Moyer, Phils beat Marlins 4-2

July 18, 2008 7:31:55 PM PDT
Against junkballer Jamie Moyer, those home run swings the Florida Marlins like to take produced mostly feeble grounders and popups. Again.

The 45-year-old left-hander beat Florida for the 10th time in as many career starts, pitching six innings Friday night to help the Philadelphia Phillies to a 4-2 victory.

All of Moyer's games against the Marlins have come in the past three years. He defeated them for the third time since June 1, and his ERA in five lifetime starts in Miami is 1.34.

Philadelphia's Ryan Howard hit his 29th home run, most in the majors. Geoff Jenkins added his eighth homer and singled home a run for the Phils, who took over sole possession of first place in NL East with the New York Mets' loss.

Ricky Nolasco (10-5) lost for the first time in his past six decisions. He pitched seven innings and allowed four runs, including both homers.

Moyer (9-6) foiled the Marlins' bid to tighten the division race. Florida began the night 1½ games behind the Phillies and Mets.

The Marlins lead the majors in home runs, but their four hits off Moyer were all singles. He took a no-hitter into the sixth inning in Miami last month, and this time he retired the first nine batters as the Phillies built a 4-0 lead.

Florida almost managed a breakthrough in the fourth. Hanley Ramirez walked to start the inning and came around on singles by Jeremy Hermida and Jorge Cantu. Mike Jacobs singled to load the bases with no outs.

But Moyer's 3-1 pitch to Dan Uggla produced a double play, and Josh Willingham fouled out to leave Florida trailing 4-2.

Moyer, who rarely topped 80 mph on the scoreboard radar gun, departed for a pinch hitter after throwing 100 pitches. Brad Lidge, the Phils' third reliever, pitched a perfect ninth to complete a five-hitter for his 21st save in as many chances.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel was ejected in the fifth inning by plate umpire Jim Joyce for arguing that Shane Victorino had been hit by a pitch.

The Marlins aren't the only team keeping Moyer in the majors: He has allowed fewer than four earned runs in his past eight starts.

But Florida's futility against him seems chronic. Cody Ross, who went 0-for-3 to end his career-high 17-game hitting streak, is 3-for-25 against Moyer. Uggla is 2-for-24 and Willingham 1-for-18.

The last pitcher to sweep his first 10 starts against one team was Pedro Martinez, who won his first 12 against Seattle from 1998 to 2004, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Howard homered leading off the second for the game's first run. Pat Burrell followed with a double and scored on a single by Jenkins.

Jimmy Rollins doubled to start the third and scored on a single by Chase Utley. Jenkins' homer to start the fourth made it 4-0. Notes: Marlins 2B Uggla, who made a record three errors in the All-Star game, earned big cheers when he fielded routine grounders to retire the first two batters. ... The Phils' Pedro Feliz went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts. ... Heavy rain emptied the stadium briefly in the third inning, but play continued.