The Phillies were done in Monday night by two former teammates, as Wes Helms homered and drove in four runs and Ronny Paulino added an RBI hit and made a key defensive play in the Marlins' 5-3 victory.
Once again, Jamie Moyer was unable to pick up his 250th career win, though Moyer turned in one of his better recent outings: six innings, seven hits, four runs, five strikeouts. Helms' three-run bomb in the fourth inning was his downfall, and came right after a 2-2 pitch seemed to catch the inside corner for strike three. But home plate ump Marvin Hudson, possibly giving a makeup for a close pitch that had gone to Moyer earlier in the at-bat, called it a ball, and Helms golfed the next offering out to left field. He later added an RBI single off Chan Ho Park.
Ryan Howard was the story for the Phils, launching a majestic home run to dead center field in the first inning to give the club a 2-0 lead against Florida starter Chris Volstad, and then getting Volstad again in the sixth with a solo shot to left field. But the Marlins righty held the rest of the lineup to four hits, and left after 6.2 strong innings with a 5-3 lead. Three Marlins relievers finished up, though closer Matt Lindstrom briefly made things interesting when he walked Shane Victorino to start the ninth inning. But Paulino nailed Victorino trying to steal on the first pitch to pinch-hitter Matt Stairs, and two batters later the game was over.
With the Mets' 5-2 win over Washington, the Phillies' NL East lead is down to a half-game. Joe Blanton goes tomorrow for the Phils against Florida's Andrew Miller.