phillies selected the contract of OF Jason Pridie from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to fill the roster spot available after trading 1B Jim Thome to Baltimore... Phillies RHP Vance Worley (4-4, 2.92 ERA) will oppose Mets LHP Jonathon Niese (6-3, 3.55 ERA) on Tuesday.


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