Phillies Prove To Be Thorn In Marlins’ Wildcard Hopes

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PHILADELPHIA (SportsDirect Inc.) — Whatever hope the Miami Marlins gained by winning five of seven games is being dashed by the team’s inability to beat the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Marlins will try to avoid a three-game sweep when they visit the Phillies for the series finale on Sunday.

Miami seemed to fall out of it completely with 10 losses in 11 games – the last two of those setbacks coming against the Phillies at home on Sept. 5 and 6 – but roared back to .500 with a win at Atlanta on Wednesday to keep hope alive.

The Marlins suffered a crushing 4-3 defeat in 13 innings in Friday’s series opener and were shut out 8-0 by Jeremy Hellickson on Saturday to slip six games back in the race for the second National League wild card with 14 contests remaining.

Philadelphia helped hold the Pittsburgh Pirates out of the wild card race by splitting a four-game series earlier in the week and are not just playing out the string during another losing season.

The Phillies are getting strong contributions from the younger players and Tommy Joseph homered to lead the offense on Saturday.

TV: 1:35 p.m. ET, FSN Florida (Miami), CSN Philadelphia

PITCHING MATCHUP: Marlins RH Andrew Cashner (5-11, 5.22 ERA) vs. Phillies RH Alec Asher (1-0, 1.46)

Cashner earned his first win since coming over in a trade from San Diego when he breezed through 5 1/3 scoreless innings with nine strikeouts against Philadelphia on Sept. 7. The Texas native failed to follow up that triumph and was knocked around for seven runs on six hits and a pair of walks without a strikeout in two innings at Atlanta on Monday. Cashner has traditionally been strong against the Phillies, owning a 3-1 record with a 2.11 ERA in 11 games – five starts.

Asher has been strong in two starts since joining the team earlier this month. The 24-year-old Florida native blanked the Washington Nationals over six innings in his debut on Sept. 8 and held Pittsburgh to two runs and four hits across 6 1/3 frames on Tuesday. Asher, who had his season abbreviated by an 80-game PED suspension, saw Miami twice in 2015 and went 0-2 while allowing a total of four runs in nine innings.

WALK-OFFS

1. Phillies CF Odubel Herrera is 10-for-20 in his last five games and has doubled in four straight.

2. Miami 2B Dee Gordon boasts stolen six bases in the last three games.

3. Philadelphia 1B Ryan Howard (knee) was scratched from Saturday’s lineup and is day-to-day.

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