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Game 1: Marlins fall to Phillies (4/14/03)

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Credit: MLB.com/Florida Marlins


04/14/2003 10:22 PM ET
Marlins fall to Phillies, 5-2
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com


PHILADELPHIA -- One pitch. Two big outs.

The Marlins' comeback hopes Monday night were thwarted in the eighth inning, when Phillies reliever Terry Adams induced Ivan Rodriguez to tap into a critical 5-4-3 double play.

Adams' only pitch of the game preserved a 5-2 victory for the Phillies in front of 13,611 fans at Veterans Stadium.

Florida opened its seven-game road trip with a frustrating defeat, and foiled a workmanlike effort by starter A.J. Burnett.

Making his second start after coming off the disabled list, Burnett (0-1) tossed 113 pitches in five innings. The 26-year-old starter gave up three runs, struck out seven but walked five and hit a batter -- opposing starter Vicente Padilla.

"That's what I thought he would do in his first game," Marlins manager Jeff Torborg said. Torborg was referring to Burnett's last start against the Mets, when he threw 80 pitches in seven innings. "He is just trying to get the ball over the plate, and it's 93 miles per hour. And we were trying to get the pitch count down. We didn't want to go anywhere near where we went."

Burnett said that in his first start, he was pinpointing more, spotting fastballs in the 92 mph range. But he was cranking up to 97 mph Monday.

"It was one of those days [when] you feel too good," Burnett said. "It's kind of hard to harness it. I haven't felt like that in a long time. It was one of those nights I was pitching behind and I was all over the place."

Padilla (2-1) collected the win, giving up two runs on three hits in 5 1/3 innings.

The Marlins had a chance to pull even at 3 in the eighth inning, when pinch-hitter Brian Banks singled to center. Juan Pierre promptly bunted pinch-runner Gerald Williams to second. A passed ball by Mike Lieberthal moved Williams to third. Dan Plesac was lifted after walking Luis Castillo, putting runners on the corners.

Adams was called upon to face Rodriguez, currently in the midst of a 3-for-25 slump. Rodriguez bounced the first pitch to David Bell at third, who quickly turned the inning-ending double play.

"You play with bad luck sometimes, too," said Rodriguez, who reached for a slider down and away. "Especially myself. I hit that double play. I hit the first pitch. That's a pitch I should have taken. I'm not that kind of hitter to go with that first pitch like that. I feel that's not my style of hitting. I'll keep working. I'm in a little slump right now.

"They've been pitching me tough since the series with the Mets. I've got to work with that."

The Phillies tacked on two more runs off Braden Looper in the eighth thanks to Tyler Houston's two-run double. Jose Mesa picked up the save for the Phillies.

The hard-throwing Burnett ran up his highest pitch total since last Aug. 18, a 3-0 complete-game shutout of the Giants. A day after tossing 117 pitches, Burnett woke up with a stiff elbow. He was immediately placed on the disabled list with a right acute bone bruise.

Burnett opened the season on the disabled list with a swollen elbow.

Protecting a 2-1 lead in the third, Burnett walked Placido Polanco with two outs, and issued a single to Bobby Abreu, who laced a 97 mph fastball into center field.

Burnett then ran the count full on Jim Thome, who crushed a 95 mph fastball off the wall in center for a two-run triple, giving Philadelphia a 3-2 advantage.

"If I'm going to get beat, I'm going to get beat with my No. 1," Burnett said of challenging Thome with heat. "The thought crossed my mind to throw a hook, but I hadn't established that all night."

Mike Lowell's two-out, two-run double in the first inning gave the Marlins an early lead. Castillo reached on an infield hit, and Juan Encarnacion singled to right, setting up Lowell's first double of the season.

A year ago, Lowell had 44 doubles, one shy of Cliff Floyd's team record for most in a season.

The Phillies countered with a run in the second on Mike Lieberthal's two-out RBI single. Ahead 2-1 in the count, Lieberthal slapped a liner to center, scoring Thome, who walked, from second.

Lieberthal had been 1-for-8 against Burnett prior to that at-bat.

Tensions flared in the fourth inning, when Burnett struck Padilla on the left forearm with a fastball. No warnings were given.

In the third game of the season, Padilla hit Derrek Lee and Alex Gonzalez with pitches in the third and fourth innings, respectively. Encarnacion and Gonzalez had each homered off Padilla in the second inning of that game. Warnings were issued to both benches that day.

Burnett insists he didn't intentionally throw at Padilla. In fact, he had trouble finding the plate all game, tossing less than half his pitches (55) for strikes.

"Everything got away," Burnett said. "It's one thing to hit a hitter. To hit a fellow pitcher is even worse. Believe it or not, we're a big group. We're a family. We're a big group. To see another pitcher get hit, that ain't cool. I called over there when I came out and gave them my regards. They know that isn't my game. I don't even throw at people if I have to. I tried to establish the zone, and I couldn't do that tonight. It's one of those pitches. It's one of those things that just happen."

Padilla left the game after 5 1/3 innings with a contusion on his left forearm, and he was taken to the hospital for precautionary X-rays. He was pulled after Encarnacion reached on a fielder's choice. Carlos Silva relieved, and got Lowell to bounce into an inning-ending 1-6-3 double play.

The Marlins had a chance to place a runner in scoring position in the seventh, when Gonzalez doubled to the gap in left-center with two outs. Looking to stretch his hit to a triple, Gonzalez sprinted around second but lost his footing in the dirt part of the mostly turf infield. By the time he tried to scamper back to second, Thome was covering the bag, holding the ball to complete an 8-6-3 putout.

Gonzalez twisted his left ankle on the play, but he remained in the game.


Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
 

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