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The Phillies may have gotten just the start they needed from Cole Hamels tonight…in order further swirl the trade rumors.
With the Cardinals losing right-handed ace Adam Wainwright this week and the starting rotation of the Boston Red Sox downright struggling, Hamels pleaded his case Monday night with his performance on the mound as to why both contenders need to have Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. on speed dial.
Hamels went 7 strong innings for the Phils, striking out 9, while surrendering just 4 hits and walking 4 batters (1 intentional). Hamels was dealing tonight, having both his curve and breaking ball working in his favor. The lone run scored by the Cardinals came in the bottom of the third when Matt Holliday delivered an RBI single scoring Matt Carpenter. Hamels avoided trouble the rest of the inning despite giving up 3 singles and walking 2.
Cole faced potential trouble in the 5th again when Matt Carpenter hit a one out pitch down the left-field line, past a diving Ben Revere. What would have potentially been at least a triple turned into a ground rule double when a Cardinals fan reached out into the field of play and touched the bouncing line drive. Hamels avoided any further trouble striking out Jhonny Peralta and Matt Adams to end the inning.
The Phillies bats came alive in the top half of the 7th inning off Cardinals starter John Lackey. Cody Asche and Carlos Ruiz led off the inning with back-to-back singles followed by a fielder’s choice from Galvis, causing Asche to be thrown out in rundown between third and home. A collective “typical Phillies” groan could be heard across the Delaware Valley. Hamels extended the inning by coming up with a great sacrifice bunt to advance the runners and turning the lineup over in the process.
Up stepped Ben Revere who lined a two-out ground rule double down the left-field line scoring two, giving the Phillies the lead. Center fielder Odubel Herrera helped add an additional run with a single to right field, scoring Revere, before being thrown out at second base trying to advance on the throw, ending the inning.
After finishing the 7th inning, Hamels turned the game over to the bullpen as Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon came in to close out the game. Both relievers went 1 inning, striking out 2 a piece.
After a final insurance run in the top of the ninth, the Phillies (8-12) ended up winning the series opener 4-1 over the St. Louis Cardinals (12-6).
- Carlos Ruiz finished the night going 4-for-4 out of the 7th spot in the lineup with 3 singles and 1 double. The double was the first extra base hit by Ruiz on the season.
- Jonathan Papelbon earned his 330th career save tonight, tying him for 13th with John Wetteland on the all-time list.
- The Phillies finished with 4 runs on 11 hits. Odubel Herrera finished with his 5th multi-hit game of the season after three singles tonight.
The Phillies are back in action on Tuesday night at 8:15 Eastern against the Cardinals. Rookie Severino Gonzalez will make his major league debut for the Phillies as he faces fellow righty Michael Wacha (3-0, 1.33 ERA)