Phillies fall in opener to Marlins
Aaron Nola pieced together his best start of the season, but the offensive struggles continued for the Phillies en route to a 2-1 loss to the last-place Marlins on Friday night at Citizens Bank Park.

The Phils collected nine hits on the night but left 11 men on base and went 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position. Combined, they've scored just eight runs in the last five games. They've also now won just six of their last 20 contests.

Despite the troubles and the fact the Phils have grossly underperformed at the plate, manager Gabe Kapler reaffirmed his faith in hitting coach John Mallee.

“I think we have the right personnel in place,” Kapler told reporters. “I think we have the right coaches in place. Our processes and our practices need some refinement. There’s no coaching staff in baseball that works harder than our staff does, and we are going to work to find solutions.”

The Phillies scored via a Roman Quinn and Bryce Harper double steal in the third inning. Jay Bruce swung at a third strike and Harper broke for second and Marlins catcher Bryan Holaday’s attempted to get him as the third out, however, Harper beat the throw and enabled the speedy Quinn to score easily on the play from third.

As for Nola, he tossed eight outstanding innings surrendering two runs, one of which was earned.

The story though remained the Phils' issues at the plate.

“Our guys can swing the bats better,” Kapler said. “I think we all know that. Going up to the plate with the right approach, the right mindset, we’re just not getting it done right now. We’ve got to do a better job. It’s that simple.”

The Phillies and Marlins continue their three-game set on Saturday with Vince Velasquez facing Elieser Hernandez. It's as close to a must-win spot the Phillies have been in all season.

“If we perform like we’re capable of performing we beat most teams most of the time,” Kapler said. “If we don’t perform like we’re capable of performing it doesn’t matter who’s out there, they have a chance to beat us and that’s what happened tonight.”
Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

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