Series: Game 4 of 4

Florida won 4-0

Game 1: Monday, July 26
Game 2: Tuesday, July 27
Game 3: Wednesday, July 28
Game 4: Thursday, July 29

Phillies 1

(52-50, 23-26 away)

Marlins 10


1:05 PM ET, July 29, 2004

Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Florida 

123456789 R H E
PHI 000010000 1 5 0
FLA 01702000 - 10 15 0

W: D. Willis (8-6)

L: P. Abbott (3-10)

Phils' 'embarrassing' drought continues

MIAMI (AP) -- When the door to the Philadelphia Phillies' clubhouse finally opened 30 minutes after their latest loss, the tables and chairs remained upright, the light fixtures still worked and the water cooler appeared undamaged.

All in all, manager Larry Bowa and his team took their four-day drubbing by the Florida Marlins surprisingly well.

Alex Gonzalez hit the first grand slam of his career, Dontrelle Willis pitched seven innings and Florida won 10-1 Thursday to sweep Philadelphia at home for the fourth time in a row.

It was the Phillies' 14th consecutive loss in Miami, and seventh this year. Most of the games have been close, but this time seven consecutive Marlins scored in the third inning against Paul Abbott (1-5), capped by Gonzalez's 15th homer for an 8-0 lead.

The combustible Bowa held a meeting after the game, but described the tone as "pretty low key."

"We talked about how we've got a long way to go," he said.

Sixty games remain, and fortunately for the Phillies, only seven are against Florida. The teams are tied for second place in the NL East, 3½ games behind Atlanta, but in the past two years the rivalry has been no closer than Thursday's rout.

The Marlins are 11-1 against the Phillies this season and have won 23 of the past 26 games dating to last year. The next meeting is Sept. 21-23 in Miami.

"We're 0-for-Florida," Phillies reliever Roberto Hernandez said. "We've got to come back again, and hopefully we can find the right recipe to beat them next time."

The Marlins -- eight games below .500 against the rest of the majors -- shake their heads in amazement at the way they've dominated Philadelphia. And on a humid, 87-degree afternoon, the Phillies' latest Miami meltdown was perhaps their worst yet.

Philadelphia's futility became comical at times. One Marlins grounder was touched by two Phillies and still made its way to the outfield for a single. Twice, a Philadelphia batter missed on a swing that sent the bat sailing into the stands. And for the second time in the series the Phillies let a routine fly drop for a double, with shortstop Jimmy Rollins losing Hee Seop Choi's popup in the sun.

By then the score was already 8-1.

The sweep intensified speculation about Bowa's job security in his fourth season as manager, but he shrugged it off.

"It's been like that for three years," he said. "It doesn't worry me. I do the best I can."

Bowa said he has no complaint about his team's effort. He and several players talked during the meeting.

"There was dialogue on both sides," reliever Rheal Cormier said. "We cleared the air, and we needed to do that. Now that it's done, it's time to move on. There were some things that needed to be addressed, and they were."

Against Florida, the problems were both hitting and pitching.

Willis (8-6) limited Philadelphia to five hits and one run while enjoying plenty of run support. Jeff Conine put the Marlins ahead with his eighth home run leading off the second inning, and in the third came another Miami moment for the Phillies.

Juan Pierre singled, Luis Castillo singled and Mike Lowell walked to load the bases. Miguel Cabrera doubled home two runs, Conine hit an RBI single and Choi walked to reload the bases.

Gonzalez then pulled an 0-2 pitch over the scoreboard for his 15th home run. He added an RBI double in the fifth.

"When you beat a team like that and keep beating them, you feel good," Gonzalez said.

By the time Mike Redmond's RBI single made it 10-1 in the fifth, every Marlins starter had a hit.

"They've had the upper hand, no question about it," Bowa said. "They play us like they are the world champions."

A sweep of the Phillies in the final week of the regular season last year helped propel the Marlins toward the World Series title. They hope they're making a move again.

"We're gaining some momentum," manager Jack McKeon said. "Now we need the Braves to start losing some games."

Game notes

The Marlins optioned RHP Justin Wayne to Triple-A Albuquerque. ... The Phils' Jason Michaels sent his bat flying into the first row, then drew boos when he insisted a fan give it back. Jeers turned to cheers when the fan was given the bat after Michaels grounded out. ... Lowell improved his average against the Phils this season to .426 (20-for-47) with five homers and 14 RBI. ... Abbott fell to 16-9 in day games. He's 27-27 at night. ... Phillies RHP Vicente Padilla had his rehab start with Class-A Clearwater rained out Thursday. He will now pitch Saturday night at Tampa. Padilla (triceps) was 4-5 with a 4.07 ERA before going on the disabled list.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press