Miami Sports Day

MARLINS: Hellickson, Phillies Shut Out Miami 8-0

PHILADELPHIA — The word ‘explosive’ hasn’t been used much to describe anything the Philadelphia Phillies have done in the second half of a season that had seen them go 18-34 entering the weekend.

Yet, that term perfectly summed up their performance Saturday. Behind a seven-run onslaught in the first two innings, the Phillies cruised past the Miami Marlins 8-0. It’s the most runs the Phillies have scored since winning 10-6 over Colorado on Aug. 12.

The Phillies reeled off seven hits through two frames. A.J. Ellis delivered the biggest blow with his three-RBI double to cap a five-run first inning. In the second, Tommy Joseph launched a two-run homer just a few feet away from the 409-foot sign in center field. He became the first Phillies rookie to hit 20 home runs in a season since Ryan Howard 2005.

Not to be outdone by his teammates’ hot bats, Jeremy Hellickson (12-9) calmly put forth his most dominant start this season. The righty went the distance, fanning five and allowing only three base runners, none of which by walks. His previous high was eight innings July 20, also against Miami.

“He continues to change speed against us,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “It’s one of the areas that as we look at as a club, we have to do a better job of managing the game with a guy like that. It’s been an issue all year long.”

It was his first career complete game since he accomplished the feat twice in 2011 with Tampa Bay.

“It was definitely the best curveball I had early in the count (this season),” Hellickson said. “I felt good with all four pitches tonight.”

His teammates appreciated the performance of Hellickson in his second career shutout.

“When a pitcher gets in a groove like that, you just sit there and can kind of follow the game a little better,” Joseph said. “I can’t say enough about him, that’s what you hope your pitcher does every time out.”

Jose Urena (4-7) followed up his longest career start — 8 2/3 innings in a 6-4 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sept. 11 — with his shortest career outing as a starter. He was knocked out of the game after two innings, in which he was responsible for a career-worst seven runs.

“They kind of jumped the fastball early,” Mattingly said. “I thought the Ellis hit was huge from the standpoint that if we could get out of that with two (runs) … then it’s manageable at that point.”

In back-to-back innings, the Phillies put themselves into one-out, bases loaded situations. They failed to send anyone across in the fifth as Odubel Herrera struck out to end the inning.

The Phillies were able to salvage a run in the fourth, though.

Maikel Franco send a grounder up the middle that was nearly turned into a double play. Franco was ruled safe by the first base umpire. The Marlins opted not to challenge the call despite taking a few moments to decide whether to do so. Roman Quinn scored on the fielder’s choice to push the lead to 8-0.

The Marlins had only one hit after the fourth inning.

“It’s the human nature side of it,” Mattingly said. “You get a little more aggressive. You want to make something happen. You get behind, and it’s just not the same at bats.”

GAME NOTES: Philadelphia 1B Ryan Howard on Friday belted his 14th home run in 158 at-bats since June 7. His rate of 11.29 AB/HR ranks second in the MLB behind Minnesota 2B Brian Dozier (10.57) during that span before Saturday. … Miami wins its first season series against Philadelphia since 2008 with a victory Sunday. The season series is tied 9-9. … After this series, the Marlins play a 10-game homestand against three division opponents: Washington, Atlanta and New York

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