Cabrera’s homer lifts Phillies to sweep of Marlins
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia Phillies’ acquisition of Asdrubal Cabrera last month didn’t draw much attention. The bigger story, it seemed, was the organization’s decision not to part with key prospects to make a big splash at the trade deadline.
Cabrera, though, has showed in the past couple of days that he may be the needed bat to help propel the youngest team in the majors to an unlikely division title.
Cabrera hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth inning and the surging Phillies completed a four-game sweep of the Miami Marlins with a 5-3 victory Sunday.
“He just looks like a guy that’s been there and done that,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said of the 32-year-old switch-hitter. “The big situation seems like it fits him very well.”
Cabrera, acquired in a July 27 trade with the New York Mets, crushed a 2-0 cutter from Drew Steckenrider (3-2) into the second deck in right field for his 20th homer and his second in as many days.
“When you do something like I did today to help the team win, you feel good,” Cabrera said.
Pat Nehsek (1-0) pitched a perfect eighth and Tommy Hunter worked the ninth for his second save as the Phillies overcame a mediocre outing from Aaron Nola for their fifth straight win. Philadelphia improved to an NL-best 38-18 at home and maintained its 1¢-game lead over Atlanta atop the NL East.
“What I see from this team is they fight every inning,” Cabrera said. “They never put their head down.”
Derek Dietrich hit a two-run home run off Nola and Justin Bour tied it with a solo shot off Seranthony Dominguez in a three-run seventh for the Marlins, who have dropped six straight and 10 of 13.
“When we needed a big out or a big hit this series, we weren’t able to do it,” Miami manager Don Mattingly said. “I think we’re better than this.”
The Phillies took a 3-0 lead on Odubel Herrera’s two-run single and Maikel Franco’s RBI single in the sixth.
On a 90-degree day in which the Phillies’ 2008 World Series-winning team was honored, Nola didn’t have his best stuff and was lifted after Dietrich’s 14th homer with no outs. Nola allowed seven hits and two walks while striking out two as he was denied his 13th win.
“It was a grind for me,” Nola said.
Marlins starter Dan Straily surrendered only one hit but was replaced after 5 1/3 innings following five walks and a hit batter that pushed his pitch count to 103. Herrera and Franco then delivered ground singles off lefty Adam Conley.
Phillies: SS J.P. Crawford (broken left hand) had a scheduled day off in his rehab. He’s set to play full games Monday and Tuesday for Class A Clearwater. . RHP Pedro Florimon (broken right foot) said he was pain-free after a morning workout while wearing a brace.
Jayson Werth acknowledged that the “elephant in the room” was how he’d be greeted during the 10-year reunion of Philadelphia’s last World Series title. Werth went from hero to villain after leaving for divisional rival Washington.
Werth was cheered and later rode with the Phillie Phanatic in his four-wheeler.
Ryan Howard, Brad Lidge, Jamie Moyer and Jimmy Rollins also attended.
HARPER & PHILLY
Werth was asked what he’d tell former Nationals teammate Bryce Harper if the impending free agent inquired about the Phillies.
“I think he’s already asked me about Philadelphia,” Werth said.
After joking it would be tampering if he revealed what he told him, Werth relented.
“It’s a great place to hit. I’ve always loved hitting here,” Werth said. “I think I’ve shared that with him, among other things about this place.”
HANDICAPPING WITH MATTINGLY
After playing the Nationals, Braves and Phillies in consecutive series, Mattingly was asked to size up the NL East race. He believes the Phillies have a better rotation than the Braves but thinks the inconsistent Nationals are the most talented and “most capable of getting on a run.”
Marlins: LHP Wei-Yin Chen (3-8, 5.86 ERA) was pushed back a day to start Monday night at Marlins Park against St. Louis RHP Luke Weaver (6-9, 4.75). And for good reason. Chen’s home ERA is 2.18, compared with 10.27 on the road. “We’re not going to try to explain it,” Mattingly said. “We’re going to try to ride it.”
Phillies: RHP Jake Arrieta (9-6, 3.32) starts Monday night against Arizona RHP Zack Godley (12-6, 4.46) in a matchup of division leaders that kicks off a six-game trip.