MIAMI Henderson Alvarez couldn't notch his sixth win of the season Tuesday night.
Kevin Gregg coughed that up for him.
Miami Marlins to a 5-4 walk-off victory over the Philadelphia Phillies at Marlins Park Alvarez did notch a piece of team history.
He tied Chris Hammond (May 19-July 2, 1993) for the longest consecutive team-winning streak as the Marlins won for the ninth consecutive time with Alvarez on the mound.
Lucas, who entered the game as a defensive substitute in the eighth, slapped a single off Phillies reliever Justin De Fratus into right field to plate Jeff Baker with the winning run. Baker led off the inning with a pinch-hit single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt.
It was the 13th time this season the Marlins played extra innings, most in the National League. In June, the Marlins became the first major-league team ever to lose five or more 13-plus inning games in a calendar month.
Short of paying for his own plane ticket to Minneapolis, Alvarez has pretty much done all he can do to earn himself a trip to the All-Star Game.
Tuesday night, the Marlins' Mr. Dependable did his thing once again, delivering another stellar seven innings and putting himself in position to pick up the win before Gregg gave it away.
On his second tour of duty with the Marlins, Gregg surrendered back-to-back, two-out solo home runs in the eighth. Marlon Byrd hit the first solo blast off Gregg on a 2-1 pitch, a towering shot off the home run sculpture in left-center field. Cody Asche then drilled Gregg's very next pitch off a column behind the right field wall to tie the score at 4.
For Gregg, it was the second blown save in the past five days. He blew 13 saves (including a National League-leading nine in 2008) in the two seasons the Marlins previously had him.
The Phillies (36-46) began the evening with a quick 2-0 lead, scoring runs in the first and the fourth on RBI singles to center by Chase Utley and Domonic Brown.
But the Marlins (39-43) tied it in the fourth when Jarrod Saltalamacchia plated two runs with a bases-loaded single to center and then took the lead in the fifth on Giancarlo Stanton's National League-leading 61st RBI.
Stanton smoked a single to center to score Christian Yelich and then scored himself to make it 4-2 when Marcell Ozuna struck out swinging, but the pitch got away from catcher Cameron Rupp. Ozuna, who would have been the third out of the inning, made it to first and Stanton scored easily from third.
All the while, Alvarez cruised along, scattering seven hits and getting out of trouble when he needed to. He walked one and struck out three on 97 pitches. He threw 70 strikes.
And like he usually does, he put his own signature touch on the game. He dodged a broken bat in the opening frame and then threw a runner out from his backside to open the seventh after slipping on the mound.
Although Alvarez's ERA grew by a hundredths of a point to 2.33, he still ranks fourth in the National League behind only the Reds' Johnny Cuteto (1.88), Cardinals' Adam Wainwright (2.01) and Dodgers' Josh Beckett (2.11) despite his average 5-3 record.
In his seven starts leading up to Tuesday's, Alvarez had gone 3-0 with a 0.78 ERA, allowing four earned runs in 46 1/3 innings while holding opponents scoreless four times.
Nobody in the majors not even Clayton Kershaw (1.11 ERA), Beckett (1.15), Felix Hernandez (1.18) or Jake Arrieta (1.58) had been that dominant over the stretch. The rest of the Marlins rotation, meanwhile, has gone 6-13 with a 5.56 ERA in that time.
(c)2014 The Miami Herald
Visit The Miami Herald at http://www.miamiherald.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services