PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Ryan Howard and Domonic Brown hit solo homers to back Kyle Kendrick and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Miami Marlins 7-2 Thursday night.
Kendrick (3-1) allowed two runs and seven hits in seven innings to earn his ninth straight win against the Marlins, dating to May 28, 2010.
Justin Ruggiano hit a solo shot for Miami. Alex Sanabia (2-4) gave up four runs — two earned — and six hits in five innings.
Kendrick followed up a three-hitter against the New York Mets with his fifth consecutive solid start. He’s outpitched Philadelphia’s three aces — Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee so far. While they have three Cy Young Awards, a World Series MVP Award and 14 All-Star appearances on their resumes, Kendrick has never won more than 11 games in a season.
But Kendrick has a 2.43 ERA this season and the Phillies are 4-2 in his starts. Hamels, Halladay and Lee are a combined 5-8 with a 4.85 ERA, and the Phillies are 5-13 in their starts.
Kendrick is quite a bargain, too. He’s making $4.5 million this year. Hamels, Halladay and Lee will earn a total of $64.5 million.
Howard gave the Phillies a 2-1 lead in the fourth when he hit a towering, opposite-field drive that just cleared the left field wall. That temporarily gave him more homers (four) than walks (three). He then got an intentional pass in the fifth and drew another walk in the eighth, his first multiwalk game since Sept. 1 against Atlanta.
Brown lined a shot over the right field fence to tie it at 1 in the second. He had an RBI single in the eighth and finished 3 for 4, his fifth multihit game in the last eight. He’s 12 for 31 with two homers and seven RBIs in that span.
A pair of unearned runs in the fifth helped the Phillies take a 4-1 lead. Chase Utley drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and Jimmy Rollins scored on a passed ball after reaching on a fielding error by second baseman Donovan Solano.
Juan Pierre walked to start the game and went to second on Solano’s single. Pierre swiped third base for his 600th career steal and scored when Placido Polanco grounded into a double play.
Ruggiano hit one out to straightaway center leading off the sixth, cutting the deficit to 4-2.
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