Halladay earned his 200th career victory Sunday, bouncing back from consecutive poor outings to pitch eight innings and help the Philadelphia Phillies beat the offensively challenged Marlins 2-1.
The pitcher nicknamed Doc chose the right team to get well against. The Marlins rank last in the majors in runs and home runs, and played their third game in a row without Giancarlo Stanton, sidelined by a bruised left shoulder.
"We're just not able to put some at-bats together and get some hits and keep the line moving," manager Mike Redmond said.
The Marlins managed to win one of three games in the series even though they totaled just four runs. They're batting .204 with 17 extra-base hits, including two homers, and their slugging percentage is .262.
With runners in scoring position they're batting .174. They went 1 for 6 against Halladay in those situations.
"They got the big hit, and we didn't," Redmond said.
The biggest was by Laynce Nix, who broke a 1-all tie with his second pinch-hit homer of the season in the ninth inning.
Halladay (1-2) allowed five hits, walked one and lowered his ERA from 14.73 to 7.63.
"Stanton wasn't in there, and offensively they haven't been as good," Halladay said. "But I feel like if I can make pitches confidently and make them early in the count, I can be successful."
That's what Halladay did against the Marlins (2-10), but the victory counted, just the same. Halladay's the 109th pitcher to reach the 200-win milestone, and the first to do so in a Phillies uniform since Hall of Famer Steve Carlton in 1978.
The low-key Halladay received a celebratory bottle of champagne from the Phillies but said he didn't whoop it up in the back room.
"I want to win a World Series," he said. "That's why I'm here. The personal milestones are great. My son, my wife, my family
-- they're all excited about it. But for me the ultimate goal is to get to the playoffs and win a World Series. When that happens, I'm going to go in the back room and yell."
Miami's lone run scored in the seventh, and a baserunning blunder allowed Halladay to escape further damage. Rob Brantly misjudged a routine fly, and after the ball was caught he was doubled off second to end the inning.
[to top of second column]
"We can't make those kinds of mistakes," Redmond said. "Those things can't happen."
Brantly declined to talk to reporters.
He was one of four Marlins starters who finished the game batting below .200. Chris Coghlan is at .105 and Juan Pierre at .174.
While Stanton's the most likely candidate to provide Miami some spark, he said he won't play Monday but might return later in the week. Replacement Austin Kearns was scratched from the lineup and taken to a hospital with an irregular heartbeat, and was held for observation overnight.
That made things easier for Halladay, whose two previous starts raised doubts about the future of the two-time Cy Young Award winner.
"More than anything, I had been putting a lot of pressure on myself," he said. "In the past I tried to control too much and do too much and worry about too much.
Today the plan was simpler -- execute pitches one at a time, and not worry about what's going on, and it made a big difference."
Halladay struck out only two, but he walked just one and threw only 87 pitches.
"He was good. Real good. Better," manager Charlie Manuel said.
Manuel said the performance shouldn't be discounted just because it came against the short-handed Marlins.
"They can beat you," he said. "I'm sure they're going to play hard, and they'll beat some people you don't think they might beat."
Philadelphia couldn't muster much offense either until Nix batted with one out in the ninth and homered into the upper deck in right field off Jon Rauch (0-2).
NOTES: SS Rollins was given a breather after starting the first 11 games. ... The retractable roof was closed on an 87-degree afternoon. ... Marlins RHP Jose Fernandez is the first pitcher 20 or younger to allow less than two runs and less than four hits in each of his first two career starts since Rudy May of the Angels in 1965, according to STATS LLC.
Copyright 2013 The Associated
Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.