Marlins Domination of Phillies Goes On In 7-6 Win

The Florida Marlins are suddenly just two games behind the Phillies in the National League wild card standings. For the eighth time in a row, the Marlins beat the Phillies, waiting until the ninth inning Sunday to score the winning run off newly acquired reliever Mike Williams. The loss marked the second bad outing in a row for Kevin Millwood, the Phillies ace.

Phillies ace Kevin Millwood struggled through just 3.1 innings Sunday and allowed five earned runs in the process. The Phillies bullpen gave a strong effort, allowing the Phils to tie the game, but Mike Williams struggles continued in the bottom of the ninth when he gave up the winning run in the Marlins 7-6 win over the Phillies.

Millwood struggled from the first inning on, but was hurt by an error on third baseman Nick Punto in the top of the first, that allowed an unearned run to score, putting Florida up 1-0. The struggles continued in the second when Millwood allowed a leadoff double to Miguel Cabrera, followed by an Alex Gonzalez double that gave the Marlins a 2-0 lead. Millwood didn't allow any more runs to score in the third, but the Phillies trailed the suddenly hot Marlins 2-0.

The Phillies looked like they would bail out their ace in the third inning. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases with nobody out and Bobby Abreu followed with a sacrifice fly for the Phillies first run. Pat Burrell then walked to reload the bases and Jimmy Rollins beat out an infield single to tie the game and keep the bases loaded with just one out. Todd Pratt lifted a sacrifice fly to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead and Marlins starter Carl Pavano then got Punto to fly out to end the inning.

The lead didn't last long as Millwood offered up a homerun pitch to Mike Lowell, who launched it over the left field fence to put the Marlins back on top 4-3.

Millwood helped himself with a leadoff double in the fourth. Marlon Byrd moved Millwood to third with a single and Millwood scored on Tomas Perez' sacrifice fly for a 4-2 lead. Abreu walked and Burrell doubled to drive in two runs and give the Phillies a 6-4 lead.

The Marlins knocked Millwood out of the game in the fourth. Ramon Castro pinch-hit for Pavano and doubled to drive in Gonzalez, who had singled. Juan Pierre sacrificed Castro to third and Luis Castillo followed with a triple to tie the game at 6-6. Turk Wendell then relieved Millwood and stranded Castillo at third and went on to pitch a shutout fifth inning for the Phillies.

Rheal Cormier, Dan Plesac and Terry Adams combined to keep the Marlins scoreless through the eighth inning. Michael Tejera and Ugueth Urbina (2-0) kept the Phillies scoreless through the ninth inning.

Mike Williams came on to start the ninth and struck out Derrek Lee to start the inning. Unfortunately, it was all down-hill from there. Cabrera doubled and Williams struck out Gonzalez for the second out of the inning, with Cabrera standing on second. Pinch-hitter Todd Hollandsworth walked and Pierre followed with a game winning single, scoring Cabrera for the Marlins 7-6 win.

The Phillies play a make-up game Monday afternoon in Cincinnati. Randy Wolf (11-5, 3.07) looks to snap the Phillies three-game losing skid against Ryan Dempster (3-7, 6.63).

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