MIAMI (AP) – Following the Philadelphia Phillies’ latest endurance test, Jeff Conine arrived at home so late that two of his children had already left for school.

“My daughter woke up this morning and said, “What time did daddy get home?”‘ Conine said Friday. “My wife said, “Uh, he’s not home yet.”‘

Battling to stay in the NL wild-card race, the Phillies waited out a 4-hour, 27-minute rain delay at the start of Thursday’s game at Washington. It was the longest rain delay in Phillies history.

That came after the teams played 14 innings Wednesday.

The Phillies started Thursday’s game at 11:32 p.m., played until 2:07 a.m. and lost 3-1 to fall two games behind wild-card leader Los Angeles. It was the Phillies’ latest finish ever on the road.

The Phils went to the airport, boarded their flight, waited an hour for pilots to arrive and took off at 5:10 a.m. for Florida and a three-game series that will end their regular season.

Upon touching down, Conine headed home because he lives in South Florida. Other players reached their hotel at 8:20 to grab three or four hours of sleep before going to the ballpark.

“We all have to battle through it, whether we had no hours of sleep or 20 hours of sleep,” second baseman Chase Utley said.

The Phils may really be dragging by Saturday, when they’re scheduled to play a day game following a night game.

“It’s not easy,” Marlins manager Joe Girardi said. “Not only are they fatigued because it’s Sept. 29, but they’re fatigued because they got here at 8 in the morning.”


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