Moyer improves to 6-0 against Marlins
Lefty tosses six solid frames; Howard homers twice in rout
PHILADELPHIA -- Jamie Moyer wasn't in a charitable mood on Tuesday.
A day after raising nearly $250,000 for The Moyer Foundation, the southpaw was downright stingy on the mound, holding Florida to just a run as the Phillies beat the Marlins, 11-1, in the series opener.Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez sent Moyer's first offering off the fencing on top of the left-field wall for a home run, but the left-hander settled down after the first inning. The win was Moyer's third in his last four starts, and he improved his career record against the Marlins to 6-0. "He takes the sting out of their bats," manager Charlie Manuel said. Moyer could thank the Phillies' offense, which was still in the giving mood after many players waited tables for Moyer's charitable venture on Monday. And he could thank Marlins starter Rick VandenHurk, who left after 2 1/3 innings having balked twice and allowed six earned runs. The Phillies tagged VandenHurk for five runs in the third to break it open. Ryan Howard and Aaron Rowand followed with back-to-back homers in the fourth. Howard added another solo shot to lead off the sixth and record his 11th career multi-homer game and bring his season home run total to 32. The first-pitch blast from Ramirez to open the game was an interesting statement in that it followed comments Jimmy Rollins made about the Marlins shortstop over the weekend. Rollins told the Philadelphia Daily News that he could "throw [Ramirez] out of the books" with regards to statistical comparisons because he played for Florida. The clipping was displayed in Ramirez's locker before the game, and he gave Rollins a good look as he rounded the bases during his home-run trot. "I'm well aware he likes to swing at the first pitch of the game," Moyer said. "It could just as easily have been a popup." He'd be the only Marlin to score against Moyer. The 44-year-old lefty gave up all five of his hits over the first two innings and then retired 12 of the last 13 he faced. Moyer has posted a 3.28 ERA in four starts since being roughed up by the Dodgers on July 16. "Up and in, down and away -- I don't know," Moyer said of his pitching philosophy of late. "You try to pitch to the situation." J.D. Durbin pitched the final three innings to pick up his first career save in rare fashion after inheriting a 10-run lead. The relief appearance was Durbin's second since being moved back to the bullpen following the acquisition of Kyle Lohse at the trade deadline. Before his save Tuesday, Durbin had picked up wins in four consecutive outings, including one for three innings of relief work and three earned runs allowed against the Cubs. He's been back and forth from the bullpen to the starting rotation since his callup in June. "I'm doing it all this year, huh?" Durbin said to no one in particular following the game. Howard could make the same argument after his effort on Tuesday. The first baseman who talks softly and carries a big bat can now add "deceptive speed" to his description. He beat out a throw in his first at-bat to reach safely on a fielder's choice, and scored from second on a Jayson Werth single in the third. "I just go out there and try to do what I can," Howard said. "Sometimes they just underestimate the speed and find out." Already having done his part, the slugger piled on by crushing two pitches his next two at-bats. The first was an opposite-field shot off VandenHurk and the second was a pulled moon shot that landed just inside the right-field foul pole. "I fell, 2-0, right away," VandenHurk said of the first homer. "In that count to him, you can't just lay a fastball right down the middle, he's going to hit it a mile. I knew I was throwing my changeup for a strike, and I just wanted to throw another changeup. I did and it missed up." The Phillies bats have continued their National League-best onslaught despite the glaring omission of Chase Utley. Philadelphia is 7-4 since Utley went on the disabled list, averaging eight runs a win during that span. "We've got the pieces," Rowand said. "We've still got the guys to win games."
Stephen Fastenau is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.