PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies right-hander Jeremy Hellickson gave contending teams plenty to think about in a 4-1 victory over the Marlins on Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park.Hellickson (7-7, 3.84 ERA), who is a strong candidate to be traded before the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline, allowed one run on five
PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies right-hander Jeremy Hellickson gave contending teams plenty to think about in a 4-1 victory over the Marlins on Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park.
Hellickson (7-7, 3.84 ERA), who is a strong candidate to be traded before the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline, allowed one run on five hits with eight strikeouts in eight innings. He has a 2.54 ERA in his last six starts, so he is pitching well at the right time with just two more starts scheduled before the deadline.
"If anybody does have interest, I'm sure they were impressed by tonight," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said afterward.
"It felt a lot like the first game, really," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "Really just got handcuffed all night. We've been able to win two out of three but really haven't scored that many runs."
Marlins left-hander Wei-Yin Chen gave up four runs on 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings to take the loss. Miami can win the four-game series with a victory on Thursday.
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Hellickson hellacious: Hellickson did nothing to hurt his trade value with arguably his best effort of the season. It was the first time the righty pitched eight innings since Aug. 11, 2015, when he went eight against the Phillies at Chase Field as a member of the D-backs.
"I guess I'm anxious just to get it over with," Hellickson said about the incessant trade questions. "Like I've said before, I want to be here. I want to win here. I really think we can. My focus is here right now." More >
Homer again haunts Chen: Chen watched the 20th ball to leave the yard off him this season come in the first inning as Tyler Goeddel planted one -- just barely -- in the right-field seats. Chen momentarily passed Jon Niese for the highest HR/9 in the National League, but five more innings of homerless ball dropped him back into second. The 20 homers allowed tie him with Niese, behind only Max Scherzer for the most by an NL pitcher. Marlins manager Don Mattingly gave Chen the hook with one down and a pair of runners in scoring position in the sixth.
"In my last outing, I think I had a better fastball," Chen said through an interpreter. "I think my breaking ball, my offspeed pitch was even better than my last outing, but I didn't have as good of a fastball."
Pretty Goeddel: Goeddel had not played since July 10, but he hit the second pitch he saw in the first inning to right field for a two-run homer. Goeddel then singled to score a run in the second inning, giving him three RBIs in two at-bats in the game's first two innings. He had just three RBIs in his previous 25 games.
"A lot of cage work," said Goeddel, when asked how he stayed sharp since he last played. "I was a little concerned. Thought it would feel like the first day of Spring Training out there again. Luckily, I got some pitches to hit and put some good swings on them and got some good results." More >
Fish fried by Phils' starters: The Marlins took the first two games of the series, but they did so by finding success in the late innings. Aaron Nola did not allow a run on Monday, and Vince Velasquez surrendered only one on Tuesday. Miami's struggles against the Phils' starters continued on Wednesday, as Hellickson stifled them for eight innings. Through the first three games of the series, the Marlins are just 10-for-64 (.156) with two runs against Phils' starting pitchers.
"You don't really think about the past games too much but all of a sudden tonight, you win the first two, but you look back and say you really haven't did much with 'em," Mattingly said. More >
"I feel like we're a contender. Like I said, I'd like to be here, and I'll worry about that when it happens." -- Hellickson, on if the idea of joining a contender is attractive to him
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Phillies starters have pitched six or more innings in each of their last seven starts, their longest streak since May 2-8, 2014. Hellickson has pitched six or more innings in each of his last eight starts.
Goeddel's two-run homer to right field went under a crew chief review in the first inning, wanting to see whether a fan reached over the fence to catch the ball. A short review quickly confirmed the ball cleared the fence without fan interference.
Marlins:Tom Koehler (6-8, 4.68 ERA) gets the ball for the Marlins in Thursday's series finale at 7:05 p.m. ET as they go for the series win. Koehler has pitched five innings only once in his last four starts. Miami could use him to reverse that trend after Wei-Yin Chen and José Ureña went just 5 1/3 and 5 2/3 innings, respectively, the last two nights.
Phillies: Right-hander Jerad Eickhoff (6-10, 3.76 ERA) pitches Thursday night's series finale against the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. Eickhoff allowed two runs in six innings last weekend in a victory over the Mets. He is 4-3 with a 3.42 ERA in his previous nine starts.
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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.
Evan Webeck is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia and covered the Marlins on Wednesday.