Kyle Kendrick, the Phillies' unlikely go-to arm thus far, played stopper on Thursday after the team's disastrous two-game trip in Cleveland.
Kendrick was not his best, but was again solid when his club desperately needed it, helping the Phillies (13-16) to a 7-2 win over the Miami Marlins (8-21).
Kendrick gave the Phillies another quality start — his fifth in six total starts — and the offense put up seven runs, equaling its run production over the past three games.
Kendrick had to wiggle out of some jams, particularly in the third inning. In that frame, he threw first-pitch balls to five of his six batters faced, but left unscathed by striking out Rob Brantly on four pitches with the bases loaded and two outs.
Kendrick walked two and gave up seven hits, but allowed just two runs in seven innings. Kendrick now has three wins, a 2.43 ERA and 1.13 WHIP — all rotation bests.
In the second inning, Domonic Brown put the Phillies on the board for the first time in 13 innings with a missile-like home run (his fourth) to right field that went out within the blink of an eye. Brown finished the night with his first three-hit effort of the season, while knocking in a pair of runs.
Through the Phillies' offensive ups and downs, Brown has quietly come on after going 2 for 21 (.095) during a mid-April stretch. The 25-year-old is 12 for his last 31 (.387), raising his average from .206 to .266.
Ryan Howard also produced his fourth long ball — an opposite-field shot — with an impressive nine-pitch at-bat in the fourth. As the weather heats up, the Phillies' Big Piece continues to do the same. He now has 14 hits (four doubles, three home runs) in his last 43 at-bats (.326), to go along with 12 RBIs.
Kendrick's seven innings set things up for Mike Adams and Jonathan Papelbon to finish the job.
On Friday, the Phillies turn to 22-year-old Jonathan Pettibone, who will make his third big-league start. He opposes Miami's Ricky Nolasco.