PHILADELPHIA -- Steve Cishek hasn't had many opportunities to protect a lead late in the game this season, but he blew another one of those rare chances Tuesday night against the Phillies.
With the Marlins ahead 3-2 in the 10th, the 26-year old right-hander gave up a solo home run to John Mayberry Jr. on what turned out to be a 2-2 slider that was just too flat according to manager Mike Redmond. The home run was the third Cishek has given up in 24 appearances. He gave up three homers all of last season in 68 appearances.
"It's tough. Your team is relying on you to put the game away. They fought so hard. And now it's all on your hands. You need to get three outs, right then and there and shut the door. It didn't work out," a disappointed Cishek said afterward.
"I'm feeling great. Mentally I feel good. Today I felt good. A couple of pitches got away from me, but I thought I made a couple good pitches too. Other than the slider to Mayberry everything felt good. Mentally I feel better than I had all year."
Cishek did appear to be turning a corner before Tuesday's struggles. After giving up three earned runs in a loss to the Reds back on May 16, he had given up just one earned run over his last seven appearances (1.35). Then Mayberry got him.
If not for Mayberry's Jr.'s two homers in extra innings, Juan Pierre would have been the story and the hero Tuesday.
The 35-year old used his speed to manufacture the go-ahead run in the 10th, drawing a nine-pitch walk, moving to second on a sacrifice bunt and then stealing third off former Phillies teammate Antonio Bastardo. He then scored on a wild pitch.
"Our offense has struggled to generate runs. That's just a guy trying to make something happen, be aggressive, and he did," Redmond said. "I wish it would have held up because that was a great effort by him to get himself in scoring position and score on a wild pitch. We just couldn't hold them up."
Pierre said playing with Bastardo last season helped him swipe third base.
"He did in the inside move which he didn't do much last year when I saw him," Pierre said. "I just figured he did one for show. We call those money bags where you do it late in the game to try and score a run. It worked out well."
Marlins (16-43): 1. Juan Pierre LF, 2. Ed Lucas 3B, 3. Derek Dietrich 2B, Marcell Ozuna RF, 5. Justin Ruggiano CF, 6. Casey Kotchman 1B, 7. Adeiny Hechavarria SS, 8. Jeff Mathis C, 9. Jacob Turner RHP.