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Phillies with plenty of hits but lose again: Marlins 4, Phillies 3

Bullpen keeps it close, but offense can’t quite close the gap

New York Mets v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

A crowd of 31,184 was on hand for the Marlins’ home opener in south Florida on Thursday night. That’s slightly less than the attendance at the Phils’ game at home on Wednesday, but was the highest paid attendance in Miami since their opener in 2018.

The Phillies’ offense started the game well vs. Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara, with Kyle Schwarber leading off with a double, and J.T. Realmuto following with a single, his first of four on the night. Realmuto also walked, getting on base in all five trips to the plate.

Bryce Harper’ sacrifice fly got the Phillies on the board first, but that was it for the inning.

Kyle Gibson meanwhile continued where he left off in his excellent first start by striking out the side in the bottom of the first, and thanks to a double play grounder in the second, faced the minimum number of batters through three innings.

The Marlins finally got to him in the 4th, starting with a Garrett Cooper solo home run, followed by a triple, walk, and 2-run double by new addition Joey Wendle to make it 3-1 Marlins. They tacked on one more in the 5th with two walks and a single to go up 4-1.

The Phillies bullpen took over after the single and held the Marlins scoreless the rest of the way, with Andrew Bellatti, James Norwood, Brad Hand, and Corey Knebel only allowing 1 hit (and 2 walks) over 3 13 innings.

Phils hitters rallied in the 7th, with Bryce Harper’s double driving in Matt Vierling (HBP) and Realmuto (walk) to make it a one-run game.

That made it intersting, but from there on their three singles across the 8th and 9th were hampered by a double play mixed in, and they couldn’t close the gap.

In the end the Phils offense showed sputters of life and got 11 hits, but too many were singles (8), and too few of them were bunched together to do enough damage.

They will try to build on that tonight when Zach Eflin takes the mound at 6:40.

The Phillies are now 3-4 in the early going. That happens to be the record of the 2008 Phillies after seven games, “just sayin”.