Don Mattingly has repeatedly said that he believes his young team is capable of reeling off a long winning streak.
On Wednesday, the Miami Marlins proved their manager has a solid point.
The Marlins ripped a season-best 18 hits and defeated the host Philadelphia Phillies 11-6.
Miami will now look to capture the series on Thursday.
“We’re seeing signs of our offense,” Mattingly said. “Hopefully we get our whole lineup back together. For us to start to get in some kind of rhythm would be great for us. It would take some pressure off the pitching.”
Adam Duvall and Joe Panik each homered while Starling Marte had four hits and Garrett Cooper added three in Wednesday’s offensive outburst. The Marlins were 8-for-17 with runners in scoring position.
“You’re going to have your ups and downs,” Cooper said. “We’ve had more downs than we would have liked. Hitting is contagious. As soon as a couple of guys get a few hits, you feel more confident stepping to the plate. It’s a team thing.”
Miguel Rojas, who had been ill, also provided a lift with a hit and run scored. Like Mattingly, Rojas believes in the group.
“We’re not where we want to be right now, but we have time left,” Rojas said. “We have to start showing some fight, and not just for a day or two.”
The Marlins will send right-hander Pablo Lopez to the mound for his 17th start. Lopez is 4-4 with a 2.87 earned run average.
For Lopez’s career against the Phillies, he’s 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA in five starts.
The Phillies, meanwhile, will look to rebound after another maddening loss in an inconsistent season.
Philadelphia held on for a 4-3 win on Tuesday, but sputtered with two errors and some poor pitching in Wednesday’s five-run loss.
“Obviously, to stay in it, you’ve got to have someone dial up a start every night,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. “That’s what you have to do. You have to pitch extremely well.”
On a night when they scored six runs, it wasn’t nearly enough.
“It’s frustrating. You’re not going to win close games if you don’t play good defense,” Girardi said. “It’s bit us bad, especially this (past) week. We’ve given a number of extra outs, and it seemed to come to bite us every time.”
Bryce Harper homered twice on Wednesday, giving him 13 this season. Amazingly, all 13 home runs have been solo shots.
Nick Maton added his first career triple to go along with two RBIs.
Two costly errors hurt, and the result was another defeat.
“This is what we do, man. We compete,” Rhys Hoskins said. “We get knocked down and we get back up. Everybody else, I’m sure, feels the same way.”
If the Phillies hope to win the series, they’ll need a strong start from right-hander Zach Eflin.
Eflin (2-6, 4.20) will be making his 16th start.
For Eflin’s career against the Marlins, he’s 5-5 with a 4.38 ERA in 12 starts.
–Field Level Media