MIAMI – It keeps getting worse.
The Phillies lost their fifth straight game Sunday afternoon, 5-2, to the Miami Marlins.
The loss dropped the Phils to a season-worst nine games under .500. Their deficit in the NL East is 11 games.
The Phils have played 81 games, half a season, and they are 36-45.
Starting pitching report
Joe Blanton (7-7) allowed six hits and three runs over six innings. He walked two and struck out seven. Blanton allowed a pair of runs on back-to-back two-out doubles in the second inning. He gave up a homer to Giancarlo Stanton in the third. Blanton leads the NL with 19 homers surrendered. Eighteen of those homers have come in his last 10 starts.
Miami’s Ricky Nolasco (7-6) allowed just two runs over seven walk-free innings. He struck out six.
Antonio Bastardo entered a one-run game in the bottom of the eighth and allowed a two-run homer to Hanley Ramirez as the Phils fell behind, 5-2.
Michael Schwimer pitched a scoreless seventh.
Miami’s Steve Cishek retired Shane Victorino on a fly ball to center with runners on first and second to end the top of the eighth inning and protect a one-run lead. Heath Bell had the save.
At the plate
Juan Pierre scored both of the Phillies’ runs. He tripled and came home on a ground out in the first inning and scored on a wild pitch in the sixth. He had two of the Phillies’ seven hits.
The Phils were 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position and are just two for their last 28 in those situations.
Stanton’s home run was his 19th and second in as many days.
Outfielder Jason Pridie was added to the roster from Triple A Lehigh Valley. The Phillies signed him in early June after he was released by Oakland. He served a 50-game suspension earlier this season for violating Major League Baseball’s drug policy. Pridie replaced Jim Thome on the roster. He lined out to left field as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning.
Reliever Chad Qualls, designated for assignment by the Phils last week, was traded to the Yankees for cash considerations.
The Phillies are off Monday. They open a three-game series in New York against the Mets on Tuesday night. Vance Worley (4-4, 2.92) opposes lefty Jonathan Niese (6-3, 3.55) in the opener.
Cliff Lee (0-5, 4.13) opposes Chris Young (2-1, 3.30) on Wednesday afternoon and Cole Hamels (10-4, 3.08) faces R.A. Dickey (12-1, 2.15) on Thursday night.
E-mail Jim Salisbury at firstname.lastname@example.org