MIAMI (AP) - In the eighth inning, the crowd at the Florida Marlins game began chanting ``Let's go Heat!' as Miami's NBA team wrapped up its playoff series against the Boston Celtics.
The Marlins seem as distracted as their fans, blowing a three-run lead and losing 5-3 to the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night.
Philadelphia took the three-game series and the Marlins have lost nine of their past 10 home games against their NL East rivals, with the lone victory Tuesday over Roy Halladay.
``Baseball is weird,' Florida's Ricky Nolasco said. ``We lost two of three, but we always battle against these guys. We'll see them again.'
Nolasco went 6 1-3 innings and gave up two runs, one earned. Hanley Ramirez, trying to snap out of a season-long slump, hit his second homer and later singled and scored.
Things looked rosy in the seventh when the Marlins had Phillies starter Cliff Lee out of the game. But they failed to close out the win.
``It was good chance to beat the Phillies,' manager Edwin Rodriguez said. ``It was an excellent outing by Ricky Nolasco, but we couldn't close the door in those late innings.'
Jimmy Rollins broke a 3-all tie with a two-out, two-run single in the ninth off Leo Nunez (0-1). Shane Victorino extended his hitting streak to 14 games when he led off the eighth with his sixth homer, which came off Mike Dunn and made the score 3-all.
Pete Orr entered the game in the seventh and had two doubles for Philadelphia.
``It was a game it didn't look like we were going to win until the end,' Orr said.
With the score 3-all and one out in the ninth, Dane Sardinha singled and took third on a double by Orr. Both scored on the single by Rollins, who had stranded four runners earlier in the game.
``He came through,' manager Charlie Manuel said. ``You can take one cut and save a bad night.'
Before Rollins' hit, the Phillies were 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position after going 0 for 6 in a loss Tuesday.
``I guess if we play long enough, we're going to get some hits and score some runs,' Manuel said. ``We were having a tough time.'
Kyle Kendrick (3-2) pitched a scoreless eighth, and Ryan Madson followed with a perfect ninth for his fifth save in as many chances. Madson has allowed one run in 15 innings this season.
Lee allowed seven hits and struck out only four after fanning a career-high 16 in his last start. He and the Phillies fell behind 3-0 after six innings, and at that point they had scored only one run in Lee's past four starts.
``I was concerned about us not scoring for him,' Manuel said. ``It's not like they're not trying to score for him. That's just baseball. That's the way it goes sometimes. Sometimes it goes a month. Sometimes it goes two or three years.'
Lee had to wonder about his luck when Phils catcher Brian Schneider had a chance to score easily from second on a two-out single in the fifth, but strained his left hamstring rounding third and limped back to the base. Rollins then grounded out to end the inning.
``I felt bad, man,' Schneider said. ``It definitely didn't feel good. If it did, I would have scored.'
Schneider was replaced by Sardinha. The Phillies are already without catcher Carlos Ruiz, who is on the disabled list with lower back inflammation.
NOTES: After the game, Florida optioned OF Bryan Petersen and RHP Steve Cishek to Triple-A New Orleans. ... Marlins LF Logan Morrison hit a three-run homer Wednesday in the third game of his rehabilitation stint with Class-A Jupiter. The Marlins expect him to join them this weekend at Washington. ... Phillies RHP Joe Blanton threw a bullpen session before the game and said that while his right elbow is not yet 100 percent, he expects to make his next scheduled start Saturday at Atlanta. Blanton came off the DL on Monday to beat Florida. ... Marlins RF Mike Stanton, trying unsuccessfully to catch a foul ball, ran into a 3-foot-high railing and tumbled upside down into the Marlins' bullpen. ... Lee and Ramirez looked like dancing partners when they reached first base at the same time after Ramirez hit into a 3-1 groundout. Both players laughed, and Lee gave Ramirez a friendly pat with his glove.
The Associated Press News Service
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