It actually wasn’t as shocking to see the Philadelphia Phillies beat the struggling Marlins. It was just how they did it and who were the biggest contributors.
Behind a pair of two-run homers by Freddy Galvis – yes, Freddy Galvis – and Ryan Howard – yes, Ryan Howard – the Phillies quickly buried a dismal road trip with a 7-3 victory on Tuesday against Miami in the first game of a six-home stand.
They had hit just eight home runs entering the contest and the two were the first for the Phillies since belting four in a loss to the Mets last Tuesday, which was also the last time anyone in red pinstripes went yard.
Both home runs put the Phils in the lead, too. Galvis’ shot gave them a 2-0 jolt in the second, while Howard put the Phils in front for good at 4-3 in the sixth.
They were the first homers of the year for both players.
Galvis, not exactly known for his long ball prowess, had four home runs last year in 119 at bats. However, the shortstop is heated up as he is 5-for-18 and seven RBIs in his last five games. Galvis, who hit .176 last year, has a .319 batting average.
Howard, obviously known for his long ball prowess, went 42 at bats without a homer to begin the year. He was demoted to the No. 7 slot in the batting order – the lowest he’d hit since 2006 – last week before being bumped to the No. 5 spot over the weekend at hit No. 6 against the Marlins. However, he drilled the first pitch he saw – with two outs – from Dan Haren just over the fence in center and finished 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored.
The slugger thinks the home run and good hit at the plate could be the turnaround he’s been looking for so far this season.
“It feels good,” Howard told reporters after the game. “I’m going up there trying to have good at-bats. Hopefully it does turn it on, but we’ll see. I’m just going to continue to try to have the same approach I had tonight and go from there.”
Also at the plate, Ben Revere lined a two-run triple in the eighth to pad the lead. Chase Utley, mirred in one of the worst slumps of his career, went 0-for-3 with an RBI on a sacrifice fly. The second baseman doesn’t have a hit in his last 24 at bats and is batting a woeful .109.
Jerome Williams took advantage of the rare display of pop from the sticks and was solid on the hill to earn his first win of the year. He allowed two earned runs on eight hits and struck out six. Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon pitched the eighth and ninth inning, respectively, to close out the evening.
Giancarlo Stanton hit home run to center that traveled 453 feet for the Marlins, who are 3-11 and have lost five straight.
Looking ahead, Cole Hamels faces Jared Cosart in Wednesday’s clash. Hamels has had a rough start to the year, especially with serving up seven homers in three starts. Cosart, a former Phillies farmhand who was traded to the Giants in the Hunter Pence deal and dealt to Miami last season, is 0-1 with a 4.76 ERA in two starts.