It wasn’t the prettiest line for Cole Hamels, but it got the job done.
One start after nearly going the distance against in a dominating performance against the St Louis Cardinals, Hamels went only five innings and allowed three runs in a win over the Atlanta Braves (13-18) to give the Philadelphia Phillies (19-12) the series win.
After being held in check on Saturday, the offense went to work on Braves starter Kenshin Kawakami early on in the contest. They put two on the board in the first after Jayson Werth was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, and was followed by a sacrifice fly from Raul Ibanez.
Placido Polanco, Werth, and Shane Victorino also added solo shots, capping off the Phils scoring at five.
Back to Hamels.
For the first four innings, Hamels kept the Braves off the board, despite allowing four hits and two walks. It wasn’t until the fifth inning that he ran into trouble, when he walked Kenshin Kawakami to start the inning, followed by back to back singles to Omar Infante and Martin Prado.
Melky Cabrera followed with an infield single that glanced off Chase Utley’s glove, followed by a seeing-eye single from Troy Glaus that plated two, bringing the Braves to within one.
Hamels saw his way out of the inning with a strikeout and two groundouts, but saw his day come to an end after five.
The fifth inning for Hamels was a microcosm of his struggles in 2009. After four good innings to start the game, he hit a rough patch in the fifth that started with a walk to the opposing pitcher. That was followed by four four straight singles, none of which were hit particularly hard. In a nutshell, it was a mini-run of bad luck that Hamels couldn’t seem to work around.
Was it due to lack of talent or focus? Likely not. The strikezone wasn’t the most consistent, which resulted in a higher than usual amount of walks for Cole.
It wasn’t the dominant outing that he put up against the Cardinals, but it was more than enough to get the Phillies the win in the finale.
The bullpen stood out in this game, as they strung together four perfect innings to finish off the Braves. Chad Durbin pitched two innings and struck out four, while Jose Contreras pitched the eighth and Brad Lidge taking the hill in the ninth for his first save of the season.
The Phillies finished off the homestand with a flourish, defeating the Braves to go 7-3 at Citizens Bank Park, before heading out to Colorado for a three game series with the Rockies.
In game one of the series, Kyle Kendrick (1-1, 5.87) takes on Greg Smith (1-2, 6.35).
Cole Hamels (W, 3-2) allowed three runs in five innings, giving up eight hits and four walks while striking out five.
Shane Victorino went 1 for 4 with a homer (7) and an RBI.
Placido Polanco went 2 for 4 with a homer (5) and an RBI.
Jayson Werth went 1 for 3 with a homer (7) and two RBIs.
Brad Lidge (S, 1) pitched a perfect ninth inning for the save.
Kenshin Kawakami (L, 0-6) allowed five earned runs in 6 2/3 on seven hits and two walks. He struck out five.
Omar Infante went 3 for 5 with a double (4) and a run.
Troy Glaus went 2 for 3 with two RBIs.
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