He’s hardly the most decorated pitcher in the Phillies’ rotation, but Kyle Kendrick sure knows how to beat the Marlins.
Monday night, his bat had about as much to do with his latest triumph over Miami as his arm.
Trailing 2-1 in the fifth, Kendrick tripled to center field off Marlins starter Tom Koehler, jump-starting the Phillies’ offense in what eventually turned out to be a 7-2 laugher in front of a crowd of 35,087 fans at Citizens Bank Park.
The blowout not only snapped the Marlins’ season-long, three-game win streak but also extended Kendrick’s run of consecutive wins over Miami to 10 games — tied for the longest active win streak against one-team in the majors. He tossed a complete game to boot, retiring the final 15 hitters he faced to improve to 6-3 on the season.
“It was a good game for the first four innings. In the fifth and sixth they put a couple good at-bats together and we couldn’t hold them down,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. “They got the big hits tonight. We didn’t.”
The Marlins (16-42) had Kendrick where they wanted him early, building a 2-0 lead in the third inning on pair of hard-hit RBI singles by rookies Derek Dietrich and Marcell Ozuna. But they couldn’t take advantage of other opportunities, stranding runners in scoring position in the first, second, third and fifth innings, and it came back to bite them.
“We don’t have a home run-hitting team,” Redmond said. “We have to take advantage. When we get a guy on third we’ve got to try to get him in because we’re not hitting a lot of home runs. These guys, the Phillies, they have a lot of guys that can put in the seats rather quickly.”
Domonic Brown, named the National League Player of the Month for May on Monday, was one of three Phillies to homer in the game. His two-run bomb in the sixth, following a Ryan Howard leadoff double, ended Koehler’s night and dropped him to 0-4 in the five starts he has made since joining the rotation on May 12.
The home run was Brown’s 17th of the season and eighth in his past eight games.
“You’re throwing him good pitches and he’s finding a walk to fight them off,” Koehler said of Brown. “When you make your mistake, he’s really punishing it.’’
Ryan Webb didn’t fare much better than Koehler. The Phillies, who sent 10 batters to the plate in the frame, smacked him around, too, scoring two more runs on three hits before Redmond came out to get Webb, too.
Since tossing 17 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings from April 20 to May 20, Webb has now given up 11 hits and seven earned runs over his past six appearances (15.75 ERA), raising his ERA from 1.44 to 3.41 in a span of two weeks.
Marlins starters came into Monday’s game with a combined 1.69 ERA in 10 games against the Phillies this season — including allowing one earned run or less in eight of those games.
But after allowing just two hits and two walks through his four innings of work, Koehler and the Marlins came unraveled in the fifth.
Moments after Ozuna drove a 3-2 changeup from Kendrick all the way to the warning track in left field and nearly doubling the Marlins lead, Erik Kratz got Philly on the board when he crushed a 2-1 breaking ball from Koehler about 380 feet and over the wall in left-center to open the bottom half of the frame.
One out later, Kendrick drilled his first career triple. Ben Revere then singled past a drawn-in infield, stole second and advanced to third when the throw by catcher Rob Brantly skipped past Adeiny Hechavarria, who was covering the bag, and Dietrich, who was backing him up. Cesar Hernandez then gave the Phillies the lead when he sent a bouncer to first and Casey Kotchman bobbled it, allowing Revere to score before Kotchman tagged Hernandez out.
Marlins rookie left-hander Edgar Olmos, called up to replace Wade LeBlanc, worked 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief in his major league debut. That, along with Chris Coghlan extending his hitting streak to 10 games — was about as good as it got for the Marlins on Monday.