Ryan Howard connects on his solo home run in the fourth inning of the Phillies' 7-2 win over the Marlins.
If there is such a thing as a crucial series in May, then the Phillies made the first game count.
With four games against the lowly Miami Marlins, the Phillies had wins available for the taking. They managed to hold off the Marlins in the opener.
Backed by home runs from Domonic Brown and Ryan Howard, Kyle Kendrick picked up another victory as the Phillies beat the Marlins, 5-2, on Thursday night at Citizens Bank Park.
Kendrick struggled out of the game and allowed the first two baserunners to reach first and third with no outs. Placido Polanco did drive in a run but grounded into a double play to put two outs on the board.
The Phillies answered in the second on a solo home run by Brown. Brown lined a 1-0 pitch from Alex Sanabia just over the fence in right for his fourth home run of the season.
Howard followed suit in the fourth, blasting a 3-2 pitch into the first row in left field for his fourth home run of the season.
The Phillies added two more runs in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Chase Utley and a passed ball that scored Jimmy Rollins.
Kendrick settled in from there, allowing just a solo home run to Justin Ruggiano in the sixth. He pitched seven innings allowing two runs on seven hits. He walked two and struck out five.
Mike Adams pitched a scoreless eighth inning.
With the heart of the order due up in the eighth, the Phillies instantly started a threat with back-to-back walks to Howard and Laynce Nix. Brown followed with an RBI single to score Howard. Nix scored on a wild pitch. Erik Kratz lined an RBI single into left to cap the three-run inning.
Jonathan Papelbon pitched a perfect ninth to close out the win.
The win snaps a two-game losing streak for the Phillies, who improve to 13-16 on the season.
The Phillies return to action on Friday night. Jonathan Pettibone starts against Ricky Nolasco.Kevin Durso is a contributor for Philliedelphia. You can follow him on twitter @KDursoPhilsNet.