- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 2, 2014

MIAMI (AP) - The Philadelphia Phillies mounted an eighth-inning rally Tuesday by hitting two homers in a span of three pitches.

Those were their last baserunners.

The offensive lull came at the wrong time, and Ed Lucas’ single scored the winning run from second base with one out in the 11th inning Tuesday night to help the Miami Marlins win 5-4, extending the Phillies’ losing streak to five games.

Philadelphia dropped a season-worst 9½ games out of first place in the NL East.

“It just seems like the games we’re close to, we just don’t win them,” said A.J. Burnett, who pitched six innings. “We’ve been in spots to win a lot of ballgames.”

The Phillies overcame a 4-2 deficit in the eighth with back-to-back two-out homers by Marlon Byrd and Cody Asche off Kevin Gregg. Byrd clanked his 16th homer off the home-run sculpture, and Asche pulled his fifth homer just inside the foul pole.

After the homers, Miami’s bullpen retired the final 10 Phillies batters. Bryan Morris (6-0) pitched two innings.

“The offense has been inconsistent, sporadic, and it has made it tough on the starting pitcher that day trying to be perfect,” Phils manager Ryne Sandberg said. “The bullpen has stepped up and done its job, putting zeroes late in the game, only to come short on the offensive side of things a lot of the times.”

The Marlins won their ninth consecutive game when Henderson Alvarez starts, matching the longest such streak with a pitcher in franchise history. Alvarez allowed two runs in seven innings.

Pinch-hitter Jeff Baker singled to start the 11th inning against Justin De Fratus (2-1), advanced on a sacrifice and scored without a play on Lucas’ opposite-field hit.

The Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton singled home a run to increase his RBI total to 61, which leads the NL. Casey McGehee singled and scored and has reached base in 25 consecutive games.

Miami also scored on a strikeout against Burnett, who struck out 10 but allowed four runs, three earned. He walked four.

“Burnett had some walks that came into play, and he was uncharacteristically wild,” Sandberg said. “He had the one wild-pitch K that he could have got out of the inning with one run in there instead of two.”

Alvarez was better, and even when he was on his backside, the Phillies had trouble reaching base. When Burnett broke his bat on a dribbler, Alvarez leaped to avoid the barrel and then crumpled in a heap on the mound. He watched from a supine position as third baseman McGehee threw Burnett out.

Alvarez again fell fielding Cameron Rupp’s one-hopper in the seventh, and while sitting on the mound tossed to first for the out.

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