Just when it seemed he was getting back on track, Philadelphia Phillies starter Roy Halladay turned in a performance reminiscent of his dreadful first couple outings of the season.
The Miami Marlins, meanwhile, can't seem to give Kevin Slowey enough offensive help to earn a win no matter how well he pitches.
While Halladay looks to bounce back with another solid effort against light-hitting Miami, Slowey gets another crack at his first major league victory in more than 2 1/2 years in the conclusion of this four-game set Sunday in Philadelphia.
After allowing 12 runs over 7 1-3 combined innings while dropping his first two starts, Halladay (2-3, 6.75 ERA) rebounded to go 2-0 with a 1.71 ERA in the following three.
The right-hander couldn't keep the momentum going, though, allowing eight runs and nine hits - including three homers - in just 3 2-3 innings of a 14-2 loss Tuesday at Cleveland.
Halladay is staying positive despite the setback.
"I'm not discouraged at all," said Halladay, who has an 8.15 ERA in his last eight starts dating back to last season. "I feel like we've really come a long ways, and I feel good about where I am."
Halladay will look to get back to the form he had at Miami on April 13, when he gave up one run and five hits in eight innings of a 2-1 victory. Since joining the Phillies in 2010, Halladay is 8-3 with a 2.73 ERA in 13 starts against the Marlins.
However, he's struggled against two former Phillies teammates who are now with Miami. Greg Dobbs is hitting .429 with a homer and three doubles off Halladay while Placido Polanco is 6 for 17 lifetime against him.
Philadelphia (14-17) was held in check by 20-year-old Jose Hernandez on Saturday and managed only one hit in a 2-0 loss to the NL-worst Marlins (9-22), who had lost three straight.
It marked the second time in four games the Phillies were shut out, and they were held to one hit for the first time since falling to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Aug. 30, 2010.
Miami is more known for being offensively challenged, but solo homers by Chris Valaika and Marcell Ozuna were enough Saturday. The Marlins have not scored more than two runs in any of their six games with Philadelphia this season and haven't done much to back Slowey, who seeks his first big-league win since beating Oakland on Sept. 28, 2010, while with Minnesota.
Slowey (0-2, 2.15) has pitched extremely well in his six outings, but his winless streak hit 22 appearances and 15 starts Tuesday despite giving up one run and four hits with eight strikeouts in eight innings of a 2-1, walk-off win over the New York Mets.
The right-hander, who has battled injuries and spent all of 2012 pitching in the minors, hasn't allowed more than three runs in any outing.
"This guy, he's smart," manager Mike Redmond said. "He has a game plan going out there, and he executes it."
The Marlins, last in the majors in runs scored (84) and worst in the NL in batting average (.226), have totaled four runs of support - zero in four of his outings - in Slowey's 37 2-3 innings. That's easily the worst in baseball among pitchers with at least that many innings.
"We need to get him a win. This is ridiculous," Redmond said. "He's done his part. He deserves it."
The Marlins had lost five straight in Philadelphia prior to Saturday.