Hoping to beat Cole Hamels for a third straight time this season, the Marlins look for a fourth consecutive win over the visiting Phillies on Saturday.
Josh Johnson threw six strong innings and outfielder Justin Ruggiano had three hits and two RBIs as Miami (36-40) beat Philadelphia 6-2 on Friday for its second straight win overall. The Marlins, who went 21-8 in May, are 7-18 in June, but three of those victories have come in four games against the Phillies.
"It seems like we're coming around little by little," Miami manager Ozzie Guillen said.
Looking to win three in a row for the first time since sweeping Washington at home May 28-30, Miami has a good chance to do it again if they can continue their recent success against Hamels (10-3, 3.03 ERA).
The left-hander is 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA against the Marlins this season, and 10-1 with a 2.64 ERA versus all other opponents. Hamels allowed a pair of homers to Hanley Ramirez and five runs overall in 6 2-3 innings of a 5-4 home loss June 2, his last start against Miami.
Hamels has yielded two runs and struck out 14 over 15 innings while going 1-0 in his last two outings overall. He gave up three hits in seven scoreless innings Sunday, but the Philadelphia bullpen could not hold a 1-0 lead en route to a 3-2 loss to Tampa Bay.
While Hamels felt good following those seven frames, manager Charlie Manuel pulled him after throwing 111 pitches.
"You kind of understand that (pitch counts are) kind of part of the game now," Hamels told the Phillies' official website. "You just listen to your manager and go with (his) decision. When you reach a certain amount, they don't want to stress anything on your arm - just because you have to keep coming back every five days."
Hamels will try to help the Phillies (36-43) avoid extending their longest road losing streak of the season to five games. Hunter Pence hit his 15th homer and drove in two runs in the series opener for Philadelphia, which has dropped three straight overall after winning two in a row.
Chase Utley , who added a hit Friday, is 4 for 9 in three games since making his 2012 debut Wednesday following a knee injury.
Utley has never faced scheduled Miami starter Mark Buehrle (6-8, 3.55), who hopes to avoid a third consecutive loss to the Phillies after giving up seven runs and three homers over 11 1-3 innings in his previous two outings against them this season.
The left-hander snapped a personal four-game losing streak Sunday, when he allowed seven hits and struck out seven in seven innings of a 9-0 victory over Toronto.
"It was one of those days where everything kind of came together," Buehrle told the Marlins' official website.
Ruggiano has only appeared in 23 games this season, but is batting .478 (11 for 23) in his last nine."He rakes," Johnson said. "We were talking about it after his third hit, he never stops hitting."
|June 25, 2012||Brian Schneider||15-Day DL||Sprained right ankle - out 3-5 weeks|
|June 07, 2012||Freddy Galvis||15-Day DL||Lower back strain|
|June 05, 2012||Placido Polanco||Day-to-Day||Left game - left index finger laceration|
|June 02, 2012||Jose Contreras||60-Day DL||Torn UCL, right elbow - out for season|
|May 28, 2012||Roy Halladay||15-Day DL||Right latissimus dorsi strain|
|May 16, 2012||Placido Polanco||Day-to-Day||Left knee contusion|
|June 16, 2012||Sandy Rosario||15-Day DL||Strained right quad|
|May 23, 2012||Austin Kearns||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
|May 23, 2012||Austin Kearns||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
|May 19, 2012||Emilio Bonifacio||15-Day DL||Left thumb sprain|
|May 18, 2012||Emilio Bonifacio||Day-to-Day||Left game - left thumb sprain|
|May 04, 2012||Logan Morrison||Day-to-Day||Right knee soreness|
MIAMI (AP) -- Giancarlo Stanton is continuing to make his case for being a first-time All-Star selection.
The 22-year-old Miami Marlins slugger homered and drove in two runs in a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday.
"He's real capable of being an All-Star, he should be," Marlins closer Heath Bell said. "He's one of those guys that should be starting in a couple years. Maybe next year people start really seeing who he is and start voting him in."
Stanton's estimated 424-foot shot in the first off Cole Hamels (10-4), his 18th homer, gave the Marlins a 1-0 lead.
"Wait a couple more years, this kid is going to be very dangerous," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said.
Miami took a 2-1 lead on Stanton's RBI single in the third after Shane Victorino 's sacrifice fly tied it in the second.
"You don't always need to hit it 400 feet to get an RBI," Stanton said.
Rosters for the All-Star game in Kansas City on July 10 will be announced Sunday.
Marlins starter Mark Buehrle (7-8) pitched seven strong innings as he allowed two runs and seven hits. He struck out seven and walked one.
"(The Phillies) are a good team, they are getting guys back, which makes it scary," Buehrle said.
Jose Reyes had two hits, stole two bases and scored twice for Miami.
"Every time Jose is on fire, he makes things happen," Guillen said. "This kid is our igniter."
The Marlins' winning streak is their longest since sweeping a three-game series from Washington on May 28-30. They finished 8-18 in June after posting a 21-8 record in May.
"We need to put this month in the past and take July on," Stanton said.
Hunter Pence homered and had three hits for the Phillies, who have lost four straight.
"I think we can turn things around, but at the same time we've got to play a hell of a lot better," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "We have to play over .600 baseball the rest of the way. I've seen us hit some big streaks, so it's possible, but I think everybody has to get to get it going right now."
Pence's solo home run in the seventh off Buehrle cut the deficit to 3-2, but Buehrle was able to finish the inning.
"Not too many people appreciate the way (Pence) plays," Guillen said. "He's a bad man against the Marlins. He can do everything."
Mike Dunn pitched a perfect eighth before Heath Bell came in to pitch the ninth. Bell allowed a one-out double to Carlos Ruiz before striking out Pence and getting Shane Victorino to ground out for his 16th save in 20 chances.
Cole Hamels (10-4) fell to 0-3 against the Marlins this season. He gave up three runs and seven hits in seven innings while striking out five.
"They've been a tough team to pitch against," Hamels said. "There's times I'm really able to control the pitch sequence and get them out, but when it gets into crunch time it's been tough to get the strikeouts or the double plays."
The Marlins Park crowd of 31,311 saw the fastest home game of the season at 2 hours, 20 minutes.
Reyes was the catalyst for the Marlins' third run as he led off the fifth with a single, then stole second and third base. Justin Ruggiano hit a sacrifice fly to deep center to score Reyes.
NOTES: Phillies 2B Chase Utley is 5 for 13 in four games since making his season debut Wednesday following a knee injury. ... An X-ray revealed that Marlins RHP Edward Mujica had a fractured right small toe after taking a hard groundball from Placido Polanco in the seventh inning of Friday's 6-2 win. Mujica believes he will be back in two weeks. ... Marlins SS Hanley Ramirez hit a long home run during batting practice that hit the top of the Budweiser bar in deep left-center field and bounced through a narrow 5-foot gap between the sliding windows, which were being shut at the time of Ramirez's hit. ... The Miami Heat's Shane Battier took part in batting practice and threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Chris Bosh was also in attendance. ... The Phillies will send RHP Joe Blanton (7-6, 4.87 ERA) to the mound in Sunday's series finale against RHP Ricky Nolasco (6-6, 4.78 ERA).