Marlins hand Phils their 10th shutout loss this year

Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard applies the tag for a putout out on Marcell Ozuna during the first inning.
Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard applies the tag for a putout out on Marcell Ozuna during the first inning. (YONG KIM / Staff Photographer)
Posted: June 25, 2014

Before a pitch was thrown Monday, Jimmy Rollins cradled Camryn, his 2-year-old daughter, as both dugouts at Citizens Bank Park filled to the top step. Players were instructed to report by 6:55 p.m. to celebrate Rollins' ascension to Phillies hit king. The shortstop welcomed guests and accepted gifts in an 18-minute ceremony.

To conclude, he grabbed a microphone. "Thank you," Rollins said, "and now let's go play some baseball." To start the first inning, Rollins rapped a single to right for his 2,242d career hit. But the Phillies trailed before he squeezed the bat.

Five straight wins had generated optimism in a moribund National League East. Three consecutive losses, the latest by 4-0 to Miami, presented realism. The Marlins scored twice in the first inning, moments after Rollins was honored. That happiness soon soured.

The Phillies were shut out for the 10th time in 75 games. Eight have come at home, their most in a single season since 1990. The record is 14 home shutouts in 1969 at Connie Mack Stadium. There are 43 games remaining at Citizens Bank Park, where the Phillies are 16-22, to eclipse that.

"We've been having some good nights," Ryan Howard said. "Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't."

The Phillies awoke Tuesday still mired in last place, six games back of Washington. They are two games worse than last year's pace, a 73-win season. And Ryne Sandberg billed this eight-game homestand as an opportunity to demonstrate staying power in the flawed division because Atlanta follows the Marlins to South Philadelphia.

"I would say we're fortunate, with the rest of the division," Sandberg said. "Fortunate. So that's the positive thing. That's the way we're looking at it."

Miami, reeling from an unproductive stay at home, navigated the Phillies with ease Monday. Nathan Eovaldi scattered six hits in six innings; the Phillies advanced a runner to third just once, in the fourth. Domonic Brown flied to center with runners on second and third to extinguish the chance.

Roberto Hernandez accomplished what a fifth starter is asked to do: He kept his teammates afloat. The Marlins scored 10 minutes after Hernandez's first pitch on a two-run Casey McGehee double. Hernandez posted five zeros after that.

"The two runs early, that's something we can bounce back from," Sandberg said. "But if we don't chip away at it and get started on it, then it makes it tough. We did hit some balls hard throughout the game right at guys. Nothing to show for it."

Eovaldi, one of the game's hardest-throwing starters, attacked the Phillies. They made solid contact; 11 of Eovaldi's 19 outs were to the outfield. Some were hit well but right at Miami gloves.

As if offensive incompetence was not enough, the Phillies conceded two more runs in the ninth with slipshod defense. Chase Utley bungled the throw on a routine grounder. Antonio Bastardo botched a bunt to him. Both runners scored.

The ceremony for Rollins was both elaborate and wistful. The gigantic scoreboard played Rollins career highlights set to the sound track of Harry Kalas' voice. Congratulatory messages from luminaries such as Gov. Corbett, Nick Foles, Derek Jeter, Rickey Henderson and Jamie Lee Curtis preceded that.

Rollins' extended family sat in two rows of chairs aligned near the backstop. Pat Burrell, his No. 5 Phillies jersey unbuttoned, surprised Rollins. So, too, did former teammates Marlon Anderson, Bobby Abreu and Mike Lieberthal. Abreu, a Mets outfielder with a night to spare, donned his No. 53 in red pinstripes.

Utley and Howard handed Rollins a silver bat. Mike Stiles, the team's senior vice president, carried two Gucci suitcases as Dan Baker announced an all-expenses-paid trip to Italy for the Rollins family.

Rollins thanked team executives, his teammates, and the Philadelphia fans. The 35-year-old shortstop possesses 10-and-5 rights, which means he can reject any trade proposal. He could face such a decision in the next five weeks, and that is why the pomp and circumstance of Monday offered just a tinge of finality.



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