MIAMI -- Tom Gordon happened to be the guy with the "L" next to his name, and his control lapse shows he deserved it, but as any member of the Phillies superb relief core knows ... "Our bullpen can't keep holding them all of the time," Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said. On Wednesday, it was Gordon, he of the 2.13 ERA since an Opening Day meltdown, who blinked, giving up a game-losing grand slam to Dan Uggla. The Marlins won, 6-2, erasing a blown save by their closer, Kevin Gregg, and shrinking the Phillies' National League East lead to two games.
Gordon entered in a tie game in the bottom of the ninth inning, and walked Hanley Ramirez. After Jeremy Hermida popped out trying to bunt, Gordon allowed a single to Jorge Cantu, a walk to Wes Helms and Uggla's slam to the deepest part of the second deck in left field. "[Uggla] is a tough hitter," Gordon said. "A really tough hitter and you can't make a mistake. I was all over the place with my command tonight. I felt my breaking balls were good, but the fastball wasn't in the zone." With the count 3-1 and the infield and outfield in, a walk to Uggla would've netted the same result, albeit quieter. Uggla's powerful whack and Helms' walk atoned for each striking out three times apiece against starter Cole Hamels. Florida entered Wednesday's game with a Major League-leading 98 home runs and extended their total to 101. Cantu added two more homers, and now has three in the series. He victimized Hamels in the first and seventh innings. The game started as a pitching duel between Hamels and Andrew Miller -- former first-round picks in 2002 and 2006, respectively. The pair combined to allowed seven hits and struck out 20. Hamels accounted for 13 of those, his 10th career double-digit strikeout game and third this season. Miller held Philadelphia to two hits through the first six innings, showing a lot of the potential the Marlins saw when they acquired him from Detroit as part of a six-player trade for Miguel Cabrera. "He can be dominating," said Phillies reliever Chad Durbin, a teammate of Miller's with the Tigers. "He's a smart kid and has the aptitude. I hope it takes him a little while." "For the first six innings, it looked like we had no idea how to get to him," Manuel added. Shane Victorino figured something out in the seventh, when he popped a one-out double, then scored on a single up-the-middle by Utley. Cantu retook the momentum in the seventh, depositing a changeup just over the left-field wall. "The changeup [on the second long ball] was a good pitch, but because I think he's seeing it so well, he was able to capitalize and get his hands back and explode on it," Hamels said. "The one real mistake was the fastball [on the first homer] in the first inning." Against a home run hitting team like Florida, Hamels can't afford to be delicate. "Any time a team can capitalize with home runs, you need to be aware and make sure you make the right pitches and not make mistakes," Hamels said. "With most teams, a mistake might be a double, or even a ground out. But they're going to make a mistake hurt and you'll see it on the scoreboard." With Gregg trying for his 13th save, Greg Dobbs displayed his amazing knack for pinch-hitting with an infield single to Uggla. Eric Bruntlett pinch-ran and went to second when Jimmy Rollins walked. With Victorino squaring to bunt, Bruntlett took off for third and just beat catcher Matt Treanor's throw. After Victorino struck out looking, Utley grounded into a possible game-ending double play. Ramirez couldn't get the ball out of his glove cleanly and Utley beat the relay throw, though Manuel felt Utley would've beaten it out anyway. With the bases loaded and two outs in a freshly tied game, Jayson Werth had the idea to attempt to bunt the ball to third base. Assuming he pushed it past Gregg, a very deep playing Wes Helms wouldn't been able to reach it. Werth bunted Gregg's first pitch to the mound, and the pitcher threw him out. "Good play, bad play," Werth said. "Good play if it works. Bad play if it doesn't. I wish I would've gotten it more up the line. I thought I could take them by surprise. That was the last thing anybody was thinking about. It's a play I've been a part of a lot in the Minor Leagues. "I saw a situation there where Helms was back, I mean he was way back, further back than 'back.' All I had to do was get the ball past the pitcher there, and it's a one-run game and a totally different game. I didn't execute. The ball had some sidespin on it. I watched [the replay] and it runs right at [Gregg]."
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.