Halladay threw seven sharp innings and the Phillies rocked Josh Johnson in a 7-1 victory over the Marlins on Wednesday night in Miami's first game without suspended manager Ozzie Guillen.
A once-potent offense that's missing Chase Utley and Ryan Howard had scored eight runs total in a 1-3 start. But the Phillies jumped on Johnson, the two-time All-Star with nasty stuff.
"We'll definitely take it, and we just have to keep on doing the little things," Shane Victorino said. "Whether it's laying down a bunt, stealing a base, small ball, that's what we're going to have to do. And the thing about it is it works. I can't see us changing that philosophy, even when the big guys come back."
Carlos Ruiz hit a solo homer and a double. Jimmy Rollins, Hunter Pence and Victorino—the Phillies' 3-4-5 hitters—were 7 for 13 with three RBIs and four runs.
Halladay isn't used to getting this many runs.
"We're a confident group regardless," he said. "The offense has taken some heat, so this was good for them, and it shows that the offense is there for us. We're not going to score seven every night, but with the team we have in here, we don't have to score seven every night."
Before the game, the focus was on Guillen. He was suspended for five games by the Marlins on Tuesday for saying he admired Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. Bench coach Joey Cora filled in for Guillen in the dugout.
It didn't matter against Halladay.
"They played better than we did and they beat us," Cora said.
Halladay (2-0) allowed one run and five hits, striking out three. He has the only two wins for the five-time defending NL East champs.
"He got the lead and stepped up," Cora said. "The great ones do. He's a great pitcher obviously. After he got the lead, he took over the game."
Johnson (0-2) gave up six runs and a career-high 11 hits in 3 2-3 innings. He's allowed 21 hits and nine runs in 9 2-3 innings in two starts. Johnson, the 2010 NL ERA champion, was tied for the major league lead with a 1.64 ERA last year when an ailing shoulder sent him to the disabled list in mid-May.
Coming into this year, Johnson had allowed 10 or more hits just once in 113 starts—at Cincinnati on Aug. 13, 2010. He's now done it in both starts this season.
This was hardly a typical Halladay-Johnson matchup. Halladay tossed a perfect game against the Marlins and Johnson on May 29, 2010. Johnson beat him 2-0 less than two weeks later and 2-1 last May.
Former Marlins leadoff hitter Juan Pierre got things started for Philadelphia with a one-out single in the third. Pierre stole second and scored on Placido Polanco's infield single up the middle. Polanco advanced to second when the ball deflected off Johnson and caromed to shortstop Jose Reyes.
Rollins then ripped an RBI single to left-center to put the Phillies up 2-1. Rollins went to second when left fielder Logan Morrison slipped and booted the ball for an error.
Pence singled to left to drive in Rollins for a 3-1 lead. Victorino followed with a single to right. Victorino stole second to put runners on second and third, but John Mayberry Jr. hit a soft liner to second for the second out. After Ruiz was intentionally walked, Freddy Galvis lined a two-run double to right to make it 5-1.
Galvis, filling in for Utley, was 1 for 14 before that hit. Fans chanted "Freddy! Freddy! Freddy!" when the rookie dug in at the plate and serenaded him with another round of cheers after the clutch hit.
"To hear the crowd, that's definitely a cool thing," Galvis said. "That definitely helps us, helps to build confidence. We scored some runs, and got a lot of hits, and we definitely needed that. I don't like to lose, so I'll take a night like this anytime."
The Phillies chased Johnson with three consecutive two-out singles in the fourth. Rollins, Pence and Victorino got the hits to extend the lead to 6-1.
Halladay threw eight innings in a 1-0 victory at Pittsburgh in the season opener. He gave up a run in the second against Miami.
NOTES: Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Howard and Utley were making progress, though it's still uncertain when either player will return to the lineup. ... A crowd of 45,359 was the 222nd consecutive sellout at Citizens Bank Park, including postseason play. ... Phillies RHP Joe Blanton (0-1) makes his first start in the series finale on Thursday. Blanton is 6-2 with a 3.33 ERA in nine career starts vs. Florida. LHP Mark Buehrle (0-1) takes the mound for the Marlins. He was 3-0 vs. Philadelphia while with the Chicago White Sox.