Phillies Miss Opportunities In 2-1 Loss To Marlins

Fresh off of taking three out of four games against the Cubs, the Phillies welcomed the Florida Marlins to The Vet for the start of a weekend series. The Marlins helped out the Phillies by beating up on the Braves, but hurt the Phillies Friday night by beating them 2-1. The Phillies had their chances, but didn't take advantage of any of them, stranding 13 runners on base.

The Florida Marlins must have been glad to see Jose Mesa (3-5). The Phillies closer allowed two hits in the ninth inning, including an RBI single by Derrek Lee, as the Marlins edged the Phils, 2-1 Friday night at The Vet.

Juan Pierre led off the game with a single off starter Kevin Millwood and that was the end of the Marlins hitting until Juan Encarnacion blooped a two-out single to shallow center off Mesa (3-5) in the ninth. Lee followed with a base hit to center, scoring Mike Lowell and snapping a 1-1 tie.

Millwood, who has more career losses to the Marlins than any other team, pitched well enough to win. The right-hander allowed a run and two walks with seven strikeouts in seven innings but got no support from the Phillies offense.

After squandering a 1-0 lead in the eighth, Braden Looper (4-2) gained the win. The Marlins closer yielded a hit with three walks and a strikeout in 1 2/3 innings.

The Phillies, who left 13 runners on, lost for just the second time in their last 10 games. In the ninth, the Phillies got leadoff hitter Placido Polanco on with a walk, but Jimmy Rollins popped up a bunt attempt for the first out. "The bunt was off. He was on his own. He said he just wanted to get it down," remarked an obviously angry Larry Bowa after the game. After Jim Thome flied out, Bobby Abreu drew a walk, bringing Pat Burrell to the plate. Burrell came in as a pinch-hitter in the eighth and walked, but grounded out to Lowell to end the game.

Bowa was ejected by home plate umpire Tim Tshida in the eighth inning for allegedly arguing balls and strikes. Replays showed that Bowa was completely silent and that it was actually pitching coach Joe Kerrigan that was arguing the call. "If you're going to throw someone out, at least get the right guy," said Bowa.

The Phillies and Marlins match up again Saturday night with Brad Penny (6-6, 4.78) going against Vicente Padilla (7-7, 3.68).

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