MIAMI -- The Marlins made the most of the few hits they were able to get off Alec Asher on Thursday night. J.T. Realmuto's RBI triple in the seventh inning was the only production Miami needed to edge the Phillies, 1-0, at Marlins Park.
Six Marlins pitchers combined for the club's 12th shutout of the season. Jarred Cosart, who threw four shutout innings, was replaced in the fifth inning. In the fourth inning, he was struck on the left forearm by a Cody Asche comeback liner. A.J. Ramos picked up his 29th save when Miguel Rojas made an over-the-shoulder catch to end the game.
"We didn't have that many hits, but we had the right hits," Marlins manager Dan Jennings said. "The bullpen came in and picked up five innings. I thought they were outstanding all the way through. Really a fundamentally sound game."
Miami was limited to one hit, a first-inning single from Christian Yelich, before they broke through in the seventh inning. Derek Dietrich reached on an infield single with one out in the seventh, and he scored on Realmuto's triple to right-center. A chance for Miami to tack on a second run was wiped out when right fielder Brian Bogusevic threw out Realmuto at the plate. Realmuto tagged on Rojas' fly ball to short right.
Asher gave up just three hits in seven innings, but Miami was able to claim two of three in the series.
"I think some of the guys are fatigued," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said, referring to an offense that has suffered five one-run losses in the past six games. "Even though they're young … I think everybody is getting tired. The more you lose, the more beat up you feel."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Cosart shaken up: Cosart received a scary moment with two outs in the fourth innings. Asche's comeback liner struck the Miami starter on the left forearm. According to Statcast™, the exit velocity of the ball was 107 mph. Initially, Cosart appeared seriously hurt. But after throwing five warmup pitches, he stayed in the game. Asche was credited with a single, and Odubel Herrera, who was on second, advanced to third. After Asche stole second, Cosart was able to retire Cameron Rupp on a slow roller in front of the plate. However, he was replaced by Jose Urena in the fifth inning.
"They say if it had been a little to my left I would have definitely shattered whatever that bone is," Cosart said. "I'm happy it didn't [break anything]. I moved a little bit, but it was smoked pretty good." More >
Asher puts one together: Asher had waited a long time to show the Phillies he could pitch like this. He allowed three hits, one run, one walk and struck out four in seven innings for the best start of his five-start career. Before Thursday, Asher, whom the Phillies acquired in July in the Cole Hamels trade, had not pitched more than 5 2/3 innings or allowed fewer than four runs in a start. Asher hopes his final start of the season on Wednesday against the Mets can match this one.
"I feel like with each start I've taken I've kind of built more confidence," Asher said. "That was the main thing coming into this game. I said I'm just going to go back to pitching my game and attack hitters and not give them too much credit." More >
Marlins' sparkling defense: The Marlins backed solid pitching with stellar defense. It started in the first inning when Rojas ranged into the hole at short to snare Darin Ruf's sharp grounder with Freddy Galvis at second. Ruf was robbed again in the fourth inning by Dietrich at third base, who also made a nice stop on Rupp's hot grounder in the seventh inning.
Even the final out was a gem of a play by Rojas, who made an over-the-shoulder catch in short left field on Asche's pop fly.
"How about the defense tonight. You've got to start there," Jennings said. "Tough luck for Cosie to take that line drive on the forearm. Did stay in as long as he could. But defensively, all night long. Rojas with that glove-side sliding play. Then to end the game, a shortstop going that deep in left field, that's pretty impressive to do that." More >
"I guess it could have been worse. Hey, we got a win. Timely hit. Played good D and won a series again." -- Cosart on avoiding a more serious injury and Miami pulling out a win
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Realmuto's triple in the seventh inning was his seventh triple of the season. That's a Marlins record for a catcher. Benito Santiago had six in 1993.
The Phillies need to finish the season 6-3 to avoid their first 100-loss season since 1961.
The Marlins won a challenge in the fourth inning after Yelich initially was called out on a close play at first. Yelich tapped a routine grounder that second baseman Andres Blanco bobbled before throwing to first. It took just 36 seconds for the call to be overturned.
HOWARD GETS CLOSER
Mackanin said injured first baseman Ryan Howard could take fielding and batting practice this weekend in Washington. Howard has been sidelined for more than a week with a bruised left knee. He will need to get going if he expects to play again before the end of the season.
WHAT'S NEXT Phillies: The Phillies head to Washington to open a three-game series Friday night against the Nationals at Nationals Park at 7:05 p.m. ET. In a bit of irony, Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon's former team could eliminate him from postseason contention. Phillies rookie Jerad Eickhoff (1-3, 3.16 ERA) pitches the series opener.
Marlins:Jose Fernandez (5-0, 2.18) carries an undefeated lifetime record at Marlins Park into Friday night's 7:10 p.m. ET contest with the Braves. Fernandez is 4-0 (2.16) at home this year, and 16-0 (1.11) all-time at Marlins Park. The Braves are starting right-hander Ryan Weber (0-1, 3.26).