"With a leadoff hit it gets you going, but a leadoff double gives you a really good feeling about what might happen at least to tie the game up," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "[Nick] Williams moved [Franco] over to third and Alfaro came through with that big hit."
The Phillies finished with just six hits but edged the Marlins by a run for the second consecutive game and extended Miami's losing streak to five. Now 66-68, the Marlins are losing ground at 6 1/2 games back in pursuit of the second National League Wild Card. The Marlins were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position Friday and are 3-for-42 in those situations during their losing streak.
The Phillies' rally foiled Peters' outstanding first start. The left-hander, who turned 25 on Thursday and was called up for the first time Friday, threw seven shutout innings, scattering three hits while striking out eight. Brian Anderson, a 24-year-old third baseman, added his first big league hit and made a couple of nice plays in the field.
"It was pretty awesome, from the first pitch to the last pitch, I'd say it was everything I expected," said Peters, who worked well with veteran catcher A.J. Ellis. "It's just a blessing to be out there and accomplish a dream. The butterflies are over after the first at-bat. But I'd say those first few pitches were pretty crazy. I settled in, was on the same page as A.J., it was pretty awesome to work with him."
Peters matched a couple of team records for pitchers making their MLB debuts. The eight strikeouts tie Jose Fernandez (April 7, 2013), and the seven innings equal a high also shared by Justin Nicolino (June 20, 2015) and Brad Penny (April 7, 2000).
"Unbelievable company," Peters said. "I'm just following the lead of A.J. Ellis. He knows what he's doing back there. I'm going to throw what he puts down. He's a student of the game. It was really fun to work with him."
The Marlins capitalized on a wild first inning by Nick Pivetta. Dee Gordon reached on an infield single, and with two outs and the bases full, scored on Pivetta's second wild pitch.
Pivetta, however, bounced back with the help of double plays in the second and third innings. After lasting just 1 1/3 innings last time facing the Marlins, the 24-year-old rookie finished with six innings of one-run ball.
"It definitely feels good. I know I belong here. I know I can beat that team," Pivetta said. "I've beaten that team before. I mean, I'd like to think they got lucky last time. I was able to get ahead of guys a little more today."
Rhys Hoskins, the Phillies' power-hitting rookie, had his 13-game hitting streak snapped.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Peters escapes in seventh: Peters effectively kept the Phillies off the bases, but in the seventh, the left-hander got into a bit of a two-out jam. Hoskins drew a walk, and Tommy Joseph singled. With the potential tying run at second, Franco slapped a hard grounder to third, that caused Anderson to leave his feet to his glove side. From his knees, Anderson threw to Gordon at second, completing the inning-ending forceout. Statcast™ clocked the grounder at 98.5 mph.
"Well we didn't know [Peters], so that makes it a little more difficult," Mackanin said. "He pitched well. He's got a real good curveball. I was pretty impressed by that kid."
"They haven't seen me, I haven't seen them. It's kind of both, I guess," Peters said. "I'm going to go out there and compete. I've looked at the scouting reports. I'm going to follow the catcher, they've seen these guys all year. It's another lineup with different holes in their swings, and we're going to attack those weaknesses."
Phillies rally: The Phillies were just 4-67 this season when trailing after eight innings, but that changed Friday night. Following the Franco double, Alfaro tied the game up in the two-run ninth-inning rally with a bloop single to right off Ziegler. Prior to Friday, Ziegler had been 9-for-9 since assuming Miami's closer duties.
"It brought us up. It lifted our spirits," Alfaro said of Franco's hit. "That double picked us up. It made us think that we could win."
"That's the way it goes, I made pretty good pitches," Ziegler said. "Even the pitch that [Franco] hit I didn't think was that bad of a pitch. I knew he'd be swinging, and he swung first pitch on me in Philly. So I just got it down on the end of his barrel. He just hooked it down into a spot on the field there was no one there."
"It's pretty much another game, a lot like last night. What have we given up? Five runs in two games and haven't won either one of them. We've kind of gone into a little funk offensively and I don't really know how to explain it. Not a lot of runs going up." -- Marlins manager Don Mattingly on offensive struggles
WHAT'S NEXT Phillies:Aaron Nola (10-9, 3.46) takes the mound as the Phillies continue this four-game set Saturday at 7:10 p.m. ET. The 24-year-old right-hander has had trouble with the Marlins this year, posting a 10.61 ERA through two starts against them.
Marlins: In the third game of the series, at 7:10 p.m. ET on Saturday, Dan Straily gets the call for Miami. Straily (8-8, 3.80) was initially scheduled to start on Friday, but he was pushed back a day when the decision was made to go with Peters, who made his MLB debut on Friday. Straily is 3-1 with a 3.18 ERA against the Phillies.