By failing to keep the ball inside the park, the Philadelphia Phillies were denied a chance to add to a team record and their substantial lead in the NL East.
After improving to a franchise-best 42 games above .500 in Friday’s opener, Philadelphia (88-47) gave up five home runs in an 8-4 loss the next night, its most allowed since April 23, 2010. The Marlins, meanwhile, matched their season high set May 1 in Cincinnati.
Florida (61-77) took the lead for good by hitting three during a five-run eighth inning. Mike Cameron(notes) had his third multihomer game this season while helping Florida win for the sixth time in 28 contests and end the Phillies’ 5-0 start to their road trip.
Despite the loss, Philadelphia’s magic number dropped to 18 with Atlanta’s 2-1 defeat at home to Los Angeles. The Phillies lead the Braves by 8 1/2 games as they chase a fifth straight division title.
Sanchez and his teammates might find it tougher to duplicate that effort against Halladay (16-5, 2.47 ERA), who has given up nine homers this season and none in his last seven starts. The right-hander is also 2-1 with a 1.98 ERA in his last four outings and is coming off one of his best performances of the season.
Despite pitching just five innings over the previous two weeks, Halladay allowed two hits and struck out nine in a 9-0 win in Cincinnati on Tuesday.
“Consistency means a lot to pitchers,” he told the team’s official website. “I’m actually looking forward to the amount of games we have coming up, being able to get on five days and go out there every time and feel like I get myself into a groove and a rhythm.”
He’ll try to get into a rhythm at the site of his perfect game last May.
After that historic performance, Halladay won in two subsequent games at Sun Life Stadium but suffered the loss in a 2-1 defeat May 10 while striking out nine over eight innings. The loss was also his second in the past eight overall matchups.
He’s 4-2 with a 2.09 ERA in those games and has yielded four homers. He’s given up two during five lifetime starts in Florida.
Anibal Sanchez(notes) (7-7, 3.97), meanwhile, has given up 11 during an 11-start stretch in which he’s gone 1-6 with a 6.00 ERA. The right-hander was solid against the New York Mets on Monday, allowing two runs over six innings in a 2-1 loss.
Sanchez is 0-2 with a 7.11 ERA in his last five matchups against Philadelphia but avoided a loss after giving up five runs in four innings July 6. The Marlins rallied for a 7-6 win in 10 innings in that game.