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NYM@MIA: Slowey strikes out eight over eight innings

The awe still exists. The jaw still drops.

Even for a 29-year-old who has spent part of six seasons in the Major Leagues, standing across the field from Roy Halladay can produce butterflies.

Kevin Slowey grew up watching Halladay. And while Slowey is having the best season of his career through six starts, holding batters to a .232 average while posting a 2.15 ERA, Sunday's matchup against the eight-time All-Star should put him on his heels.

"For me, he's up there with guys like Greg Maddux and John Smoltz, some of the greatest pitchers of my generation as a fan and player now," Slowey said. "I was a fan of Roy Halladay long before I played Major League Baseball or Minor League Baseball. He's the kind of guy you watch and you try to learn from, and you stay in awe of."

Even while the past two years have been a struggle for Halladay -- at least when compared to the way he breezed through hitters in previous seasons -- there's a certain professionalism that younger pitchers admire.

"As a pitcher, watching him throw, watching the way he goes about his business -- you never have any idea whether he just gave up a home run or he just struck out the side," Slowey said. "Every pitch is thrown with the same conviction and the same determination. Those are the things you can control as a pitcher. To see a guy do it, day in, day out for years and years, it's pretty special."

After a pair of rough starts to open the season, Halladay, who was hindered by back and shoulder problems a year ago, fired three straight dominating performances, including an eight-inning gem against the Marlins, before getting knocked around by the Indians his last time out.

It's no secret that the Marlins have struggled to score runs this season. If Halladay works his sinker as well as he has at times this season, he could feast on a feeble lineup that's hurting without the injured Giancarlo Stanton.

"I think we're getting in some good counts," manager Mike Redmond said. "It's just not happening. We're not getting the hits. We're getting in good counts, and we're not able to drive those guys in, for whatever reason. We're having a tough time scoring runs. We had opportunities again, bases loaded. We're just not able to get that big hit."

Marlins: Ozuna could surprise
Marcell Ozuna was supposed to pile on experience at the Double-A level this season. But with Stanton's injury and the lineup in a funk, Miami signaled for the 22-year-old right fielder to start his Major League career early.

Ozuna crushed his first home run on Saturday, leading the Marlins to a 2-0 win over the Phillies. He's collected at least one hit in each of his five Major League games and is hitting .389.

With a bat full of power -- Ozuna hit five homers in 10 games with Double-A Jacksonville before getting the call -- he batted fifth in the lineup on Saturday.

"Ideally, I'd like to keep him down a little bit lower," Redmond said. "But at this point, we're going to move up guys who are hitting. We've got to have guys who are getting hits at the top of the order.

"I really liked him in the Minor Leagues. I liked his attitude. I liked the way he played. He was having fun. That's the way you've got to play in the big leagues: Go out there like you've got nothing to lose. He's got nothing to lose."

Phillies: Brown looking better at the plate
There was little for the Phillies to be proud of offensively after Saturday night's one-hit effort, but Domonic Brown has shown signs that he's ready to break out of a slump and swing the lumber the way he was in Spring Training.

Over his last 10 games, the 25-year-old has raised his average from .206 to .260 while sending three balls out of the park.

Manager Charlie Manuel doesn't think 30 home runs is out of Brown's range.

"I don't think that's outside the realm of possibility," Manuel said. "What do I tell you a home run is? It's a well-hit fly ball that comes down behind the fence. Best hit in baseball. Think nothing of it, come back, sit down and think about hitting another ball hard. Not a home run. And that one might go out. And then you'd have two. And if you think like that, you keep things in perspective and focus on what you're doing, that's how you hit them. When you start wanting to hit them and thinking about hitting them and trying to hit them, more than likely you won't succeed."

Worth noting
• Marlins second baseman Donovan Solano, batting .278, was scratched Saturday with tightness in his left side and could end up on the disabled list.

• Miami's Austin Kearns is on the bereavement list for family reasons. By league rule, he will miss between three and seven days.

• Michael Young got a rare breather Saturday, but he's expected to be back in the Phillies' lineup Sunday. Comments