MIAMI - Pat Burrell had heard plenty about how he couldn't and shouldn't hit behind Ryan Howard this season.

It became a Philadelphia obsession.

But Burrell, the subject of incessant boos this week at Citizens Bank Park, temporarily quieted his critics last night at Dolphin Stadium. He went 2 for 4 with two runs scored, a home run and four RBIs in an 8-2 victory over the Florida Marlins to help the Phillies pick up their first victory of 2007.

They are 1-3.

"You knew we were going to win sooner or later," lefthander Jamie Moyer joked afterward.

Moyer played just as important a role in the victory. He didn't have his best but used what he had to pick up the win. In 62/3 innings, he allowed seven hits, two runs and two walks.

He struck out three.

"Hopefully we can come back tomorrow and create a little momentum," Moyer said.

Burrell, who hit .222 with runners in scoring position last season, would welcome some of that. He went 2 for 2 with runners in scoring position last night. His two-out single to center field in the third - which followed a walk to Howard - scored a run to help the Phillies take a 3-1 lead. His three-run homer in the seventh inning turned a potential save situation for the bullpen into a night in which everybody could relax. But of equal importance, Burrell's homer came after the Marlins intentionally walked Howard.

Burrell then took a 1-2 pitch and crushed it to left field.

"That right there is what's going to make them pitch to him," manager Charlie Manuel said of Howard. "That's how you do it. Burrell is capable of hitting 40 homers. He can produce runs. He had a big home run tonight. He broke the game open."

Burrell is hitting .400 (6 for 15) with one homer and five RBIs in the first week of the season. He is 3 for 4 (.750) with runners in scoring position, while the rest of the team is 5 for 32 (.156).

Of course, it's early.

But it's a start.

"This is a hell of a lineup to hit fifth or even sixth," Burrell said. "You're going to get opportunities with the guys in front of me. Regardless if they pitch around somebody or not, you're going to have a chance to drive in guys. And in my opinion, that's what I'm here to do. As long as you're getting opportunities, you can't complain."

Burrell has a different stance in the batter's box, but he indicated that it's almost undetectable on film. He said he basically is able to put more weight on his back foot, which he wasn't able to do last season. Burrell had foot surgery after the 2005 season, but it was slow to heal and plagued him throughout last year.

"My foot isn't hurting me, which is great," he said.

Moyer didn't think he pitched great, but he could have fooled the Marlins.

After he allowed a run in the second and third, he worked out of a potentially big inning in the fifth after Miguel Olivo singled and stole second and moved to third on Alejandro De Aza's single to center to put runners at the corners with no outs.

But Moyer showed his patience.

He worked deliberately - often throwing to first in between pitches - to get pinch-hitter Aaron Boone to pop out to third, Hanley Ramirez to pop out to second, and Dan Uggla to pop out to short.

Nobody scored.

Pitching coach Rich Dubee said Moyer has a knack of taking advantage of a hitter's adrenaline. The fifth inning was a perfect example of that. Hitters get antsy and Moyer throwing over to first repeatedly didn't help their patience.

In this case, they started reaching at change-ups and popped them up.

"I tried to feed off their aggression regardless of the situation," Moyer said. "When you get in situations like that, I don't want to give in. But I'm trying to get an out. First and third, nobody out. To me, it's damage control. That was my goal right there. Get a ground ball. Get a double play. Fortunately, I got a pop-up."

He got three.

And the Phillies finally got one in the win column.

Contact staff writer Todd Zolecki
at 215-854-4874 or tzolecki@phillynews.com.