Zambrano, Ramirez homer as Marlins top Phils
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Carlos Zambrano beat the Phillies with his arm and his bat.
Zambrano homered and pitched into the eighth inning, and Hanley Ramirez went deep, too, leading the Miami Marlins to a 5-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday.
“As a pitcher in the National League, you have to be able to bunt, run, hit and I take that seriously,” Zambrano said. “I’m proud of what I do anytime on the mound. When I’m on the mound I feel like a pitcher, but when I’m in the box I feel like a hitter.”
Zambrano (4-3), who said he was pitching with the flu, allowed four hits, walked two and struck out seven before leaving with two outs in the eighth.
“He continued to throw the ball very well,” Miami manager Ozzie Guillen said. “He threw a lot of strikes and his breaking ball was outstanding.”
Jose Reyes went 2 for 5 with a double and two RBIs to extend his hitting streak to 14 games.
Juan Pierre had three hits and an RBI for Philadelphia, which lost its second straight.
“He chopped us up pretty good today, we never could get any pressure on him,” Pierre said of Zambrano. “He just did a great job today.”
Zambrano said his flu symptoms included a headache, sore throat and weak feeling.
“My arm felt good and that’s the most important thing,” he said.
Heath Bell came on with two on and one out in the ninth and got a pair of groundouts for his 12th save in 16 chances.
In the third inning, Zambrano hit the first pitch he saw to deep left for his first homer of the season and 24th of his career to give Miami a 1-0 lead. Zambrano leads all pitchers since 1974 with 24 career home runs. A switch-hitter, Zambrano batted from the left side against Phillies starter Joe Blanton.
“Good connection and the ball went out,” Zambrano said. “The Lord gave me ability to be able to hit and I’m not a small man. I’m a big man and every time I hit the ball good, the ball will travel far.”
Ramirez led off the fourth with his third homer in two games to put the Marlins up 2-0. In his last six games, Ramirez is 12 for 24 with four homers and three doubles.
“He’s swinging at more strikes,” Guillen said. “He’s put himself in great position to hit the ball hard. He’s not chasing that many bad pitches.”
Miami tacked on three runs in the seventh. Zambrano reached on a perfectly placed bunt single down the third base line, loading the bases with no outs. Reyes followed with a two-run double to right-center that gave Florida a 4-0 lead and ended the day for Blanton.
Blanton (4-6) allowed five runs and nine hits in six-plus innings. In his last four starts, the right-hander is 0-3 with a 10.98 ERA while allowing 10 homers in 19 2-3 innings.
“You never want to give up five runs but I felt like it was a huge improvement over the way I threw the last two to three times, even though the results don’t look much better,” Blanton said. “I felt like it was a lot better.”
Florida went ahead 5-0 when Zambrano scored from third on a wild pitch by right-hander Chad Qualls.
Zambrano retired 13 straight batters between the second and sixth innings, ending when Pierre doubled with one out in the sixth: Pierre reached second on a slap bunt down the left-field line that eluded charging third baseman Ramirez.
Pierre’s eighth-inning two-out RBI single to center scored Brian Schneider for the Phillies run.
Reyes kept his hitting streak alive with an infield single in the fifth kept. He is batting .373 (22 for 59) during it.
“He’s swinging the bat good and hitting the ball hard,” Guillen said of Reyes. “Even the outs, he’s (hitting the ball) square. I didn’t expect anything less from him. This kid’s a great hitter.”
Shane Victorino singled in the ninth, finishing 1-for-4 and now has four hits in his last 30 at-bats over the last nine games.
NOTES: Ramirez lost control of his bat while striking out in the fifth, launching it into the stands. He quickly went over and asked for the bat back. … The Philadelphia crowd of 45,356 was the 231st consecutive regular-season sellout and 247th straight counting postseason play. . The Phillies are scheduled to face Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw (4-3, 2.42) when they open a four-game series at 7:05 Monday night. RHP Vance Worley (3-2, 3.07) was activated from the 15-day DL following the game and C Erik Kratz was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. … Phillies 2B Chase Utley, out all season with a knee injury, will begin his rehab assignment Monday in extended spring training in Clearwater, Fla. … After Monday’s day off, Marlins RHP Anibal Sanchez (3-3, 2.57) is scheduled to face Atlanta RHP Tim Hudson (3-2, 4.60) when Miami hosts the Braves at 7:10 Tuesday.