The Philadelphia Phillies shoot for a series win over the Miami Marlins when the NL East foes clash Wednesday night.
After the Marlins took Monday's opener by a 5-1 score, the Phillies responded with Tuesday's 7-3 victory behind a solid pitching performance by spot starter Tyler Cloyd. Recalled from the club's Triple-A affiliate in Lehigh Valley, Cloyd limited the damage to two runs in seven innings for the win.
Antonio Bastardo tossed a scoreless eighth inning and B.J. Rosenberg worked around a run and two hits in the ninth to preserve the win.
Ryan Howard shook off a balky knee and went 3-for-5 with three RBI and Delmon Young homered in the 15-hit attack for the Phillies, winners in six of their last nine games. Philadelphia, which is 5 1/2 games behind Atlanta for the NL East lead, had just four runs in the previous three games.
"We haven't been scoring many runs and I haven't been contributing like I'm capable of," Young said. "It's good. It was the most hits I've seen since I've been here. Hopefully we can carry what we did today into tomorrow and for the rest of this road trip, because we're going to need to score runs to win these games against the clubs we're going to be playing."
The Phils still have Washington and Boston to visit on this eight-game trek.
The Phillies have won each of Cliff Lee's last three starts and he is 2-0 in that span. Lee will toe the rubber in Wednesday's series finale in hopes of keeping his club on the winning path with him on the hill.
Lee did not record a decision in Friday's 5-3 win over Cincinnati and the Phillies needed a late rally to squeeze out the win. The left-hander limited the Reds to two runs in seven innings and struck out seven batters, his highest strikeout total since seven on April 25 versus Pittsburgh.
Lee, who is 3-1 in five road assignments, has made eight career starts against Miami, going 3-1 with a 2.68 ERA.
Miami had its modest two-game winning streak stopped Tuesday and lost for the eighth time in 10 tries.
Marlins rookie pitcher Jose Fernandez was solid in the no-decision, as he surrendered Young's home run and lasted five innings. Duane Below was saddled with the loss, charged with three runs and four hits in an inning of work.
"He kept us in the game, he gave us a chance to win," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said of Fernandez. "He was running out of pitches there, we figured he did his job and we tried to score that run."
Former Phillie Juan Pierre had two hits and an RBI, Placido Polanco, also a former member of the Phillies, ended with two hits and a pair of runs scored and Rob Brantly finished 2-for-4 with a run scored in defeat.
The Marlins will begin a five-game trek Friday against the White Sox and Rays.
Kevin Slowey hasn't had much of a problem with the Phillies this season and looks to continue that trend for the Marlins tonight. Slowey is 1-0 with a sparkling 0.73 earned run average in two starts against Philadelphia this season and hopes his mastery of the club will get him on track.
Slowey has lost back-to-back starts and lasted a season-low three innings in Friday's 9-2 loss to Arizona, as he was tagged early on for six runs and seven hits, including a season-high three home runs. Slowey dropped to 1-4 in nine starts and his ERA went from 2.55 to 3.44.
The right-handed Slowey is winless (0-2) in five home starts and 1-0 with a 5.14 ERA in three career starts against the Phillies.
Philadelphia is 5-4 against Miami this season and has won 12 of the last 18 matchups between the NL East inhabitants.