MIAMI (AP) - In the span of just seven pitches, Chris Volstad gave up four hits. That's the way it goes for the Florida Marlins' right-hander against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Volstad had another rocky outing against the team with baseball's best record Tuesday, and the Phillies won 14-2.
``They just see me really well,' Volstad said. ``I don't know what else to say.'
Volstad (4-8) lasted only four innings this time and departed after allowing nine hits and seven runs. He gave up five runs in the third, when four consecutive batters hit line-drive singles after the Phillies loaded the bases.
``I felt I made a couple of decent pitches the inning they got five, and obviously a couple of not-so-decent ones,' he said.
Ryan Howard drove in four runs with four hits, including his 18th homer. All came after Volstad intentionally walked him with runners at the corners, no outs and the game scoreless in the third.
``I was a little bit surprised in that situation with a runner on first,' Howard said.
When Volstad pitched to Howard an inning later, he hit a two-out, two-run homer.
``You saw what happened when I let him pitch to him,' Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. ``I didn't want to see him do that in a 0-0 game.'
Howard has eight homers and a .500 average in 26 career at_bats against Volstad. Raul Ibanez improved to .480 against Volstad, and Carlos Ruiz climbed to .450.
Volstad fell to 2-5 with an ERA of 5.88 in 12 games against the Phillies.
``If I knew the answers, I'd be making adjustments,' Volstad said.
Ibanez hit his 10th homer and drove in four runs for the Phils, who achieved season highs in runs and hits (18). While they lead the NL East, their offense has sputtered at times, and they came into the game ranked 11th in the NL in hitting.
``We jumped our team batting average some, didn't we?' manager Charlie Manuel said. ``Did we get over .250?'
The Phils' average climbed from .245 to .247.
``We've had a lot of people talking about the offense, but we have our outbursts,' Howard said. ``It's good to know it's there.'
Cole Hamels (10-4) allowed two runs in eight innings to join teammate Roy Halladay as a 10-game winner.
Ibanez and Wilson Valdez each had a two-run single in the third inning. Jimmy Rollins had four hits and scored three times, and Michael Martinez's bases-loaded triple hiked his average to .189.
Howard had a run-scoring infield single in the sixth and an RBI double in the ninth. He also singled in the eighth when the umpires reversed their original call and ruled his looping liner had been trapped in left field by a diving Logan Morrison.
The Phillies capped their big night with a six-run ninth, mustering plenty of offense even without All-Star third baseman Placido Polanco and center fielder Shane Victorino. Polanco sat out because of a sore back that has been bothering him in recent weeks, and Victorino has been out since Sunday with a sprained right thumb that will sideline him for at least one more game and perhaps longer.
The Phils are assured of winning their fifth series in a row. They won for the 21st time in 25 games at Miami since September 2008.
Hamels, who won for the first time in four starts, had mixed feelings about all of the offensive support.
``Getting that many runs, it's nice,' he said. ``But at the same time, it kind of breaks up your rhythm. It felt like the game was in slow motion. In between innings, it was really long.'
The start was Hamels' first since the left-hander came out of a game Thursday after taking a line drive off his right palm. He said his hand bothered him only swinging the bat.
``But I didn't take too many swings,' he said with a laugh.
Notes: The Phillies recalled OF John Mayberry Jr. from Triple-A Lehigh Valley, and he entered in the seventh inning. ... Marlins RHP Clay Hensley (right shoulder sprain) is being groomed for a spot in the rotation when he returns from the disabled list. Hensley has 40 career starts, but none since 2008. ... LHP Brad Hand will start for the Marlins on Thursday against Houston. ... Miami Heat center Zydrunas Ilgauskas threw out the first pitch.
The Associated Press News Service
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