(Sports Network) – The Philadelphia Phillies were still able to slug their way to a series-opening victory over the Florida Marlins on Tuesday despite placing slugger Ryan Howard on the disabled list prior to the contest.
Florida hopes Philadelphia’s luck runs out this evening at Sun Life Stadium, where Anibal Sanchez takes the hill for the first time since throwing a gem his last time out.
Sanchez gets the call for game two of this three-game series nearly a week after throwing the second shutout of his career in San Francisco last Thursday. The right-hander held the Giants to just one hit and a walk in the 5-0 victory, his first blanking since a no-hitter on Sept. 6, 2006 against the Diamondbacks.
“Everything was working for [Sanchez],” said Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez. “He had command of all his pitches, so we knew something good was going to happen [Thursday].”
Sanchez allowed just a bloop single in the fifth inning and also struck out eight batters while improving to 8-6 with a 3.33 earned run average this season.
The 26-year-old is 3-5 with a 4.93 ERA in nine career starts versus the Phillies, including 1-1 with a 3.55 ERA in two outings this year. He hosted the club on May 30 and got the win with 6 2/3 scoreless innings of three-hit ball.
Sanchez will try to make pitching the highlight of this series for a second straight night. In Tuesday’s opener, Roy Halladay took the mound at Sun Life Stadium for the first time since his perfect game on May 29, and though his bid for another shot at perfection ended with a second-inning homer by Dan Uggla, he still threw seven innings of one-run, five-hit ball in a 6-1 Philadelphia victory.
“He just comes at you and throws strikes,” said Marlins’ rookie outfielder Logan Morrison about Halladay. “He splits the plate with a two-seamer and a cutter. With those two pitches alone and the command that he has, it’s hard to tell what’s coming next. You can’t think ’he’s gonna throw a two-seamer here’ or ’he’s gonna throw a cutter here’ because if you guess wrong, he’s gonna blow you up.”
The Phillies got back-to-back homers from Carlos Ruiz and Ben Francisco in the second inning to pace the offense. Ruiz ended with four hits and Francisco had three in Philadelphia’s 10th victory in its last 12 games, which has moved the club to within two games of first-place Atlanta in the National League East.
The Phils won despite Howard (left ankle sprain) joining Chase Utley (right thumb) and Shane Victorino (left abdominal strain) on the DL prior to the game.
That didn’t make things easier for Florida starter Sean West, who was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans and allowed five runs — four earned — on nine hits over five frames in his season debut.
Uggla went 3-for-4 for the Marlins, who were coming off a 4-3 road trip and lost their second straight.
The Phillies tonight go with Kyle Kendrick, who has pitched well in two starts since getting tagged for seven runs in five innings of a loss to St. Louis on July 19. He beat the Rockies five days later with seven innings of one-run ball, then held the Diamondbacks to just a run and four hits while walking three over 6 1/3 frames of a no-decision on Thursday.
The 25-year-old righty is 6-4 with a 4.44 ERA this year and 3-2 with a 5.83 ERA in 11 career starts versus the Marlins, seven of those starts. He is 1-0 with a 4.09 ERA in two outings this season, allowing just two unearned runs over six innings of a victory at Florida on May 28.
These two clubs entered this series having split 26 total meetings since 2009. The Phillies won two of three in Florida in late May and have won 12 of the last 15 meetings at Sun Life Stadium.