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Jake Arrieta notches 100th career win as Phillies blast lowly Marlins in J.T. Realmuto’s return

In J.T. Realmuto's return to Miami, the Marlins' on-field product — and lack of enthusiasm in the ballpark — hadn't changed.

Jake Arrieta delivered seven innings for the Phillies on Friday in Miami.
Jake Arrieta delivered seven innings for the Phillies on Friday in Miami.Read moreBrynn Anderson / AP

MIAMI — For the last five years, J.T. Realmuto played his home games at Marlins Park. But as the Phillies catcher sat in the first-base dugout and looked out at the field Friday, he barely recognized the place.

The lime-green outfield wall has been replaced by a navy-blue version. And the gaudy sculpture that stood in left-center field since the ballpark opened in 2013 is gone, too, dismantled and sent away, just like all of the Marlins' best players since Realmuto debuted in 2015.

Some things haven't changed, though. The Marlins are still the worst team in the National League East, the crowds are still sparse, and based on the absence of a reaction to Realmuto before his first-inning at-bat, apathy is still high. It was polar opposite of the atmosphere that the Phillies faced in their first 12 games, 10 of which were played at home before packed houses.

"We talked about it before the game," manager Gabe Kapler said, "that we were going to have to supply the energy ourselves."

Andrew McCutchen was the Phillies' human energy drink, notching three hits and running the bases aggressively to lead a high-octane offense in a 9-1 Phillies romp that snapped a two-game losing skid and represented Jake Arrieta's 100th career victory.

McCutchen's secret: A visit to his stylist.

"I got a fresh haircut today by my guy Pablo, and it felt really good," he said. "I had the look-good, feel-good part down, so I just needed to play good. I got that one out of the way, too. Hit all three of 'em, so it's been a great day."

Indeed, McCutchen led an offense that operated with assembly-line efficiency. The Phillies strung together six consecutive hits, four of which were singles, in a five-run fifth inning. The rally was fueled when McCutchen made a smart read on a play in front of him and went first to third on Jean Segura's one-out single to left field.

“I was OK with taking the risk because I was trying to get to third for Bryce and I was able to get there,” McCutchen said. “I trusted myself and my instincts.”

McCutchen tacked on a three-run homer in the eighth inning. The Phillies finished with 14 hits, and the top five hitters in the order — McCutchen, Segura, Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins and Realmuto — went 11-for-23 with seven runs scored and six RBI.

Arrieta did the rest en route to becoming only the 18th pitcher on an active major-league roster with 100 career wins and just the fifth in the last 30 years to win his 100th game with the Phillies, joining Curt Schilling, Cole Hamels, Mark Portugal and Danny Jackson.

"Just a lot of ups and downs and figuring some things out, forgetting some things, re-learning them," said Arrieta, who won 20 games with the Orioles, 68 with the Cubs and 12 with the Phillies. "This game is very humbling. I'll never forget that. Accomplishing something like I did tonight just makes you appreciate everything you go through and how hard it is to get to a spot like this."

Arrieta delivered seven solid innings, his third solid performance in as many starts. Incorporating a changeup that he has been perfecting in recent bullpen sessions, he retired 10 of 11 batters at one point and didn’t allow a runner to advance beyond second base until the seventh inning.

In 12 games, Phillies starters have completed the seventh inning only three times. Arrieta has done it twice.

And lest anybody forget, the Phillies needed this. After giving up nine unanswered runs in Tuesday night’s 10-6 loss to the Nationals, then getting blown out 15-1 on Wednesday night, they needed a feel-good performance to get back on track, even if it came at the expense of the weakling Marlins and in front of an announced crowd of only 9,322.

“I think that’s what we didn’t do well last year,” Arrieta said, referencing the Phillies’ 3-6 record at Marlins Park. “I think that’s why it kind of slipped away from us. We didn’t take care of business against the teams we were supposed to beat.”

Maybe McCutchen’s stylist can become part of the Phillies’ traveling party.

“Got to bring Pablo on the road, man,” McCutchen said. “He keeps the freshy-fresh cuts there, man. He keeps me nice.”