MIAMI (AP) — Edinson Volquez received a celebratory ride in the clubhouse laundry cart Monday, and it was a long time coming.
The Miami Marlins’ opening day starter finally earned his first win of the season, pitching six innings to beat Philadelphia 4-1.
The victory gave the Marlins their first two-game winning streak since April 23, so they were in a mood to whoop it up after the pitcher with the most losses in the majors beat the team with the worst record.
“They put me in the little cart and drove me around the clubhouse and straight to the shower,” Volquez (1-7) said with a grin. “They were so happy. They were trying so hard to get me a win.”
Volquez won a World Series ring with the Royals in 2015 and laughingly rated the Marlins’ celebration as “probably the same.”
“We treated him like a rookie,” said teammate Derek Dietrich, who hit a two-run homer. “It was kind of funny, a salty veteran like him.”
Volquez allowed one run and three hits to earn his first victory since Aug. 25 with the Royals — when he beat the Marlins. The former All-Star went 0-8 in his next 16 starts before his breakthrough.
“As a pitcher you’ve got to have a strong mind and stay positive,” Volquez said. “I’ve been pitching a little better lately, and I think I’m going to get some wins.”
Marlins nemesis Jeremy Hellickson (5-3) allowed four runs in six innings.
“Hellickson has been a tough guy for us,” Dietrich said. “We wanted to come up with a new approach. I’m not going to divulge that for obvious reasons, but we went with something a little bit different, and it seemed to work. We didn’t by any means crush him, but we did enough to win the game.”
The Phillies (17-32), who have the worst record in the majors, lost for the 23rd time in the past 29 games, and fell to 7-19 on the road.
“The only people who are going to help us are ourselves,” Phils catcher Cameron Rupp said. “Nobody is going to go out there and play for us, swing the bat, pitch and play defense. That’s all on us. Just in general we have to do a better job.”
Volquez has an ERA of 4.44 and went into the game with the second-worst run support in the majors. This time he had all the runs he needed by the third inning, thanks to an RBI double by Dee Gordon and a run-scoring single by Giancarlo Stanton .
Dietrich hit his second homer of the year to make it 4-1 in the sixth. A.J. Ramos completed a four-hitter, striking out the side after a leadoff walk in the ninth for his sixth save.
Volquez retired 13 in a row before he started the sixth by walking Hellickson, who came around to score on a single by Aaron Altherr. The Phillies had runners at the corners with one out, but Altherr was thrown out trying to steal second and Tommy Joseph struck out .
“With our offense, we’ve got to start taking chances,” Phils manager Pete Mackanin said. “I can’t sit around and wait for three or four hits in a row. We haven’t been doing that, so we’re going to have to take chances.”
The ball popped out of Stanton’s glove when he tried to make a sliding catch crossing the right field foul line with two runners on in the sixth. The ball was ruled foul, and the call was upheld by a replay review.
The Marlins have won five of their past eight games but are only 8-18 in May.
“It has been an awful month to this point,” manager Don Mattingly said. “Hopefully we’re starting to build a little momentum. We’ll see. We don’t want to get too excited, but it’s something, right?”
Before the game, the Phillies activated OF/INF Howie Kendrick (abdominal strain) from the 10-day DL, and he went 1 for 4. He missed 37 games.
Phillies: OF Daniel Nava (left hamstring) began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Marlins: LHP Jeff Locke (left shoulder) will be activated to make his 2017 debut Thursday when he starts against Arizona. RHP Vance Worley will go to the bullpen.
RHP Vince Velasquez (2-4, 5.55) is scheduled to start Tuesday for the Phils against LHP Justin Nicolino (0-1, 5.40).
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