MIAMI — When the Marlins needed another rally, another offensive push to overcome another mid-game deficit against the Philadelphia Phillies, Starlin Castro once again found a way to step up.
Castro, who moved over to third base on Aug. 4 when Isan Diaz was called up and has started at his more natural second base spot just twice since then, hit a go-ahead, two-run double in the sixth inning.
The hit capped a three-run rally, and the Marlins held on after that for a 3-2, series-clinching win over the Phillies on Sunday at Marlins Park. Miami won the series opener 19-11 before dropping Game 2 9-3 on Saturday. The Marlins are 9-7 against the Phillies this year with a three-game series in Philadelphia to close out the season remaining.
With that Castro continued torrid run at the plate that has gone on for close to two full months. The 29-year-old, 10-year MLB veteran is hitting .328 (60 for 183) since July 2 with 34 RBI, 11 doubles, eight home runs, two triples and 22 runs scored. He was hitting just .230 for the season heading into this stretch.
Castro hit two home runs and drove in five runs off the bench in Friday’s win.
It salvaged a solid performance for starter Elieser Hernandez, who looked as sharp as he has been all year for five-plus innings before unraveling just enough for the Phillies to temporarily take advantage.
A long Cesar Hernandez single, a Rhys Hoskins home run to break up a scoreless game and a nine-pitch at-bat with J.T. Realmuto resulting in an inning-ending popup ended the starter’s day on the mound.
Hernandez threw 19 of his 82 pitches in that three-batter sequence with two outs in the sixth, a stretch that ended a dominant run by the 24-year-old.
He had given up just one hit at that point in the game and had retired 13 consecutive batters, five by strikeout. Sunday also marked just the second time this year Hernandez did not walk a batter while throwing six innings.
But the Marlins offense, which had just two hits to that point, found enough life immediately after falling behind. Bryan Holaday doubled, Curtis Granderson drew a walk, Jon Berti hit an RBI single before Castro hit his two-run double to left center for the game-winning rally.
Hernandez’s performance also provided relief for a much-taxed bullpen. The Marlins’ starting pitchers in the first two games — Hector Noesi on Friday and Jordan Yamamoto on Saturday — respectively threw just three and 3 2/3 innings, forcing the bullpen to toss 11 1/3 innings over two days.
The Marlins added Kyle Keller from Triple A New Orleans and optioned Tyler Kinley — who threw 42 combined pitches on Friday and Saturday — to simply add depth to the taxed bullpen.
Jeff Brigham, Jarlin Garcia and Ryne Stanek each threw a scoreless inning of relief, with Stanek earning his first save with the Marlins.
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