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The Phillies just can't shake the Marlins.
They lost in Miami on Saturday, 9-6, squandering a 6-1 lead in the sixth inning after a bullpen implosion. Their losing streak against the Marlins, who hold the worst record in the National League at 32-49, is now five games.
The Phillies knocked Marlins starter Jordan Yamamoto out after four innings, scoring two runs apiece in the first and fourth. Rhys Hoskins added two runs of insurance with a two-run home run in the fifth inning, his 19th of the season and third in the last six games.
Hoskins' insurance was not sufficient. The bullpen let the lead slip away, conceding six runs in a disastrous seventh inning.
After the Phillies' loss, the Braves held a six-game lead in the NL East. The Phillies are 43-40 on the season.
Zach Eflin, after allowing a career-high 11 hits his last time out vs. the Mets, looked to be having a strong bounce-back start.
He'd benefited some from the vast dimensions of Marlins Park, inducing two outs from Neil Walker on balls hit over 375 feet, but had kept Miami in check.
Then, Walker hit one just far enough in the sixth, lifting a two-run home run that narrowly cleared the left-field fence and made the game a little tighter.
Eflin still managed a quality start, his 10th of the season in 16 outings. He allowed three runs in six innings, striking out three.
A costly end to a streak
Juan Nicasio couldn't wrap up a scoreless June.
He entered Saturday's game having shut out the opposition in 8 2/3 June innings, but the Marlins tagged for him three runs in a third of an inning.
Adam Morgan came in after Nicasio and also allowed three runs while recording a single out.
Sticking at the top
One positive note for the Phillies is that Scott Kingery looks like he might stick in the leadoff spot.
Kingery has hit .297 since moving to the top of the order Monday. He walked for the first time as the leadoff man Saturday and also added two hits and two RBIs.
Jay Bruce was originally in the Phillies' lineup but was removed because of left elbow soreness. Bruce told reporters in Miami it was a precautionary move and he does not expect to be sidelined for an extended period. Roman Quinn took Bruce's place and went 0 for 3.
The Phillies and Marlins conclude their series Sunday afternoon (1:10 p.m./NBCSP). Jake Arrieta (7-6, 4.33 ERA) will oppose Trevor Richards (3-8, 3.94 ERA).
The Phils then have a day off Monday before beginning a three-game series Tuesday in Atlanta.
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