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"When I made pitches on him tonight, I got him out," Marquis said. "When I left the one ball out, you saw what he was able to do with it. That's what he thrives on -- a ball up out over the plate, pitchers making a mistake, and getting the barrel through the ball. ... But there's a reason why he also strikes out 200 times, 180 times. He has holes in his swing. So if you make your pitches, you know, he's going to be an out."
So far this season, Howard is 4 for 11 with two homers and five RBIs.
The Phillies as a whole are 24 for 74 -- and Howard, like his manager, thinks the numbers will improve.
"The thing about it is, everybody's not on the same zone right now. We still got guys (struggling) -- it's still early," Howard said. "Not everybody's going on full tilt right now."
Marquis' debut in Washington was hardly auspicious: a 15-minute top of the first inning that included three walks, a hit batter and a wild pitch -- not to mention two runs. Things didn't end well for Marquis on this night, either: He allowed hits to six of the last seven batters he faced.
Philadelphia led 7-3 after seven but its bullpen made things somewhat interesting. Danys Baez allowed Cristian Guzman's leadoff triple in the eighth, Adam Kennedy's sacrifice fly and Willie Harris' double. Baez was replaced by Antonio Bastardo, who got one out, and then Ryan Madson recorded the last four outs for the save. Madson let the Nationals have two baserunners in the ninth before getting Ivan Rodriguez to ground into a game-ending double play.
"It's fun being a pitcher on this team," Madson said. "Seeing these guys hit every day is fun to watch."
NOTES: Nationals RF Mike Morse left the game with a strained left calf before the top of the eighth, so Guzman entered to play right, his first regular-season appearance in the field as anything but a shortstop in an 11-year major league career. Guzman lost his starting shortstop job to Desmond in spring training. ... After an announced sellout of 41,290 for Game 1, the Nationals drew 27,240 fans for Game 2.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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