Philadelphia (28-20) at Miami (24-26)

Fair Currently: Miami Gardens, FL
Temp: 83° F
  • Game info: 1:10 pm EDT Sun May 30, 2010
  • TV: WPHL, FSFL
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Anibal Sanchez(notes) has won three consecutive starts for the first time since 2006, when as a rookie he pitched a September no-hitter in front of the Florida Marlins’ home crowd.

It took nearly four years, but Sanchez is no longer the last pitcher to step off that mound following a transcendent performance.

Philadelphia Phillies ace Roy Halladay(notes) threw the majors’ 20th perfect game Saturday night in Miami, leaving Sanchez with a hard act to follow Sunday afternoon as he looks to help the Marlins avoid a three-game sweep.

Halladay had come close to throwing a no-hitter before, getting within one out in his second major league start Sept. 27, 1998, but one of baseball’s top pitchers turned in an even finer performance Saturday. Halladay needed 115 pitches to retire all 27 Marlins he saw, striking out 11 to make an unearned run stand up in Philadelphia’s 1-0 victory.

“It’s never something that you think is possible,” Halladay said. “Really, once I got the two outs, I felt like I had a chance. You’re always aware of it. It’s not something that you expect.”

Halladay joined Oakland’s Dallas Braden(notes), who set down all 27 Tampa Bay hitters on May 9, to give baseball two perfect games in the same season for the first time since 1880.

This was the Phillies’ second perfect game, with Jim Bunning having thrown one in 1964. Philadelphia (28-20) has thrown 10 no-hitters, the last by Kevin Millwood(notes) in 2003.

The Marlins (24-26), who lost their fourth in a row, were more complimentary than upset considering who was on the mound.

“Look who’s pitching,” outfielder Cody Ross(notes) said. “It’s Roy Halladay, the best pitcher in baseball. It’s not embarrassing.”

Sanchez (4-2, 3.23 ERA) once looked like he could belong among baseball’s elite starters, but after going 10-3 with a 2.83 ERA as a rookie, injuries and inconsistency have kept that from happening.

Lately, however, he’s looked far more like the pitcher who no-hit Arizona on Sept. 6, 2006, in his 13th major league start - the last no-hitter at Sun Life Stadium prior to Halladay’s. Sanchez has posted a 1.77 ERA while winning three consecutive starts, the latest 6-4 against Atlanta on Tuesday as he allowed two runs over 6 1-3 innings.

“Look, I feel good,” Sanchez told the Marlins’ official website. “Those are the types of things you can do when you’re healthy. In previous years, I’ve always had pain in my arm. My operation (rotator cuff surgery in 2007) was a really, really strong one, and now is when I’m starting to see the benefits of it.”

Sanchez, however, hasn’t had much success against the Phillies. He’s 2-5 with a 5.70 ERA in eight starts, and gave up five runs over six innings in an 8-6 loss - to Halladay - at Philadelphia on April 16.

Chase Utley(notes) is 8 for 20 with four extra-base hits against Sanchez, while Ryan Howard(notes) is 6 for 17 (.353) with two homers and five walks.

Until recently, Jamie Moyer(notes) (5-4, 4.55) had enjoyed nothing but success versus Florida. But after going 13-2 with a 2.83 ERA in his first 15 starts against the Marlins, the 47-year-old is 0-3 with a 5.00 ERA in his last three.

Moyer gave up five runs over six innings in a 5-1 home loss on April 17. That line included a homer from Ronny Paulino(notes), a .429 career hitter against Moyer whom Halladay got on a grounder for Saturday’s final out.

Hanley Ramirez(notes) is hitting .354 with four homers against Moyer.

Moyer, who has a 5.22 ERA on the road, gave up four runs over five innings Tuesday in an 8-0 loss at New York.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Moyer Tor vs. A. Sánchez Det
9-9 Record 13-12
4.84 ERA 3.55
63 K 157
20 BB 70
1.10 WHIP 1.34

Scoreboard

Sunday, May 30