Phillies Pound Fish

Marlins lose again to fall into fourth place

A change of scenery didn't help the Florida Marlins.

Cole Hamels pitched seven dominant innings to become the NL's second nine-game winner, Domonic Brown hit two of Philadelphia's season-high five homers, and the Phillies beat the Marlins 9-1 on Tuesday night.

Florida has lost 11 of 12 to fall behind the New York Mets into fourth place in the NL East.

Coming off a 1-10 homestand, the Marlins were looking forward to a trip. They entered with the best road record in the majors at 17-11.

"We thought we might get going on the road," catcher John Buck said. "But nobody's going to feel sorry for us. We just have to grind it out."

Hamels (9-2) allowed one run and three hits to tie teammate Roy Halladay and Boston's Jon Lester for most wins in the majors. He struck out six and walked one.

The lanky lefty left the game in the eighth with tightness in the middle of his back, but he expects to make his next start.

Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins hit two-run homers, and Brown had two solo shots to help Philadelphia win its fourth straight game. The Phillies are a season-high 15 games over .500 at 41-26 -- the best record in baseball.

Chris Volstad (2-7) gave up eight runs and 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings for the struggling Marlins.

"Obviously I didn't help," Volstad said. "We just have to battle."

Hamels retired 17 straight before Logan Morrison reached on Howard's fielding error leading off the seventh. It was the first baseman's first error this season.

Hamels is pitching better than he did during the 2008 postseason when he was MVP of the NLCS and World Series. He lowered his ERA to 2.49.

After waiting 1 hour, 20 minutes to start the game because of a rain delay, both teams came out swinging.

The Marlins got two hits in the first and went ahead 1-0 on a RBI groundout by Gaby Sanchez.

The Phillies answered in the bottom half when Howard hit a liner into the seats in left-center for a 2-1 lead. It was Howard's seventh homer off Volstad in 24 at-bats.

Utley connected in the third after Shane Victorino's two-out single. He drove a 3-1 pitch out to right-center to make it 4-1.

Brown hit a solo shot in the fourth to put the Phillies ahead 5-1. Rollins' blast made it 8-1 in the sixth.

Brown went deep again in the seventh, hitting a pitch from Edward Mujica into the second deck in right.

Even the return of three-time All-Star shortstop Hanley Ramirez didn't help the Marlins. Ramirez was back in the lineup after missing two weeks with a back injury and batted leadoff for the first time since last Aug. 24. He was 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.

"Hanley was running good out of the box," manager Edwin Rodriguez said. "He looked fine."

Ramirez isn't expected to start the first game of a day-night doubleheader on Wednesday.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us