Neither Marlins ace Josh Johnson nor 90 degree heat in South Florida could stop the Phillies in the opener of Tuesday's doubleheader as the visitors breezed to a 9-3 win and drew closer to a third straight NL East title.
Johnson started with a flurry, striking out the side on 13 pitches in the first inning and finishing with ten strikeouts in five innings of work. But the Phils notched single runs in the second and third innings, on a Miguel Cairo groundout and Ryan Howard fielder's choice in which he beat a relay throw on a near-double play. Then in the fifth, the Phils plated two as Jayson Werth followed up a double steal with a bloop single to center on a full-count pitch, scoring Shane Victorino and Chase Utley.
Joe Blanton outpitched Johnson, firing seven shutout innings of two-hit ball while striking out nine, including three of Phillie-killer Cody Ross. He left with a 4-0 lead, which ballooned to 9-0 as the Phils added five runs in the eighth on a Raul Ibanez solo home run, a Jimmy Rollins sacrifice fly, a wild pitch that scored Paul Bako--really--and a two run single from Howard. Florida finally got on the board against Sergio Escalona and Tyler Walker in the bottom of the inning, but with the score 9-3 and two runners on, Walker induced Ross to pop up and end the threat.
Jamie Moyer takes his 8-0 lifetime record in south Florida into the nightcap, facing the Marlins' Anibal Sanchez.