Phillies 13, Marlins 7
It was an important win for the Phillies, who are trying to make some sort of run to get back in the NL East race. Not only are they trying to catch first-place Washington, they are attempting to knock Florida out of contention before the July 31 trading deadline.
“Every game we play from here is big,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.
This was the first of a 10-game road trip for the Marlins that includes stops in Arizona and San Francisco; the Phillies opened a 10-game homestand with Los Angeles and San Diego also visiting.
“You’ve got to make your run right now,” Lieberthal said. “You either fall back or you stay in it. You try and improve your team and make a run for it.”
Maybe the Phillies can duplicate the success of their 12-1 homestand in June that catapulted them from fifth place to second. The Phillies, though, couldn’t sustain that success and find themselves 6 1/2 games behind Washington.
The Marlins are seven games out.
Abreu, who hit a record 41 homers in winning the Home Run Derby on Monday, didn’t see his power carry over against the Marlins—he went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts and two runs scored.
Abreu made quite an impact on Lieberthal, however.
“To be honest, I was trying to act like Bobby,” Lieberthal said. “I just tried to be relaxed. He’s never off balance and very light on his feet. Watching him in the All-Star game was truly special for him and the Phillies. He’s a guy you want to be like.”
Brett Myers (7-5) was bailed out by the long ball after staking Florida to a 3-0 lead. Burrell’s 18th homer of the year, a two-run shot to center in the second, made it 3-2.
The Marlins tied it in the third on Miguel Cabrera’s 18th homer, but they wouldn’t score again off Myers. He gave up seven hits, walked two and struck out five in six innings.
“I was having trouble early with the mound … but I just tried to go out there and battle,” Myers said. “I realize I didn’t have my best stuff out there tonight.”
Burrell added a three-run homer in the eighth off Randy Messenger to make it 13-5 and match his career high with five RBIs.
Philadelphia scored twice off Burnett in the fifth to take the lead, scoring on Chase Utley’s go-ahead groundout RBI and Abreu’s sacrifice fly. Burnett left after five innings, giving up six hits and six runs.
“I didn’t hit a spot,” Burnett said.
Manuel shuffled the lineup, moving Abreu to the cleanup spot, Utley hit third and Burrell was dropped to fifth. Manuel said the moves had nothing to do with the right fielder’s record-setting performance.
The Phillies broke it open with a four-run sixth, including another solo homer from Lieberthal, his eighth of the season.
“I wasn’t jumping as much at pitches,” Lieberthal said. “I was just being a little more relaxed and stayed back.”
Florida’s Paul Lo Duca hit his third homer of the year in the second inning. The Marlins added two runs in the ninth.
“Sooner or later you’ve got to win games,” Florida manager Jack McKeon said.
LHP Al Leiter was designated for assignment, perhaps signaling the end of a 19-year career for the left-hander who helped the Marlins and Toronto Blue Jays win World Series titles. Leiter agreed to an $8 million, one-year contract with Florida in the offseason, but struggled with his control in his second stint with the Marlins and was 3-7 with a 6.64 ERA in 16 starts. … The Marlins recalled LHP Jason Vargas from Double-A Carolina. He made his major league debut, pitching the seventh. … Myers’ run-scoring balk in the second was his NL-worst fourth of the season. … Burrell had his 11th career multihomer game and Lieberthal had his 10th.
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