PHILADELPHIA -- On paper, the matchup between Marlins rookie Sam Dyson and Phillies veteran Cliff Lee appeared to be a mismatch.
On this day, the paper was right.
"[Lee] was really good tonight -- both ways," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "Both offensively and pitching. We had 15 strikeouts, and I think he had 14 of them. He got some big hits as well. He really did everything."
Dyson, who made the first start of his Major League career, failed to escape the third inning in a 12-2 loss Monday night. It was the Marlins' sixth consecutive loss to the Phillies and dropped them to 7-22 at Citizens Bank Park over their last 29 games. The Marlins rookie went 2 2/3 innings and allowed seven runs on six hits, including a three-run home run by Chase Utley. Dyson allowed just one run over the first two innings and threw a perfect second, but the Phillies batted around in the third to end his night prematurely.
"I fell behind most of the guys I faced," said Dyson, who fell behind nine of 18 hitters he faced and six of the first seven in the third. "I made some good pitches, but the mistakes I made, I had to pay for.
"The adrenaline [starting] is a little different, but that's not an excuse. I haven't made a start in a while, but I've started all year, so I was prepared for it. I just made some mistakes in crucial situations and they hit around."
As much as Dyson struggled, Lee dominated on the mound and at the plate. His final line of eight innings, two runs, eight hits and 14 strikeouts was buoyed by a 3-for-4 night in which he had four RBIs, one of which came on his first career triple. He also surpassed 200 strikeouts for the third straight season.
"He couldn't be more happy about his hitting. We just wanted him to go out and concentrate on his pitching," Phillies interim manager Ryne Sandberg said. "He was hustling around the bases like he always does. He got the ball as a souvenir -- first triple of his career."
"[Lee] knows how to pitch," Redmond said. "He moves the ball in and out. It helped that he got some runs early so he could be more aggressive. I thought we battled him and got some hits, but to get down that early is tough. A six-run lead, seven-run lead, he definitely knows how to pitch."
Lee grounded out to open the Phillies' six-run third inning. Cesar Hernandez, who walked and scored to open the game, followed with a single to left. A walk to Jimmy Rollins brought Utley to the plate. Utley, who went 2-for-5 with four RBIs, hit Dyson's 2-0 offering off the signage in right field for his 17th home run and a 4-0 lead.
After an out, Dyson gave up an infield single to Domonic Brown. Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria ranged to his left on the play, but a momentary bobble of the ball allowed Brown to beat the throw to first. Instead of getting out of the inning, Dyson found more trouble, as Darin Ruf walked and Cody Asche hit a single through the right side.
Asche's single went right to Giancarlo Stanton, who threw a one-hopper to the plate and catcher Jeff Mathis. Mathis, who returned after time away with a bruised right thumb, was leveled by Brown as the ball arrived, and Brown scored to make it 5-0. Mathis exited the game in the bottom of the eighth, but Redmond said he was OK.
After a walk to Roger Bernadina loaded the bases, Lee singled through the right side to score both Ruf and Asche for a 7-0 lead.
"We got down early and Dyson just had trouble getting through the third inning, and that really ended up being the ballgame," Redmond said. "I think with these young guys, that's what we're trying to find out and see what we've got. Let's see what they can do against this division, and how tough these hitters and teams are. That's where we're at in the evaluation process.
"Dyson up to today has done a nice job. He's given us some good innings out of the bullpen. Today he got tested, but I know he'll bounce back and be ready the next time he gets a chance."
The Phillies added four runs off reliever Chris Hatcher, and another off Dan Jennings. Hechavarria and Justin Ruggiano drove in runs for the Marlins.
Mike Radano is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.