PHILADELPHIA -- Kyle Kendrick doesn't have overpowering stuff and he doesn't light up the radar gun. Somehow he keeps finding ways to win.
The NL East-leading Phillies moved 2½ games up on Florida and three ahead of the New York Mets.
Kendrick (10-5) allowed four hits and pitched around five walks to win at home for the first time since beating Cincinnati on June 2.
"You get in those situations (with runners on) and you have to make your pitches," Kendrick said. "I don't want to get beat. Maybe I make better pitches."
Kendrick matched his win total from his rookie year when he came from nowhere last season and bailed out a depleted staff to help the Phillies win the division.
"Every team needs a guy like him," catcher Chris Coste said. "You're not going to have five Cole Hamels. He pitches differently. He's a pure sinkerballer. It's good to have a guy like that on your staff."
Marlins starter Anibal Sanchez (1-1) gave up four runs -- three earned -- and five hits in five innings in his second start since returning from shoulder surgery.
Sanchez won 10 games and threw a no-hitter as a rookie in 2006, then missed most of last season after having surgery in June to repair a torn labrum.
"He got better as the game went on," Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "It was a tough decision to pinch-hit for him."
Howard drove one out to left-center to give the Phillies a 4-0 lead in the third. He is tied with Adam Dunn for the major league lead with 32 home runs.
Howard barely missed hitting another opposite-field shot in the fifth. His liner to left hit the top of the wall and he had to hustle to get a double, diving headfirst into second base.
The Phillies scored in each of the first three innings against Sanchez. Chase Utley's RBI double in the first made it 1-0. Shane Victorino walked with one out and scored when Utley ripped a liner to right-center.
Geoff Jenkins reached on Sanchez's fielding error to start Philadelphia's second and Coste was hit by a pitch. Eric Bruntlett's double down the left-field line scored Jenkins. Coste scored on Kendrick's groundout to shortstop for a 3-0 lead.
Pinch-hitter Mike Cervenak bounced a single to left for his first major league hit and RBI, giving the Phillies a 5-0 lead in the sixth.
The Marlins stranded 10 runners, including eight over the first four innings. They had only one fly out against the sinkerball-throwing Kendrick.
"The guy threw good tonight," first baseman Mike Jacobs said. "He had his sinker working. We hit some balls hard."
- Phillies setup man Tom Gordon left his rehab appearance for Class A Clearwater with discomfort in his right elbow. He'll be examined by the team physician on Thursday.
- Utley extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
- The Marlins activated C Matt Treanor from the disabled list and optioned C Paul Hoover to Triple-A Albuquerque.
- Florida 3B Jorge Cantu was 0-for-3 with a walk, which snapped a 13-game hitting streak.