MIAMI — The Phillies were primed to explode Sunday. Then Chad Qualls entered the game.
Last season, Qualls was napalm in tight situations. He started the season with the Phillies, was designated for assignment after posting a 4.60 ERA in 35 games, and stunk for both the Yankees and Pirates. In Philadelphia, he was the whipping boy for a bullpen gone bad.
He still found a home in 2013 with the Marlins. On Sunday, against his former teammates, he tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings and induced two key double-play balls.
Qualls had not thrown a scoreless outing of more than two innings in six seasons. He rolled all of three double plays in 31 1/3 innings with the Phillies in 2012. He entered Sunday with a 10.80 ERA in four games.
"You have to fight through adversity in this game sometimes," Charlie Manuel said. "You don't hit all the time. You have to find ways to win when you're not hitting. We left runners on base all three games down here, especially on second. We will get better."
Strangely enough, that did not happen Sunday until Qualls departed.
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