MIAMI -- A couple of regulars returning from injury helped the Marlins finally have some answers for Phillies right-hander Jeremy Hellickson. Marcell Ozuna and Justin Bour were back in the lineup, and the two contributed at the plate in Miami's 6-0 win over Philadelphia at Marlins Park on Wednesday night.
Ozuna had a double and a single and scored twice, while Bour singled and had a productive out that helped set up a run in the second inning. Backed with some early support, Andrew Cashner tossed 5 1/3 strong innings and collected his first victory since being acquired by the Marlins from the Padres in late July.
"It's a different feeling, for sure, and you forget what it looks like," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of Bour and Ozuna returning. "J.B. has been out so long. It just changes things around."
Bour was making his first start since July 2, when he sustained a right ankle sprain, and Ozuna had been out since Aug. 31 with a bruised left wrist.
"Honestly, you can't ask for much better," Bour said. "I was able to go out there and put together some quality at-bats and just help the team."
Martin Prado and Christian Yelich added back-to-back RBI doubles in the seventh inning to break open a six-run lead. The Marlins' 10th shutout of the season snapped their five-game losing streak and moved them closer to .500 (69-71) as they look to make a late charge and chip away in the National League Wild Card chase. Miami sits five games behind St. Louis for the second spot.
Hellickson was 2-0 with a 2.13 ERA in four starts against the Marlins this year before he allowed four runs (three earned) on nine hits with one strikeout in six innings.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Add-on runs nice to see: Runs have been scarce for the Marlins in their losing streak. After opening September with a 6-4 win in New York, Miami averaged 2.6 runs in its next five games. But in the finale with the Phillies, the Marlins added to a 2-0 lead with single runs in both the fifth and sixth on a sacrifice and double play, respectively, and then enjoyed a two-out rally in the seventh off right-hander Severino Gonzalez to provide a six-run cushion.
"It's a win we obviously needed from the standpoint of the way we've been playing," Mattingly said. "It's just that. It's a win going into the off-day. It's a tough road ahead for us. But it's a start."
What a difference a day makes: Just like Tuesday night, the Phillies opened the game with their first two batters reaching base. However, that's where the similarities ended. While both scored Tuesday to help lift the Phils to a 4-3 win, this time both Cesar Hernandez, who singled, and Aaron Altherr, who reached on a fielder's choice, were stranded. The Phils entered Tuesday with only 46 runs scored in the first inning, the lowest total in the Major Leagues.
"It's frustrating," Mackanin said. "We've been going through that for quite a while. We just need to be better at it. The categories in hitting, we're at the bottom: slugging, doubles, hits, runs. There's your story right there."
Cashner gets boost from catcher: Cashner enjoyed arguably his best start since being dealt to the Marlins. The right-hander struck out nine, his most in eight appearances (seven starts) with Miami. In the fifth inning, Cashner got an assist from his catcher and an acrobatic tag from shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to get out of a jam.
With Miami leading 2-0 at the time, and Peter Bourjos on third, Altherr walked with two outs. Altherr attempted to steal, but J.T. Realmuto reacted quickly and made a strong throw, with Hechavarria making a reaching swipe tag. Initially, Altherr was called safe, but the Marlins won a replay challenge, and the caught stealing ended the threat.
"That was a big spot in the game," Cashner said. "J.T. tonight was unreal. When I had a guy at third, all the blocks that he had. I threw some 40-foot sliders there, and [he showed] his ability to keep the ball in front and keep it as a zero."
Southpaw's debut: Left-handed reliever Patrick Schuster made his Phillies debut in the seventh inning, facing three batters, two of them lefties. After walking the first batter he faced on four pitches, Schuster settled down to retire left-handed Dee Gordon and Ichiro. Getting out left-handed batters is likely the role Schuster will have in Philadelphia's bullpen.
"He's funky," Mackanin said. "I asked [catcher A.J. Ellis] what it looked like from behind the plate. He said, '[Schuster] could be tough on lefties.' It boils down to throwing strikes. I'm happy I got to see him. Down the stretch, I'm going to try to see him a little bit more. We need a situational lefty."
"I kind of joked with Donnie when he took me out. I said, 'Are you sure you want him running on the bases instead of me?'" -- Bour, on being pinch-run for by speedster Yefri Perez
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Perez is basically only up with the Marlins to run. He broke his left thumb in late July while playing at Double-A Jacksonville. The injury required surgery, and he just started hitting off a tee. On the bases, Perez wears a protective glove on his left hand.
WHAT'S NEXT Phillies:Alec Asher takes the mound in the opener of a four-game series at Washington on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. ET. Called up on Tuesday, Asher is making his first big league start of the season after going 0-6 with a 9.31 ERA in seven starts last season with the Phillies.
Marlins: Off on Thursday, the Marlins open a three-game series with the Dodgers on Friday at 7:10 p.m. ET. Jose Fernandez (13-8, 3.03) goes for Miami. The right-hander is 10-2 with a 1.91 ERA at Marlins Park this year. Fernandez draws a tough matchup, with Clayton Kershaw (11-2, 1.79) going for Los Angeles. It will be Kershaw's first start since June 26, as he returns from a herniated disk.