Surprising Phillies in virtual tie for first in NL East
- The Phillies are 24-13 since starting the season 0-4.
- Tyler Goeddel banged out three hits, including his first career homer.
- Jeremy Hellickson pitched six innings to get the win, improving to 4-2 on the season.
PHILADELPHIA — Another rookie had a big game, another starter pitched well and the bullpen was lights-out again.
It's a familiar theme for the surprising Philadelphia Phillies.
Tyler Goeddel hit his first career homer, Jeremy Hellickson pitched six sharp innings and the Phillies beat the Miami Marlins 4-2 Wednesday afternoon.
"I'm very impressed," manager Pete Mackanin said. "These guys have great makeup. They pull for one another. It's a real team."
After losing 99 games last year, the Phillies went into full rebuilding mode. But one-quarter into this season, they're right in the mix with the Nationals and defending NL champion Mets.
"It's crazy, but why not?" Mackanin said. "We've held our own and there's no reason to believe we can't (compete for the postseason)."
Hellickson (4-2) allowed two runs and five hits, striking out four. He retired 11 in a row at one point and pitched well after a shaky start. Jeanmar Gomez tossed a perfect ninth for his 16th save in 17 tries.
The Phillies won two of three for their seventh series win in the past eight, improving to 24-13 since an 0-4 start.
Marlins starter Tom Koehler (2-4) gave up three runs — two earned — and seven hits in seven innings.
Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton struck out four times and has fanned in his past seven at-bats. He was 0 for 10 in the series with nine strikeouts. Stanton made solid contact in the dugout when he smashed his bat after one of his early strikeouts.
"He's one guy on our team, but the last two games probably were his worst at-bats of the season," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said.
Andres Blanco lined an RBI double in the third and Cameron Rupp's two-run single gave the Phillies a 3-2 lead. A fielding error by first baseman Justin Bour on David Lough's grounder started the rally. Cesar Hernandez followed with a bunt single. Blanco then ripped a double to right.
After Ryan Howard struck out, Maikel Franco was intentionally walked. Rupp then hit a sharp single up the middle.
Goeddel went deep in the eighth off Jose Urena, a 428-foot drive to left-center.
"It felt really good to get the first one out of the way," Goeddel said. "I'm getting more comfortable and seeing some results."
The Marlins jumped ahead 2-0 in the first on RBI doubles by Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna. Derek Dietrich led off with a walk after third baseman Franco let his foul pop fall untouched. Yelich drove a one-out double to left. After Stanton fanned, Ozuna lined a double to left.
Marlins fell to 21-19. Phillies are temporarily tied with Washington for first in the NL East, pending the outcome of the Nationals-Mets game Wednesday night. Philadelphia hasn't been in first since finishing the 2011 season with a franchise-record 102 wins for their fifth straight division title.
Stanton was 4 for 28 on Miami's road trip.
Goeddel was 3 for 4 and is 10 for 21 (.476) in the past six games, raising his average from .159 to .262.
Marlins: RHP Edwin Jackson, on the DL since April 19 with a strained right triceps, is likely to return Friday.
Phillies: Rupp was back in the starting lineup after missing three games because of a sore left ankle.
Marlins: After a day off Thursday, LHP Justin Nicolino (2-1, 3.75 ERA) starts the opener of a three-game series vs. Washington on Friday night. He's 0-2 and has given up 11 runs in 10 1/3 innings in two career starts against the Nationals.
Phillies: RHP Aaron Nola (3-2, 2.89) starts Friday night's series opener against Atlanta. Nola is 2-0 and has allowed three runs in 19 innings in three starts vs. the Braves.