Instant Replay: Phillies 12, Marlins 2

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Instant Replay: Phillies 12, Marlins 2

BOX SCORE

A big six-run third inning, highlighted by a long, three-run homer from Chase Utley, paced the way to the Phillies’ 12-2 victory over the Miami Marlins on Monday night.

Utley went 2 for 5 and hit his first home run since Aug. 21. That was more than enough run support for Cliff Lee, who continued his run of outstanding performances by scattering eight hits with 14 strikeouts through eight innings for his 14th win.

Lee also contributed with a two-run, bases-loaded single in the six-run third, ripped a long, RBI triple in the fifth inning and added an RBI single in the seventh.

The victory boosts the Phillies to 70-80 and keeps the dim possibility for a winning season alive.

Starting pitching report
Lee pitched eight innings for third start in a row and for the fifth time in the last seven outings. With the 14 strikeouts, Lee reached the 200-strikeouts plateau (he has 201) for the third season in a row. Lee faced 32 hitters in his eight innings and threw 23 first-pitch strikes.

During his recent seven-game span, Lee is 4-1 with a 2.25 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 52 innings.

Marlins’ starter Sam Dyson took his first career loss in his sixth big-league appearance. Dyson allowed seven runs on six hits and four walks in just 2 2/3 innings.

Bullpen report
Ethan Martin faced four batters in the ninth to finish it off.

At the plate
Utley’s homer was his 17th of the season and the most he’s had in a year since slugging 31 homers in 2009. The three RBIs give Utley an even 800 for his career.

Lee’s triple was the first of his career and third by a Phillies’ pitcher this season. The last time the Phillies had three triples in a season from their pitchers was 1978 (Dick Ruthven had two and Steve Carlton one). Lee is also the first Phillies’ pitcher to have four RBIs in a game since Robert Person’s epic two-homer and seven-RBI game in 2002.

Also, Darin Ruf hit his 14th homer of the season and Roger Bernadina tripled. Along with Utley and Lee, Ruf, Cesar Hernandez and Jimmy Rollins had multi-hit games.

Minor league notes
Paul Owens Award winners Maikel Franco and pitcher Severino Gonzalez were on hand to pick up their hardware prior to Monday’s game. Franco batted .320 with 31 homers and 103 RBIs between Single A Clearwater and Double A Reading this season, while Gonzalez was 7-5 with a 2.00 ERA and 119 strikeouts in 103 innings at three levels.

Additionally, the Phillies announced that long-time minor league pitching coach Carlos Arroyo will become the organization’s roving pitching instructor.

Up next
The series continues on Tuesday night when Roy Halladay (3-4, 7.28) faces lefty Brian Flynn (0-1, 10.13). Halladay has faced the Marlins twice this year, including the May 5 outing in which he gave up nine runs on four hits and four walks. It was shortly after that game when Halladay learned he needed to have surgery on his right shoulder.

The 6-foot-7 Flynn will be making his third career start on Tuesday night. He has allowed nine runs on 12 hits and nine walks in eight innings against the Cubs and Braves.

Phillies' Darin Ruf could be facing quiet goodbye

Phillies' Darin Ruf could be facing quiet goodbye

NEW YORK — The final eight games remaining on the Phillies’ 2016 schedule will undoubtedly serve as a farewell to Ryan Howard.

Lost in the background may be the fact this week could quite possibly be the end for the man who was supposed to platoon alongside him this year, as well: Darin Ruf.

Both men have been supplanted by Tommy Joseph, who's hit 21 home runs in just 100 games this year while positioning himself as the Phillies first baseman of the near future.

Ruf will start Saturday night against Mets’ lefthander Sean Gilmartin. The Phillies are not scheduled to face a lefty starter for the rest of the season, so Saturday could be one of the final chances to see Ruf in a Phillies uniform, especially considering manager Pete Mackanin’s stated intent to give Howard more playing time down the stretch.

“It seemed like we never faced a lefty for the first month of the season. So that didn’t help Ruf at the time,” Mackanin said.  “Joseph entered the picture and made an immediate impression.”

Ruf’s departure from the majors set the stage for Joseph’s immediate emergence. At the time of his May 13 demotion to AAA Lehigh Valley – and Joseph’s promotion -- Ruf was had a .158/.206/.193 slash line.
  
Since his Sept. 1 return to the majors after rosters expanded, Ruf has done what he can to make sure his possible final season in a Phillies uniform ends on a high note. On Friday night, he drilled a home run to left center off Mets reliever Josh Smoker in pinch-hit duty, the first time Ruf had gone yard since Oct. 1, 2015.

“It felt good,” Ruf said about ending his home run drought. “You just try to simply things and last night it worked out for me.”

Where Ruf will be next year is a more complicated matter, as the 30-year-old is out of minor league options. Japanese scouts were spotted at the games he played for AAA Lehigh Valley.

With Lehigh Valley, Ruf received an opportunity he’s never truly been able to get with the Phillies due to the longstanding presence of Howard: a chance to play every day and consistently accumulate plate appearances. He hit .294/.356/.529 in 390 trips to the plate for the IronPigs. 

Ruf has never made more than 300 plate appearances in a major league season and would struggle to crack that number if he remains in Philadelphia as a backup to Joseph, who will still be 25 on opening day next year.

“I learned [this year] that you can’t take anything for granted in this game,” Ruf said. “You’ve just got to keep working to get better every day, got to put up numbers no matter where you’re at in order to get to where you want. 

“Hopefully, wherever I’m at next year, I can do that.”

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Tonight's Lineup: Jorge Alfaro catches, bats 8th vs. Mets

Tonight's Lineup: Jorge Alfaro catches, bats 8th vs. Mets

Jorge Alfaro is behind the plate for the Phillies tonight and bats eighth. Alfaro has appeared in just four games since being called up earlier this month, and has just one hit in 10 at-bats. 

Tommy Joseph is back in the lineup and batting fifth. Pete Mackanin has said that Ryan Howard would get a lot of playing time during the last few games, but it is Joseph who gets the start tonight. Joseph is batting just .154 against the Mets this season. 

Odubel Herrera, who has been hitting well in September, will remain in the three spot. He has two homers and is batting .391 over the past week. Herrera has two hits in six at-bats against Mets' starter Sean Gilmartin. 

Phillies

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Roman Quinn, RF
3. Odubel Herrera, CF 
4. Maikel Franco, 3B 
5. Tommy Joseph, 1B
6. Darin Ruf, LF
7. Freddy Galvis, SS
8. Jorge Alfaro, C
9. Alec Asher, P