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Philadelphia (23-11) «1030200006120
Florida (20-14)2100000104112

Blanton, Phillies drop Marlins in series opener

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MIAMI -- The Philadelphia Phillies turned four double plays behind Joe Blanton, while the Florida Marlins had trouble catching the ball.

Defense was the difference as the Phillies won for the 18th time in their past 21 games in Miami, beating Florida 6-4 Monday night.

The DPs were all in support of Blanton, who came off the disabled list to pitch five innings and earn his first victory of the season.

"They say the double play's a pitcher's best friend, and it really was tonight," Blanton said. "It helped me out a lot."

Shortstop Jimmy Rollins and second baseman Pete Orr each had a hand in three double plays for the Phillies, who lead the majors in fielding.

"Our trademark the past four or five years is we play solid defense," manager Charlie Manuel said.

The Marlins' trademark is shaky defense. They've improved this season, but the problem resurfaced Monday night.

When Rollins homered on the game's fifth pitch, right fielder Mike Stanton leaped but the ball deflected off his glove and cleared the wall.

"I don't think that is going to happen too often," Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said.

Florida pitcher Javier Vazquez dropped a throw while covering the plate in the third, which let an unearned run score.

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"We would have had an out if I caught it," Vazquez said. "I guess I thought he was closer than he really was, and I tried to tag him before I had the ball."

Those two runs gave the Phillies their winning margin.

The Marlins' start matches the best in franchise history, but they've lost four of their past five games to fall three behind the NL East-leading Phillies (23-11), who have the best record in the majors.

Next, Florida must face reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay, who will pitch in Miami for the first time since last May, when he threw his perfect game. He'll be opposed Tuesday by Marlins ace Josh Johnson.

"I'm glad I'm going to be there to see that," Rodriguez said. "That is going to be a show."

While pitching is likely to dominate the rest of the series, there were 14 hits in the first three innings of the opener. Blanton (1-1) allowed eight hits but left with a 6-3 lead.

The right-hander made his first start since April 23 after being sidelined with an impingement in his throwing elbow.

"He did OK," Manuel said. "That's about what we wanted. He made the pitches when he had to."

Blanton said he felt no pain. He departed after 66 pitches.

"Five innings is never what you want to go," he said. "But you don't need to come back and throw a complete game after not throwing for two weeks."

Rollins' second homer of the season set a tone, and the Phillies kept hitting. Ross Gload made his second start of the year and had a pair of RBI singles. Shane Victorino tripled to extend his hitting streak to 12 games.

Vazquez (2-3), who lasted only 4 1/3 innings, allowed nine hits and six runs, five earned. His ERA rose to 6.88.

"I wish I had an explanation, but I got nothing," he said. "Just frustrating, embarrassed with the way I'm throwing."

The Phillies' Vance Worley gave up one run in three innings, and Ryan Madson pitched a scoreless ninth for his fourth save in as many chances.

Gaby Sanchez of Florida, chosen NL player of the week before the game, drove in three runs with his fifth homer and a double. Chris Coghlan had three hits and drove in a run.

The matchup between the top teams in the NL East standings failed to excite ever-apathetic South Florida. The crowd of 11,444 was the smallest to watch the Phillies this season.

Florida went ahead in the first with singles by Coghlan and Hanley Ramirez, and Sanchez's two-run double. Coghlan hit a two-out RBI single in the second to make it 3-1, but Blanton shut the Marlins out over his final 3 1/3 innings.

"I was a little rusty in the first couple," Blanton said. "I kind of cleaned it up a little bit after that."

Notes

  • Marlins RHP Edward Mujica left in the seventh with a strained left knee, and his status is day to day.
  • Philadelphia 2B Chase Utley went 1 for 7 in his second extended spring training game. "So far, so good," said the five-time All-Star, who hasn't played this season because of patellar tendinitis in his right knee.
  • Vazquez has allowed a run in the first inning in each of his seven starts.
  • Marlins C John Buck lost track of the count in the fourth and didn't realize he had drawn a walk.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Making his first start since April 23, Joe Blanton collects his first win of the season.  (AP)
Making his first start since April 23, Joe Blanton collects his first win of the season. (AP)

Players of the Game
Philadelphia

J. Rollins
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
Florida

G. Sanchez
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 3
 
Philadelphia Phillies
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jimmy Rollins, SS5221010 .289
Shane Victorino, CF4110102 .292
Placido Polanco, 3B4111001 .363
Ryan Howard, 1B4121111 .275
Raul Ibanez, LF4020004 .222
Ross Gload, RF3022000 .364
    John Mayberry Jr., RF1010000 .308
Pete Orr, 2B4000025 .244
    Wilson Valdez, 2B0000000 .247
Brian Schneider, C4000003 .160
Joe Blanton, P2110000 .222
   a- Michael Martinez, PH1000000 .150
    Vance Worley, P1000011 .400
    Ryan Madson, P0000000 .000
Totals37612525  
a-flied out for Blanton in the 6th
Batting
2B - Ryan Howard (8, Vazquez)
3B - Shane Victorino (5, Vazquez)
HR - Jimmy Rollins (2, Vazquez)
SF - Placido Polanco (4)
RBI - Jimmy Rollins (8), Placido Polanco (24), Ryan Howard (31), Ross Gload 2 (3)
2-OUT RBI - Ross Gload (2)
SB - Shane Victorino (8, 2nd base off Sanches/Buck), John Mayberry Jr. (1, 2nd base off Sanches/Buck)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Howard-Rollins-Blanton, Polanco-Orr-Howard, Orr-Rollins-Howard, Rollins-Orr-Howard
Philadelphia Phillies
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Joe Blanton (W,1-1) 5833220 5.83
Vance Worley (H,1) 3211221 1.20
Ryan Madson (S,4) 1100010 0.64
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Blanton 66-40, Vance Worley 61-42, Ryan Madson 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Blanton 7-2, Vance Worley 4-3, Ryan Madson 2-0
Batters Faced - Joe Blanton 21, Vance Worley 13, Ryan Madson 4
Florida Marlins
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Chris Coghlan, CF4131111 .267
Emilio Bonifacio, LF-2B5000013 .300
Hanley Ramirez, SS4120002 .205
Gaby Sanchez, 1B4133001 .341
Mike Stanton, RF3010110 .236
Greg Dobbs, 3B4000002 .338
John Buck, C2000220 .236
Omar Infante, 2B3110003 .244
    Brian Sanches, P00000001.000
    Randy Choate, P0000000 .000
   a- Scott Cousins, PH1010000 .161
Javier Vazquez, P1000000 .300
    Edward Mujica, P0000000 .000
    Bryan Petersen, LF2000001 .000
Totals33411445  
a-singled for Choate in the 9th
Batting
2B - Gaby Sanchez (9, Blanton)
HR - Gaby Sanchez (6, Worley)
SH - Javier Vazquez (2)
RBI - Chris Coghlan (18), Gaby Sanchez 3 (23)
2-OUT RBI - Chris Coghlan (9)
SB - Chris Coghlan (3, 2nd base off Blanton/Schneider)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Emilio Bonifacio 1
E - Mike Stanton (1, ), Javier Vazquez (1, Missed catch of throw)
Florida Marlins
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Javier Vazquez (L,2-3) 4.1965101 6.88
Edward Mujica 2.1200010 3.63
Brian Sanches 2100130 1.53
Randy Choate 0.1000010 1.50
Pitches-Strikes - Javier Vazquez 75-44, Edward Mujica 23-18, Brian Sanches 32-20, Randy Choate 4-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Javier Vazquez 6-6, Edward Mujica 5-1, Brian Sanches 1-2
Batters Faced - Javier Vazquez 22, Edward Mujica 9, Brian Sanches 8, Randy Choate 1
Game Information
Attendance - 11444
Game Time - 2:50
Temperature - 86
Umpires - Home - Eric Cooper, First Base - Mark Carlson, Second Base - Tim Timmons, Third Base - Jeff Kellogg