MIAMI - There was good reason to believe the Phillies could end a two-game losing streak on Monday night. Starting pitcher Jake Arrieta had dominated the Miami Marlins in his career, going 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in five starts. In 30 innings, he had allowed just 19 hits while walking six and striking out 31.
Even manager Gabe Kapler liked his team's chances. Before the game, he remarked about how upbeat the clubhouse was, saying Arrieta had an "invigorating" effect on the team.
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None of this, however, equaled a win for the Phillies. Arrieta was far from sharp and the offense could not capitalize on a big chance in the seventh inning. The result was an 8-4 loss to the Marlins.
The Phils have lost three in a row and five of their last seven. They ended the month of April with a 16-12 record. They are 2-2 against the Marlins, who have the third-worst record in the National League at 10-18.
Arrieta's string of 18 consecutive starts (dating to last season) of allowing three or fewer earned runs ended as he was tagged for eight hits and six runs over 3 2/3 innings. His command was poor. He left pitches over the plate that were hit hard and he walked two. Just 44 of his 79 pitches were strikes. Half of the Marlins' hits against Arrieta were doubles.
The Phillies stayed in the game thanks to two-run homers from Jorge Alfaro in the second and Maikel Franco in the fourth. Both homers came against Miami starter Dan Straily.
The Phils had a golden opportunity in the top of the seventh. Down by two runs, they loaded the bases with one out against Miami reliever Kyle Barraclough. The threat died when Carlos Santana flied out to right and Scott Kingery grounded out on a check swing in front of the plate.
Santana entered the day hitting .160 and the seventh-inning at-bat hitting .155. Kapler had dropped him from second to fifth in the batting order, calling it "a little positive shake-up at the top of the lineup to make things feel fresh."
Both Santana and the team needed a big hit in the seventh, but it didn't happen. Santana's fly ball to right came on a 3-2 pitch. It was not deep and he may have broken his bat. Rightfielder Brian Anderson charged in and made a diving catch. Meanwhile, at third base, Cesar Hernandez did not tag on the play, probably costing the Phillies a run.
The Marlins pulled away in the bottom of the seventh when Anderson crushed a 96-mph hour Tommy Hunter fastball halfway up the garish home run sculpture in left-center. The two-run shot made it a four-run game.
• The Phils placed reliever Victor Arano on the DL before the game (see story). They recalled reliever Zac Curtis from Triple A. Zach Eflin was also added from Triple A. He will start Tuesday night against Marlins' lefty Jarlin Garcia.
• Odubel Herrera had a couple of hits and a walk. He has now reached base in 30 straight games, dating to last season.