Kendrick pitches Phillies past Florida 9-2
MIAMI (AP)—Kyle Kendrick was hit hard only when he batted.
The Philadelphia right-hander took a fastball off his right arm trying to bunt in the second inning, but he still pitched seven innings, and the Phillies extended their winning streak to a season-best six games by beating Florida 9-2 Friday night.
The Phillies climbed 10 games above .500 for the first time. They were coming off a four-game sweep of NL East-leading New York, and they kept the momentum going by taking a 6-0 lead in the third inning.
Philadelphia remained two behind the Mets, who beat Atlanta 7-1.
“Every game is going to be huge down the stretch—every pitch, every at-bat,” said Kendrick, who became the first NL rookie to win eight games. “I’m going to keep doing what I’ve been doing and not change anything. We’re in the hunt. Every game is fun. It’s awesome.”
The last-place Marlins, by contrast, lost for the 14th time in their past 16 games.
“It’s hard to play four, five, six runs down every night,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Kendrick (8-3) allowed six hits and two runs to win his third start in a row, but he briefly feared his night would be a short one. He shouted angrily after being hit by a 1-0 pitch from Sergio Mitre.
“I reacted the way I did because it scared me,” Kendrick said. “I never got hit in the arm. It was like a Charley Horse. My arm went a little numb, like somebody punched me. It was all right.”
Kendrick was still rubbing his arm standing on second base later in the inning, but he scored and stayed in the game.
“It had no effect on him,” teammate Jimmy Rollins said. “He was able to do his thing.”
The injury-plagued Phillies were relieved the rookie wasn’t seriously hurt. Ace Cole Hamels’ return to the rotation was postponed at least a week Friday because of a lingering elbow strain, and right-hander Freddy Garcia had season-ending shoulder surgery Thursday.
Kendrick struck out four, walked one and induced double play grounders to end the first three innings.
“Same old Kendrick,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “He kept his poise and battled them. He’s a pitcher. He doesn’t strike a lot of guys out but he knows how to pitch and he doesn’t give in.”
The Phillies’ Kane Davis, called up before the game from Triple-A Ottawa, pitched two scoreless innings in his first major league appearance since Sept. 30, 2005.
Mitre (5-8) gave up seven hits and six runs in 3 1-3 innings. He has an 8.86 ERA in his past eight starts.
“Obviously I’m not doing what I was in the first half,” Mitre said. “It’s showing.”
Even before the Marlins’ free fall began, they were last in the NL in attendance. The Phillies, who played before big crowds at home the past 10 days, found themselves beginning a trip with perhaps 10,000 fans in the stands.
“The atmosphere obviously is not like back home, but the game is huge, and you could see the guys with the same intensity as back home,” Kendrick said.
It showed at the plate. Rollins doubled to start the game and later scored on Burrell’s groundout.
The Phillies added four runs in the second, when Mitre tied a major league record for one inning by hitting three batters. That included Utley with the bases loaded.
Carlos Ruiz and Rollins had RBI singles, and Burrell’s fly ball scored another run.
Aaron Rowand doubled in the third and scored on Werth’s single to make it 6-0.
Marlins LF Josh Willingham left the game in the third inning with a stiff back. He said he hopes to play Saturday. … 2B Dan Uggla jammed his right hand and had it bandaged after the game, but he said he was fine. … Burrell went 0-for-3, ending his streak of reaching base at 28 consecutive starts.