Marlins 9, Phillies 1
MIAMI (AP) _ The team with baseball’s best record played the team with the worst record, and the result was a blowout.
The underdogs won.
Darrell Whitmore and rookie Quilvio Veras each homered and drove in two runs to help the Florida Marlins cool off the Philadelphia Phillies 9-1 Monday night.
``Baseball is a strange game,″ said Florida’s Greg Colbrunn, who also homered.
Philadelphia (13-5) lost for only the second time in 12 games. The Marlins, who are last in the majors in batting, scored in each of the first five innings.
``They’ve been losing some pretty close games to quality teams like Atlanta and Colorado,″ Phillies manager Jim Fregosi said, ``so we expect them to come out here and play good.″
John Burkett (3-2) allowed no hits in the first 4 1-3 innings and departed after giving up five hits and one run in 6 2-3 innings. Florida has scored 37 runs in Burkett’s five starts.
The Phillies lead the majors in fielding, but the first errors of the season by shortstop Kevin Stocker and second baseman Mickey Morandini led to three unearned runs. Stocker booted a grounder by Charles Johnson, who later scored, and two runs came home when Morandini dropped Kurt Abbott’s fly near the right-field line.
Whitmore hit his first homer of the season to lead off the second inning. He was filling in for center fielder Chuck Carr, who went on the 15-day disabled list Monday with a strained left hamstring.
``For right now it’s an opportunity,″ Whitmore said. ``I’m not getting my hopes up.″
Colbrunn hit a solo homer in the third, his second. Johnson’s RBI single later in the inning knocked out Tyler Green (2-2), who allowed eight hits, three walks and four earned runs in 2 1-3 innings.
``It really shows anything can happen in baseball,″ Green said. ``We came in here with a good record and we knew they were struggling, but look at tonight’s result. It’s never as easy as you think, and it’s never as hard as it looks for the underdog.″
The 166-pound Veras greeted reliever Andy Carter with his second home run to start the fifth. Veras hit seven homers in five minor league seasons.
``He’s got some pop for a little guy,″ Colbrunn said.
Marlins slugger Gary Sheffield was ejected in the second inning, ending his NL-leading 14-game hitting streak. When Sheffield was called out on strikes, he slammed his batting helmet to the ground in anger, and plate umpire Bill Hohn threw him out.
``I felt like I had to make a stand,″ said Sheffield, who was upset about the way Hohn had called earlier pitches. ``I regret getting kicked out of the game. It might have fired up the team by waking them up, but I might have handled it the wrong way.″
Philadelphia’s Lenny Dykstra was ejected by Hohn in the seventh for arguing a called strike.
Charlie Hayes singled with one out in the fifth for Philadelphia’s first hit, stole second and scored on pinch hitter Tony Longmire’s single.
Notes: After the game, the Phillies optioned Carter, right-handed pitcher Mike Williams and catcher Mike Lieberthal to Triple-A Scranton. ... Trailing 9-1 in the seventh, Fregosi let Carter bat for himself, and the pitcher came through with a single for his first major league hit. Carter was 0-for-6 previously. ... With two on in the sixth, Marlins third baseman Terry Pendleton leaned over the left-field railing to catch a foul ball headed for the second row of seats. ... Since the temperature in Miami reached 96 degrees Monday, a record for May, the Marlins took batting practice in shorts. ... Burkett improved his career record to 70-44. ... Johnson, a rookie, leads all major league catchers with 14 assists.