Roy Halladay found a remedy for his early-season woes — the Miami Marlins.
Halladay earned his 200th career victory Sunday, bouncing back from consecutive poor outings to pitch eight innings and help the Philadelphia Phillies beat the offensively challenged Marlins 2-1.
Halladay (1-2) allowed five hits, walked one and lowered his ERA from 14.73 to 7.63. He was facing a Miami team ranked last in the majors in runs and home runs and playing without Giancarlo Stanton, sidelined by a bruised left shoulder.
"Stanton wasn't in there, and offensively they haven't been as good," Halladay said. "But I feel like if I can make pitches confidently and make them early in the count, I can be successful."
That's what Halladay did against the Marlins (2-10), who have scored only 20 runs all season.
The victory counted, just the same. Halladay's the 109th pitcher to reach the 200-win milestone, and the first to do so in a Phillies uniform since Hall of Famer Steve Carlton in 1978.
The low-key Halladay received a celebratory bottle of champagne from the Phillies but said he didn't whoop it up.
"I want to win a World Series," he said. "That's why I'm here. The personal milestones are great. My son, my wife, my family — they're all excited about it. But for me the ultimate goal is to get to the playoffs and win a World Series. When that happens, I'm going to go in the back room and yell."
Laynce Nix, batting for Halladay, broke a 1-all tie with his second pinch-hit homer of the season in the ninth inning.
Rocky efforts in Halladay's two previous starts raised doubts about the future of the two-time Cy Young Award winner, who went only 11-8 and battled injuries in 2012.
"More than anything, I had been putting a lot of pressure on myself," he said. "In the past I tried to control too much and do too much and worry about too much.
Today the plan was simpler — execute pitches one at a time, and not worry about what's going on, and it made a big difference."
Halladay struck out only two, but he walked just one and threw only 87 pitches.
"He was good. Real good. Better," manager Charlie Manuel said.
Manuel said the performance shouldn't be discounted just because it came against the short-handed Marlins.
"They can beat you," he said. "I'm sure they're going to play hard, and they'll beat some people you don't think they might beat."
The Marlins managed to win one of three games in the series even though they totaled just four runs. They're batting .204 with 17 extra-base hits, including two homers, and their slugging percentage is .262.
With runners in scoring position they're batting .174. They went 1 for 6 against Halladay in those situations.
"They got the big hit, and we didn't," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said.
Stanton sat out for third consecutive game. He said he won't play Monday but might return later in the week.
Outfielder Austin Kearns was scratched from the Miami lineup and taken to a hospital with an irregular heartbeat. He was held for observation overnight.
Philadelphia couldn't muster much offense either, until Nix batted with one out in the ninth and homered into the upper deck in right field off Jon Rauch (0-2). It was the seventh run batted in by a Phils pinch hitter.
Jonathan Papelbon pitched around a leadoff walk in the ninth for his second save in as many chances. That gave the victory to Halladay, who leads all active pitchers with a winning percentage of .662 (200-102).
Among those active, only the New York Yankees' Andy Pettitte has more victories with 247.
Miami's lone run scored in the seventh, and a baserunning blunder allowed Halladay to escape further damage. Rob Brantly misjudged a routine fly, and after the ball was caught he was doubled off second to end the inning.