Phils Shake Off Blues, Beat Marlins Danny Jackson Pitched Eight Solid Innings For His 10th Victory. Pratt Tripled In Subbing For Daulton.

Posted: June 30, 1994

The talk in the clubhouse is no longer about Blue Caps. Now it's surgical caps and X-ray gowns. The Blue Cap issue is dead. But the critically injured Phils still have a pulse.

Team Infirmary, behind another superb performance by Danny Jackson, ended its long-forgotten Blue Cap Curse with a 5-2 win over the Florida Marlins before 43,337 fans at Veterans Stadium yesterday afternoon.

Drawing fans is something the Phils have done well. For the last six games at the Vet - three with Atlanta, three with Florida - 283,031 customers showed up, an average of more than 47,000 a game.

And the Phils have been winning, too. Yesterday's win was their fourth in their last five games and put them over the .500 mark at 39-38 - an amazing feat considering that they spend more time these days going over medical claim forms than steal signs.

Jackson, who allowed four hits and two runs in eight pristine innings, is 10-2 - last season, he didn't register his 10th win until Aug. 24.

"I thought it was his best game of the year; he had great stuff," said manager Jim Fregosi, whose National League all-star staff will undoubtedly include Jackson. "We needed a win, and Danny has a knack for stepping up when things are going tough."

Less than 24 hours earlier, catcher Darren Daulton broke his right collarbone in the Phils' 2-1 loss to the Marlins, and even after the stand-up performance by their ace yesterday, the players were still talking about the most recent - and perhaps most debilitating - injury.

"It's devastating to our club," said Fregosi, whose team will begin an 11-game West Coast trip tonight without its leader. "We just have to find a way to stay around .500. It makes this a very important road trip for us. We'd like to make up ground, but you have to be realistic."

Shortstop Kevin Stocker scored the game's first run as Billy Hatcher singled to left in the third inning.

Leftfielder Jeff Conine's throw arrived in plenty of time, but was up the third-base line. Stocker, with a clever headfirst slide, reached out and touched the plate with his right hand just before being tagged by Benito Santiago.

Todd Pratt, filling in for Daulton behind the plate, hit his first career triple off the center-field fence to start the fourth. Pratt scored on Tony Longmire's bloop single. After Kim Batiste singled, another run scored as Stocker hit into a double play.

The Marlins cut the deficit to 3-2 on Santiago's two-run homer - "My only mistake of the game," Jackson said - in the fifth.

The Phils added two eighth-inning run, thanks to Batiste's single (and the first steal of his career), Stocker's RBI double, and pinch-hitter Jim Eisenreich's run-scoring single. Both runs were charged to Bryan Harvey.

Doug Jones worked a 1-2-3 ninth to secure his 20th save in 21 chances.

"I still can't understand how he can throw the ball as slow as he does," Jackson said, smiling. "And he makes them look silly. It's funny to watch. I have all the confidence in the world when he comes in."

Jackson, who will become a free agent after the season, struck out seven and walked none.

Afterward, Jackson - like every other player - was talking about Daulton's broken shoulder, and you sensed that the players longed for the old days when Blue Caps were the big issue.

"Obviously, Darren's a big bat, and we're going to miss him. But what we have to do as a staff, and as a team, is pitch better and play good defense," Jackson said. "If you do that, you can still win. And I feel just as comfortable with Todd behind the plate as I do with Darren."

Down along the now depleted Macho Row, the talk was of fighting the good fight, no matter how undermanned the team was.

"We have a lot of veterans," leftfielder Pete Incaviglia said, "and we have to rally around each other until we get our horses back. That's the most important thing we can do for those guys."

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