Conley goes 6 innings but Marlins lose to Phillies 2-0

AP Sports Writer

MIAMI (AP) — Miami Marlins rookie Adam Conley knows exactly how much run support he received in his first three major league starts.

"Yeah — 14, 14 and nine," he said.

He also knows his good fortune was bound to end, and it did Sunday.

Philadelphia rookie Aaron Nola pitched a career-high eight innings and allowed only one runner to advance beyond first base, helping the Phillies beat Conley and the Marlins 2-0 to tighten the race for next year’s top draft pick.

By winning the final three games in the four-game series, the Phillies moved into a tie with Miami for the worst record in the majors (50-74). Philadelphia is 21-12 since the All-Star break.

Conley (1-1) allowed one run while pitching a career-high six innings. He walked four, but the Phillies went 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position against him.

The left-hander retired the final seven batters he faced.

"Today started out pretty rough," he said, "but I was able to find some momentum toward the end."

But for a change, the Marlins’ bats didn’t give Conley any help.

"It’s not going to happen every time for us," he said, "but the mission is still the same."

Miami scored a total of three runs in the final three games of the series.

"To waste good starting pitching is frustrating," manager Dan Jennings said.

Nola (4-1) allowed three hits, walked two and struck out six while throwing a career-high 100 pitches. The Phillies’ 2014 first-round draft choice lowered his ERA to 3.59 and improved to 4-0 in his past six starts.

The Marlins managed only three singles off the right-hander.

"We just couldn’t figure out Nola. He pitched a heck of a game," Jennings said. "He’s got a good breaking ball he commands, and he commanded it all day — a wide sweeping breaking ball."

Nola, who has benefited from excellent run support since he joined the Phils, this time made do with only a little help. Catcher Cameron Rupp hit his fifth home run and threw out two runners trying to steal. Aaron Altherr drove in the other run with a sacrifice fly.

Ken Giles pitched a perfect ninth for his 10th save in 13 chances, completing the Phillies’ fifth shutout this year.

"We’re having fun playing," Rupp said. "We’re loose and everybody’s playing well, and that makes it a lot easier to come to the ballpark."

Miami’s Dee Gordon, who came into the game leading the majors in batting and hits, went 1 for 4 to drop his average to .335.

The game drew a crowd of 22,693 on Dontrelle Willis and Juan Pierre Day to honor two members of the Marlins’ 2003 World Series championship team. Among those not attending was Willis, who canceled because of a conflict.

RHP Tom Koehler (8-11, 4.02) is scheduled to start Monday for the Marlins when they open a four-game series at home against Pittsburgh and LHP J.A. Happ (1-1, 2.87). The Pirates swept an earlier three-game set between the two teams.

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