- Associated Press - Saturday, July 18, 2015

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Chad Billingsley’s best start in nearly three years could be his last for a while.

Billingsley threw five scoreless innings before elbow problems ended his night and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Miami Marlins 3-1 on Saturday night.

“A little tightness and I didn’t want to push it too much,” Billingsley said. “I don’t know the extent of it until I see the doctor.”

It was the first time Billingsley didn’t allow a run since Aug. 19, 2012, when he threw seven scoreless innings in a win for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Billingsley missed almost two full seasons following two elbow operations before returning this season with the Phillies. He made three starts and then missed six weeks with a shoulder injury.

Billingsley (2-3) gave up four hits, walked one and struck out two to help the major league-worst Phillies win their second straight game for the first time since a three-game winning streak June 21-23.

Ryan Howard and Domonic Brown lined RBI singles off Tom Koehler (7-6) in the first inning. The Phillies got just two hits the rest of the game.

Koehler gave up three runs - two earned - and three hits in six innings. He retired the last 12 batters he faced.

“I kind of lost command a little in the early innings and made it tough for us,” Koehler said. “I made some good pitches when I had to, but I wish I was sharper.”

Ken Giles pitched around two hits in the eighth for the Phillies, firing a 100 mph fastball past Adeiny Hechavarria to strand runners on second and third. Jonathan Papelbon finished for his 15th save in 15 tries.

The All-Star closer who made it clear numerous times he wants to be traded heard some boos when he jogged in from the bullpen. A youngster who reached over a railing in the upper deck to snare a foul ball in the ninth drew louder cheers than Papelbon, the Phillies’ career saves leader.

A pair of errors by the sloppy Marlins in the second inning led to another run on Ben Revere’s fielder’s choice groundout.

“It’s uncharacteristic of what we’ve done,” Marlins manager Dan Jennings said of the errors. “We’re not that kind of club.”

After Billingsley left, the Marlins scored off Jake Diekman in the sixth. Ichiro Suzuki singled, stole second and scored on Martin Prado’s double.

DYNAMIC DUO

The Phillies are 35-1 in games Giles and Papelbon pitch together. They’ve won the last 31 games the two relievers have pitched. Giles would take over Papelbon’s closer role if the Phillies grant the veteran pitcher his wish and trade him.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Marlins: RHP Jarred Cosart will be examined by a doctor in New Orleans on Sunday because of recent dizziness while pitching. Cosart went on the disabled list in May because he had vertigo. … Utility player Don Kelly had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

Phillies: Six-time All-Star 2B Chase Utley could start a rehab stint within two weeks. Utley was batting .179 before going on the DL with an ankle injury in June. … RHP Jerome Williams allowed one earned run in eight innings in his third rehab start for Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Friday. It’s uncertain whether Williams rejoins the rotation when he’s ready. Williams was 3-7 with a 6.43 ERA in 14 starts.

UP NEXT

Phillies LHP Cole Hamels (5-7, 3.63 ERA) opposes Marlins RHP Dan Haren (7-5, 3.24) in the series finale Sunday afternoon. Hamels seeks his first win since May 23. The ace could be making his final start in Philadelphia if the Phillies trade him before the July 31 non-waiver deadline.

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