PHILADELPHIA -- To unseat the Phillies in the National League East, the Marlins feel they have to beat them at their own game. That's winning behind strong starting pitching.
Anibal Sanchez did the job on Monday.
Sanchez gave up two runs in 6 1/3 innings and Omar Infante connected on two home runs as the Marlins spoiled the Phillies' home opener, 6-2, in front of 45,574 at Citizens Bank Park.
"All of our starters have been pretty good," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said now that the entire rotation has seen game action. "Everyone is doing a pretty good job. Like I've said since Spring Training, we're pitching well. Every game we've played so far, we're in the game because [of] our pitching."
Austin Kearns added an insurance run in the ninth with a homer off Jonathan Papelbon.
Sanchez quieted the Phillies, limiting them to six hits, with three coming in the seventh inning. The right-hander, now 4-8 lifetime against Philadelphia, helped Miami take the first game of the three-game series.
"I don't care if I'm fifth or I'm first," said Sanchez, tabbed the No. 5 starter in Spring Training. "We have a very good rotation. I respect my other teammates, especially the other starting pitchers.
"The Phillies, especially on this field, I've had a lot of trouble in the past. Today, I just tried to keep the ball down and keep just a few pitches for each other. I didn't try to do too much."
The Marlins were able to chip away for eight hits and four runs (three earned) off Phillies lefty Cole Hamels.
Infante provided solo home runs in the fifth and seventh innings, giving the veteran his seventh career multihomer game. It was his second as a Marlin, with the last one on Sept. 9, 2011, in Pittsburgh.
In the first five games, Infante has three homers and four RBIs. On Saturday, the second baseman went 3-for-5 and was a single shy of completing the cycle.
"I changed my approach," said Infante, who has been working closely with hitting coach Eduardo Perez. "I keep working on my swing. I'm working a lot with Eduardo Perez, in the game and practice. I'm hitting a lot of line drives, and that's a help for me.
"I'm a line-drive hitter. I have to hit line drives. We have a lot of power with [Giancarlo] Stanton and Hanley [Ramirez]."
Said Hamels: "They're definitely a lot more powerful. It's going to be a lot more difficult all year."
When facing teams with outstanding starting pitching like the Phillies, the Marlins understand the importance of being able to manufacture some runs. They did so to set the tone in the first inning.
Speedsters Jose Reyes and Emilio Bonifacio each singled to open the game, and they advanced on a double steal. With runners on second and third and no outs, Ramirez tapped an RBI groundout to second, putting Miami on the board against Hamels.
In the fourth inning, Ramirez doubled and scored on Gaby Sanchez's RBI single to right.
The Marlins' speed set up a run in the sixth. Bonifacio dropped a bunt single and advanced to third on Hamels' throwing error. Second baseman Freddy Galvis was not at the bag, while first baseman John Mayberry Jr. had also charged toward the bunted ball. Gaby Sanchez rolled a run-scoring double down the third-base line, and Hamels' afternoon was over after 5 1/3 innings.
After taking a five-run lead, Anibal Sanchez encountered his first bit of trouble in the seventh. He issued singles to Shane Victorino and Mayberry to open the inning. With one out, Galvis collected his first big league hit, which was a two-run double.
Sanchez was lifted after 94 pitches for Randy Choate, who shut the door by striking out Ty Wigginton and retiring Juan Pierre on a lineout to short.
Last year, the left-handed Choate was used almost exclusively to face left-handed hitters. Thus far, Guillen has shown a willingness to use the lefty veteran against tough right-handed hitters.
"Actually, when I got to the mound, Ozzie said, 'You got Wigginton,'" Choate said. "It's good to be able to go out there and get that guy out and kind of stop a rally they had going at that time. I think the key was being able to throw my slider for strike two right there. I kind of got him out front and I was able to get a fastball by him.
"Normally I don't get it by a righty. But it felt good and gave me confidence. When you have confidence, it's a little easier to pitch."