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Phillies’ Taijuan Walker shuts down Marlins to become first pitcher with 12 wins this season

MIAMI — Taijuan Walker threw 6 2/3 solid innings and became the first pitcher in the major leagues with 12 wins as the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Miami Marlins 4-2 in the opener of their four-game series Monday night.

Walker (12-4) allowed two runs and six hits while striking out four to win his eighth decision since June 6.

The 30-year-old Walker also matched his season-high in victories first accomplished last season. Walker’s fastball was clocked at 89 mph in the first inning, when Miami scored two quick runs, but increased into the mid-90s by the end of his outing.

“My body feels good but we’re at the end of July and some players hit a little wall before their second wind,” Walker said. “I was able to finish strong and come out of it good.”

Alec Bohm doubled, singled and had two walks and an RBI for the Phillies (57-49), who moved a half game ahead of the Marlins for the third NL wild-card spot.

Miami’s Luis Arraez had three singles and increased his major league-leading batting average to .381.

Bryson Stott hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly off Tanner Scott (4-4) with the bases loaded in the seventh that gave Philadelphia a 3-2 lead. Scott allowed a leadoff walk to Kyle Schwarber and Bohm’s double. Bryce Harper then grounded out to drawn-in third baseman Jean Segura and J.T. Realmuto was intentionally walked before Stott lifted a drive to medium left that scored Schwarber.

Philadelphia padded the lead on Bohm’s run-scoring single in the eighth.

“You have to let them throw something to hit,” Bohm said. “We have a very aggressive team, lot of good hitters and sometimes that kind of works against you. We’ve done a pretty good job of being disciplined and making pitchers come to us lately.”

Matt Strahm and Jeff Hoffman followed Walker and got the next four outs before Craig Kimbrel closed with a perfect ninth for his 18th save.

Jorge Soler ended a 12-game homerless drought with a two-run shot in the first that put Miami ahead 2-0. The 415-foot blast was Soler’s 25th of the season and first since July 14.

“After the first two hitters it didn’t look too good but our guys kept after it,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said.

Marlins starter Edward Cabrera walked six in three-plus innings, prompting his removal after 76 pitches. Cabrera allowed two runs and two hits.

“It’s frustrating because Cabrera’s got such good stuff, probably the best stuff on the staff,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said. “That was tough because he felt really good. He was just frustrated because he just couldn’t get the ball over the plate.”

Steven Okert inherited two runners when he relieved Cabrera in the fourth and allowed rookie Johan Rojas’ game-tying two-run double. Rojas is hitting .346 since being promoted from the minors July 15.

“I try to be ready for any situation,” Rojas said. “One thing about me is I’m always going to work hard.”


The Marlins activated OF Jazz Chisholm Jr. from the injured list and optioned OF-INF Garrett Hampson to Triple-A Jacksonville. Chisholm started and doubled, walked and stole a base in his first game since July 2.


The next three weeks could provide a telling sign if the Marlins can remain in wild-card contention. Beginning with Monday’s series opener, the Marlins will have a stretch of 19 consecutive games against division leaders and wild-card contenders. After the Phillies’ four-game set, Miami has series against Texas, Cincinnati, the New York Yankees, Houston and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“You want to be playing in games that are meaningful in August and September,” Schumaker said. “You want to set yourself for that. I don’t care who it is. Every game is important.”


Phillies: OF Nick Castellanos was given the game off. Castellanos is on an 8-for-65 skid and hitting .123 in 16 games since the All-Star break. … LHP José Alvarado (left elbow inflammation) is scheduled to throw off the mound Tuesday.

Marlins: LHP Andrew Nardi (left triceps inflammation) had relief outings in consecutive days over the weekend at Triple-A Jacksonville before returning to Miami on Monday.


LHP Ranger Suárez (7-5, 4.22) will start the second game of the series for the Phillies on Tuesday while the Marlins will go with RHP Sandy Alcantara (4-9, 4.46).

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