Cliff Lee got all the run support he needed Wednesday night as the Phillies pounded out 12 hits in support of a stellar effort by the lefthander, who shut out Miami for his fifth win of the season.
Things started off quietly for the Phillies against the punchless Marlins, who entered the game dead last in the majors in batting average, runs scored, on-base percentage, and slugging, among other categories, and were on pace to score just 440 runs, a historically low total for a full season.
Miami, however, seemed on the verge of breaking out against Lee in the second, when he hit outfielder Chris Coghlan to load the bases with nobody out. Lee, though, got Nick Green to hit a grounder to third, Michael Young threw home to Erik Kratz to get the out at the plate, and Kratz then went to first in time to complete the double play. Marlins catcher Jeff Mathis then flew out to end the inning, and that was the end of the trouble for Lee. The Marlins would not get another baserunner until Coghlan reached first on a walk in the bottom of the fifth.
Marlins starter Kevin Slowey (1-5) was almost equally stingy through five, striking out six and allowing just six hits (no walks) before leaving with what appeared to be a problem in his non-pitching arm. Delmon Young put the Phillies on the board, and ahead for good, with a long home run to left field, his second in as many days and third of the year.
Wade LeBlanc ran into trouble with two outs in the sixth after relieving Slowey. With two outs, Delmon Young got an infield hit, and Domonic Brown hit his first triple of the year to plate Young and add to the Phillies' lead. Freddy Galvis, starting for the injured Chase Utley, singled to right to drive in Young. Lee, who also managed two hits in the game, grounded out this time, ending the inning with the Phillies on top 3-0.
In the sixth, Miguel Olivo singled for the Marlins' second hit of the night, but Lee set the remaining batters down without much trouble. He sat Miami down 1-2-3 five times, and retired the next 10 in order before allowing Derek Dietrich's two out hit in the bottom of the ninth. Dietrich then moved to second (scored as "fielder's indifference"), and Jonathan Papelbon was seen warming up lightly in the bullpen, but Lee soon got Marcell Ozuna to fly out to end the ballgame.
Lee (5-2) threw 115 pitches total in the contest as the Phillies (23-24) won the decisive game in their three-game set against Miami. They head to Washington Friday to face Jordan Zimmerman and the Nationals. They will start Kyle Kendrick (4-2), who looks to continue what has so far been a successful 2013. Kendrick has a 2.82 ERA in over his first nine starts this season.
Miami (13-34) was shut out for the ninth time this season. The Marlins travel to Chicago to play the White Sox in the first of a three-game series Friday at U.S. Cellular Field. They will send righty Tom Koehler (0-2) to the mound against Chicago's Jake Peavy (5-2).
Notes: Freddy Galvis stole second following his RBI single for his first career steal...Utley will not accompany the team to Washington as he heads home to get an MRI on his sore hip... Righthander Phillipe Aumont was demoted to the minors today; the corresponding roster move to replace him will be made by Friday...Tonight's game went rather quickly, taking just 2:43 to complete despite the fact that 19 men reached base total...It was the second game in a row that the Phillies had 10+ hits...The Phillies will try to reach the .500 mark for the ninth time this season; the other eight tries were all losses...