MIAMI — Giancarlo Stanton’s season is not over. Neither is the Miami Marlins’ slide.
Stanton made a surprise return to the lineup, Ichiro Suzuki hit the first pinch-hit home run of his legendary career, and Justin Bour got on the field for the first time in two months.
All that still wasn’t enough, as the Marlins fell to the Philadelphia Phillies 4-3 on Tuesday night — dropping to 1-10 in their last 11 games.
Stanton, the reigning Home Run Derby champion, was reinstated from the disabled list about an hour before the game — 24 days after his season was thought to be over because of a badly strained groin. Marlins manager Don Mattingly said all that Stanton will be able to do for now is pinch-hit, but for a team that is freefalling out of the NL wild-card race any help would be welcomed.
And Stanton delivered, getting a sharp pinch-hit single in the fifth before being removed for a pinch-runner.
“That’s what he knows he can do right now,” Mattingly said. “We’re not talking about him going to be in right field three days from now. That’s not going to happen, but I do expect that to happen at some point.”
Ichiro’s home run in the eighth made it 4-3, and Jeff Francoeur’s try for what would have been a go-ahead two-run homer later that inning sailed just foul in the left-field corner.
One pitch later, Francoeur nearly knocked down third-base coach Lenny Harris with another foul ball. Harris stayed on the grass for a few seconds for comic relief, but in the end there was again nothing for Miami to laugh about as the team’s fledgling playoff hopes took another hit.
Stanton took part in a simulated game Tuesday, did some baserunning and shagged fly balls. After all that came one final check-up with doctors — the Marlins almost foreshadowed what was happening by tweeting out a photo of the chiseled Stanton with the words “Not Human” — and then the announcement of the roster move.
“This is something that could give us a little bit of a bump, hopefully,” Mattingly said.
Stanton hurt his left groin trying to stretch a single into a double in what became the final out of an 8-7 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Aug. 13. The Marlins originally thought the severity of the injury meant Stanton would need six weeks to recover.
Phillies starter Adam Morgan (2-9) snapped his major league-worst streak of nine consecutive losses, and Odubel Herrera scored three runs for Philadelphia. Jeanmar Gomez pitched the ninth for his 35th save in 39 chances.
Morgan (2-9) allowed five hits and one run in six innings. He hadn’t won since May 10, going 0-9 with a 6.72 ERA in his last 15 appearances, 13 of those starts.
Tommy Joseph and Freddy Galvis each drove in two runs for the Phillies. Jose Urena (3-6) gave up four runs and seven hits in five innings for Miami, which is 11-23 since Aug. 1.
“I was trying to stay down in the zone,” Urena said. “And I did, but they found holes.”
Bour returned from the 60-day DL after missing two months with an ankle injury.
Also Tuesday, the Marlins recalled left-handers Justin Nicolino and Hunter Cervenka from Triple-A New Orleans, and outfielder Yefri Perez from Double-A Jacksonville. Right-hander Kendry Flores was designated for assignment.
Ashleigh Johnson — a Miami native who was the goalie for the gold-medal-winning U.S. women’s water polo team at last month’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics — threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
The Marlins had LHP Wei-Yin Chen (elbow) and RHP Bryan Morris (back surgery) throw simulated games Tuesday.
The series ends with Phillies RHP Jeremy Hellickson (10-8, 3.88) going up against Marlins RHP Andrew Cashner (4-11, 5.00). Hellickson is 2-0 with a 2.13 ERA in four starts against Miami this season.