Instant Replay: Marlins 4, Phillies 3

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Instant Replay: Marlins 4, Phillies 3

BOX SCORE

The Miami Marlins beat the Phillies, 4-3, on the strength of two home runs Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park.

Giancarlo Stanton tied the game with a mammoth two-run homer in the sixth inning. Ed Lucas broke the tie with a solo homer in the top of 10th.

The Phillies threatened in the bottom of the 10th. They had runners on second and third with no outs and the bases loaded with one out but could not push home a run against Steve Cishek.

The Phillies are 18-14 under interim manager Ryne Sandberg, who turned 54 on Wednesday.

Starting pitching report
Zach Miner filled in for scheduled starter Kyle Kendrick, who was scratched with shoulder inflammation. Miner pitched three scoreless innings in his first big-league start since Aug. 2009.

Marlins starter Nathan Eovaldi allowed three runs over five innings. Two of his four walks turned into runs.

Bullpen report
The Phillies used all relievers -- seven total -- in the game.

Ethan Martin gave up the homer to Stanton. Cesar Jimenez allowed the go-ahead homer to Lucas in the 10th.

Brad Hand got the win in relief for Miami. Cishek pitched out of a big jam in the 10th for the save.

At the plate
Chase Utley had a two-run single in the fifth inning, giving him 10 RBIs in his last three games.

Utley left the potential go-ahead run on third base when he grounded out to end the ninth.

Stanton’s 23rd homer of the season was a bomb that landed on Ashburn Alley beyond the centerfield wall and bounced in front of the Planet Hoagie concession stand.

In the field
Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria was a game-saver. He prevented the Phillies from scoring the go-ahead run when he made a diving stop on Roger Bernadina’s scorcher to end the eighth with a man on third base.

Two innings earlier, Hechavarria leaped high in the air -- we’re talking Michael Jordan hops -- to snare a liner by Cody Asche for the second out in the sixth.

Health check
An MRI revealed inflammation but no serious damage inside Kendrick’s right shoulder. He will receive a precautionary second opinion on Thursday and hopes to resume throwing on Friday (see story).

Substitution
Triple A manager Dave Brundage coached third base in place of Juan Samuel, who tended to a personal matter. Samuel is expected back over the weekend.

Up next
The Phillies are off Thursday as the world stops for Chiefs-Eagles across the street.

The Phils begin their final home series of the season Friday night against the Mets. Here are the pitching matchups:

Friday night -- LH Cole Hamels (8-13, 3.48) vs. RH Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-3, 6.12)

Saturday night -- RH Tyler Cloyd (2-5, 5.06) vs. RH Dillon Gee (11-10, 3.47)

Sunday afternoon -- LH Cliff Lee (14-6, 2.95) vs. RH Carlos Torres (3-5, 3.48).

Phillies getting good reports on catching prospect Jorge Alfaro

Phillies getting good reports on catching prospect Jorge Alfaro

Jorge Alfaro, one of the Phillies' most highly regarded prospects, is off to a big start at Triple A Lehigh Valley.
 
He entered Wednesday night's game hitting .377 (23 for 61) with a 1.003 OPS in his first 15 games. He had a double, two triples, three homers and 10 RBIs. Team officials would surely like to see the strikeouts (17) come down and the walks (1) go up, but no one is complaining about the production.
 
"I just looked at his numbers," manager Pete Mackanin said. "He's doing very well — knocking the cover off the ball."
 
Alfaro, 23, is widely considered the Phillies' catcher of the future. He's an athletic talent with huge upside. Many scouts believe he could be an All-Star if he puts it all together.
 
Defense is the area where Alfaro needs the most work. Yes, he's got a "howitzer" for an arm, as Mackanin called it, so that doesn't need much work. But there's a lot more to catching than throwing. There's game-calling, receiving and blocking.
 
Alfaro made a cameo with the big club last September and did not impress club officials with his receiving or blocking. Instructors focused on improving those areas in spring training, and Mackanin reports that Alfaro has shown progress in the early season.
 
"We get a complete game report on what everyone does offensively and defensively," Mackanin said. "Apparently he looks very good defensively.
 
"He had some issues defensively. He wasn't getting down enough and he worked on that all spring. He's a big guy and it's a little more difficult for a big guy to get low.
 
"And we wanted him to just be a little more quiet behind the plate, less movement. He had a tendency to be moving while the pitcher was getting ready to pitch. We just want a guy sitting back there nice and quiet with a good target. That might seem pretty elementary, but if you're not concentrating on doing that you might not realize the importance of it.
 
"He's doing well blocking balls. He's doing everything well right now and hitting on top of it, so that's a nice sign."

Clay Buchholz optimistic he can still pitch in 2017 after surgery

Clay Buchholz optimistic he can still pitch in 2017 after surgery

Pitcher Clay Buchholz made his first appearance in the Phillies' clubhouse Wednesday since having surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his right forearm last week.  

Many initially believed Buchholz would be out for the remainder of the season -- and he still might be -- but he expressed optimism and believes he can return to the mound in September.

"My goal right now is to let this heal," Buchholz said. "Get it well and if this team keeps playing like they're playing right now, we'll be playing in September, October, so that's my goal."

Buchholz said he wasn't feeling 100 percent leading up to the April 11 game against the New York Mets when manager Pete Mackanin pulled him in the third inning. 

"I told [general manager Matt Klentak] that I was sorry, and the guys in here," Buchholz said. "I was brought here for a reason. I wanted to pitch, I wanted to be good. I guess it's a good thing we have a good farm system here because they've been able to step up and fill in."

Buchholz had a similar issue with the Boston Red Sox in July 2015 and missed the rest of the season. 

In his two starts with the Phillies, Buchholz allowed 10 runs and 19 baserunners over just 7 1/3 innings. 
 
Buchholz, 32, will become a free agent at the end of the season. Given his age and the possibility that he won't return this season, the injury could significantly affect his value heading into the offseason. He's the second-highest paid player on the Phillies' roster at $13.5 million

But Buchholz wants to build the strength in his forearm and continue to pitch in MLB following this season.

"There's a lot of guys that come back," Buchholz said. "I have a lot of buddies that played this game that have come back from major surgeries and played for eight or nine more years. It's all about once I do get healthy, being prepared and building a strong foundation around my muscles."