Philadelphia (85-72) at Miami (87-70)

Light Rain Currently: Miami Gardens, FL
Temp: 76° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Wed Sep 24, 2003
Preview | Box Score | Recap

To improve their postseason hopes, the Philadelphia Phillies need a veteran-type performance from rookie right-hander Brett Myers.

Myers will be on the mound for the Phillies as they try to make up ground against the Florida Marlins in the middle game of their series at Pro Player Stadium.

The Phillies squandered a 3-0 lead Tuesday, allowing five runs in the seventh inning and losing 5-4. Philadelphia now trails Florida by two games in the race for the NL wild card.

The Phillies lost for the sixth time in 10 games, and they have dropped five in a row in Miami. Florida has won 12 of its past 14 home games.

Making matters worse for Philadelphia, Myers was dismal in his last big start against the Marlins.

Myers allowed six runs and seven hits in four innings of an 11-4 loss last Wednesday, his second loss in three starts against Florida this season. In 14 2-3 innings against the Marlins this season, he’s allowed 12 runs and 22 hits.

“They’re a scary team,” Myers said.

Florida’s comeback in the series opener was highlighted by Jeff Conine’s three-run homer off Kevin Millwood, helping the Marlins overcome a shaky outing by rookie Dontrelle Willis. They were on the verge of falling into a tie with Philadelphia in the wild-card race, but instead moved two games ahead with five to go—including two more between the teams.

STANDINGS: Phillies - 3rd place, 12 1/2 GB, NL East. Marlins - 2nd place, 10 1/2 GB, NL East.

PHILLIES PROBABLE STARTER: Myers (14-8, 4.31 ERA). Myers’ loss to Florida was his first since Aug. 10. He was 3-0 in his previous six starts, which included back-to-back outings in which he allowed 10 runs combined but didn’t lose a decision.

MARLINS PROBABLE STARTER: Josh Beckett (8-8, 2.93 ERA). Beckett was a hard-luck loser in his last start. He surrendered just six hits in seven innings and struck out nine in a 1-0 loss to Atlanta on Friday. It was the seventh straight start in which the hard-throwing right-hander allowed fewer than three runs, but he has won just three of those starts. He is 2-2 with a 3.03 ERA in seven career starts against the Phillies.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Phillies - Mike Lieberthal, .319 avg.; Jim Thome, 44 HRs, 127 RBIs and 107 runs; Bobby Abreu, 22 SBs. Marlins - Luis Castillo, .316 avg. and 97 runs; Mike Lowell, 32 HRs and 105 RBIs; Juan Pierre, 62 SBs.

SEASON SERIES: Marlins, 11-6.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Phillies - OF Abreu is just 2-for-15 in his career against RHP Beckett. … Before the All-Star break, opponents hit .237 against Myers. Since then, opponents are hitting .324 against the right-hander. … C Lieberthal is hitting .417 (5-for-12) in his career against RHP Beckett. Marlins - RHP Beckett is 6-3 with a 2.44 ERA in 13 home starts this season. … OF Pierre has 62 stolen bases, tying 2B Castillo’s team record set in 2000. … The Marlins bullpen has allowed 21 earned runs over its last 23 2-3 innings.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Phillies - 37-42 on the road; Marlins - 49-27 at home.

INJURIES: Phillies - RHP David Coggin (shoulder), 60-day DL. Marlins - 3B Lowell (thumb), 15-day DL; LHP Armando Almanza (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Toby Borland (appendicitis), 60-day DL; RHP A.J. Burnett (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Tim Spooneybarger (elbow), 60-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

B. Myers Cle vs. J. Beckett LAD
14-9 Record 9-8
4.43 ERA 3.04
143 K 152
76 BB 56
1.46 WHIP 1.32