MIAMI — In the 13 days between starts for the Phillies, Tyler Cloyd returned to triple-A Lehigh Valley. He pitched one more in the minors at Harbor Park in Norfolk, Va. Baltimore's triple-A affiliate bashed him for seven runs on 11 hits in 3 1/3 innings.
"Don't look at that line," Cloyd said Tuesday.
There was no need. He was promoted again despite the gruesome numbers. And, again, he delivered in the majors.
"Here, I'm definitely keeping the ball down a lot more than at triple A," Cloyd said. "That's the biggest thing. My last start, it wasn't horribly bad but I was in a lot of counts where I had to throw balls over the plate."
Location is key for Cloyd, who did not throw a pitch harder than 89 m.p.h. in a 7-3 victory over the Marlins. He allowed two runs in seven innings. His ERA is 2.70 (four runs in 13 1/3 innings) after two starts. The 26-year-old righty looks like he belongs.
Ninety of Cloyd's 105 pitches were fastballs, either cutters or sinkers. The Marlins swung and missed just five times.
The Phillies are 14-6 in games started by the back of their rotation — Kyle Kendrick, John Lannan, Jonathan Pettibone and Cloyd. It is a remarkable record considering that was a perceived weakness entering 2013.
Cloyd's ERA at triple A is 6.57. Is he concentrating more in the majors?
"Not at all," Cloyd said. "It's completely the same. Down there, I'm trying to do too much. I get out of my game at certain times."
"He did a good job of holding them," Charlie Manuel said, and the Phillies will ask nothing more of their fifth starter.