By Todd Zolecki and Michael Radano
MLB.com |@ToddZolecki |
PHILADELPHIA -- Both the Phillies and Marlins entered this week's three-game series at Citizens Bank Park desperate for victories.
The Phillies struck first Tuesday night with a 7-3 victory. Ryan Howard hit a two-out, two-run home run to center field in the sixth inning to hand the Phillies a one-run lead. It was Howard's first home run of the season. He followed Freddy Galvis' two-run homer in the second and preceded Ben Revere's two-run triple in the seventh, as the Phillies scored a season-high seven runs.
"Hopefully, yeah, hopefully it does turn it on," Howard said about his big night potentially turning around a slow start to his season.
Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton crushed a solo home run to center field in the fourth and Miami scored two more runs in the fifth to take a 3-2 lead, but it was not enough as Philadelphia improved to 5-9, while Miami dropped to 3-11.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Big Piece finally goes deep: Manager Ryne Sandberg dropped Howard from the cleanup spot late last week, as he has struggled at the plate. But Howard's two-run homer in the sixth inning handed the Phillies the lead. Could this be the hit that finally gets Howard going? Howard and the team certainly hope so. More >
Stanton sends one to 'pen: Stanton hit the longest home run of the season at Citizens Bank Park, as he launched a Jerome Williams cutter into the Marlins' bullpen in right-center with one out in the fourth. Stanton's third home run of the year went an estimated 449 feet and left the bat at 113 mph. More >
Little guys, big punch: Galvis continues to hit, no matter where Sandberg puts him in the Phillies' lineup. He hit eighth Tuesday, and hit a two-run home run to right field in the second to hand the Phillies a 2-0 lead. While Galvis has been hot, Revere has struggled. But the outfielder tripled to score two insurance runs in the seventh. More >
Bullpen misery: The Marlins' bullpen has been a big reason for their slow start, and Tuesday was no exception. After a solid start by Dan Haren, who surrendered a pair of two-run home runs in six innings, the Phillies got to reliever Mike Dunn for three runs in the seventh to open a four-run cushion. The bullpen ended the game with an National League-worst 5.26 ERA. More >
"I mean, all the runs I've given up this year [seven] have been on home runs [five]. I mean, literally. I try to minimize the damage, but what can you do? Usually you get away with solo home runs, but the walks ended up hurting me. I missed on a couple of pitches and I paid the price." -- Haren, who fell to 1-1 in three starts
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Phillies second baseman Chase Utley extended his hitless streak to 21 at-bats after going 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly. He has not recorded a hit since he homered in the eighth inning April 14 against the Mets at Citi Field. It is the second-longest hitless streak of Utley's career. He went hitless in 24 at-bats from June 14-21, 2008.
Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon pitched a perfect ninth. He has allowed one base runner in 6 1/3 innings this season (0.16 WHIP)
Garcia moving up the ranks: Right-hander Luis Garcia is becoming a more important piece in the Phillies' bullpen. He pitched a scoreless seventh inning with the Phils holding a one-run lead. He has pitched the seventh in his last five appearances -- he has not allowed a run in seven innings this season -- showing the Phillies' faith in him in important situations. Sandberg said he liked the matchup, but he still considers left-hander Jake Diekman a seventh-inning guy. But Diekman also is the only lefty in the 'pen, so the Phillies need to conserve him whenever possible. Garcia's performances gives them more flexibility to do that.
Marlins: Miami will be playing its ninth game of a 10-game road trip Wednesday night against Philadelphia at 7:05 p.m. ET and will look to right-hander Jarred Cosart against the team that drafted him in 2008. Cosart will be making his first appearance at Citizens Bank Park.
Phillies: Left-hander Cole Hamels hopes to keep the ball in the park Wednesday night against the Marlins. He has allowed seven home runs in just 18 innings this season, which has not helped him at all in his first three starts.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. Michael Radano is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.