Alcantara helps Marlins beat slumping Phillies 2-1
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Sandy Alcantara gave Miami's tired pitching staff a huge boost with a stellar effort.
"He was awesome," Holaday said of his battery mate. "He grinded, he competed. Coming off two extra-inning games, we needed him to go deep and he delivered."
The Phillies have lost five in a row. They're 6-14 since May 29 and have lost eight games in the standings in that span after holding a 3½-game lead in the NL East.
"Our guys can swing the bats better," manager Gabe Kapler said. "We have to improve."
Alcantara (4-6) gave up one run, eight hits and struck out six. Jose Quijada struck out pinch-hitter Sean Rodriguez to leave runners at first and third in the eighth. Sergio Romo finished for his 14th save in 15 tries.
"I have to be aggressive and never give up," Alcantara said.
The tall righty has allowed one earned run or less in six of his last seven starts.
"Sandy is a guy getting better, gaining confidence," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "He has tremendous stuff, top-of-the-rotation stuff. He has a chance to be special."
Phillies ace Aaron Nola (6-2) allowed two runs — one earned — and six hits, striking out 10 in eight innings. Nola lowered his ERA to 4.55 with his longest outing of the season.
The Marlins went ahead in the sixth after Brian Anderson got hit by a pitch to start the inning and moved to third on Starlin Castro's single. Anderson scored when third baseman Scott Kingery bobbled Cesar Puello's slow roller for an error.
Holaday connected in the second, driving his second homer out to left-center to give the Marlins a 1-0 lead.
The Phillies tied it a 1 in the third when Roman Quinn stole home. Quinn led off with a double and went to third on Bryce Harper's single. After Rhys Hoskins flied out, Jay Bruce struck out swinging. But Harper stole second on the third strike and Quinn scooted home on the throw.
Alcantara escaped trouble in the second after Kingery hit a two-out double and Cesar Hernandez was intentionally walked to bring up Nola, who was batting eighth. Nola ripped a liner to right but Puello was playing him the opposite way and easily made the catch.
The Phillies honored six-time All-Star second baseman Chase Utley with a retirement ceremony. Utley, perhaps the most popular player in franchise history, finished his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers last year.
"Thank you for being the best fans in baseball," Utley told the crowd.
Nola became the eighth Phillies pitcher to record 10 double-digit strikeout games, joining Steve Carlton (70), Curt Schilling (48), Cole Hamels (29), Jim Bunning (25), Cliff Lee (22), Chris Short (17) and Brett Myers (11).
Marlins: C Jorge Alfaro was placed on the seven-day concussion injured list and C Wilkin Castillo was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans.
Phillies: LHP Adam Morgan was activated from the injury list and LHP Cole Irvin was sent to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Morgan had been sidelined since May 26 with a left forearm strain. ... RHP Tommy Hunter will make a rehab appearance on Sunday with Class A Clearwater. Hunter has been out since spring training with right forearm strain.
RHP Vince Velasquez (2-4, 4.71 ERA) makes his second start for the Phillies since moving to the bullpen and RHP Elieser Hernandez (0-2, 3.95) goes for the Marlins. Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said Velasquez has a chance to regain the fifth spot in the rotation.