As Shane Victorino had a three-hit game, hitting a solo home run, Cole Hamels recovered from his bad first start by pitching seven strong innings against the Braves, as the Phils win, 3-0.
The first three innings was a pitchers’ duel between the Braves’ Derek Lowe, who gave up one hit, while striking out one, and the Phils’ Cole Hamels, who got through the first nine Braves without giving up a hit, striking out four. The Phils then took the lead in the fourth as, with runners on the corners, and with nobody out, Jimmy Rollins hits into a 6-4-3 doubleplay, scoring Shane Victorino, who had earlier singled, then went to third on Placido Polanco’s single, while Polanco, who had just singled, would be wiped out at second base for the inning’s first out. The Phils then took a 2-0 lead in the sixth as Victorino hits a lead-off home run, his first home run of the year. Cole Hamels then got out of a pair of jams. First, in the sixth, with runners on first and second, via single to Freddie Freeman, who was then moved up to second on a Lowe sacrifice bunt, and then a walk to Nate McLouth, and with two men out, Hamels got Chipper Jones to ground out, 5-3, on the first pitch, to end the threat. Then, in the seventh, after giving up singles to Jason Heyward and Alex Gonzalez, with Heyward going to third, and with two men outs again, Cole got out this jam as he got Freeman to ground out, 4-3, once again on the first pitch. The Phils then added to their lead in the ninth as, with a runner on third, and with nobody out, Ryan Howard hits an RBI ground out, 6-3, scoring Rollins, who had earlier doubled, and went to third on right fielder Heyward’s fielding error as he misplayed the ball, as he ran on contact, giving the Phils a 3-0 lead. That would be the final score as Jose Contreras collected his second save as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out Dan Uggla to end the game.
Cole Hamels (1-1, 5.59) got the win, as he bounced back from his bad start against the Mets, as he pitched seven shut out innings, giving up four hits and a walk, while striking out eight. Ryan Madson received his second hold of the year as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while he struck out a batter. Jose Contreras collected his second save of the season, striking out a batter. Derek Lowe (1-2, 1.45) took the lost, as he went seven innings as well, giving up two runs on seven hits, while he struck out two. Jonny Venters pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Craig Kimbrel pitched an inning, giving up a run on a hit and a walk, striking out a batter. Hamels came back in his second start, after his disastrous first start, while the bullpen continues to be lights out.
The Phils had eight hits in the game, with Shane Victorino leading the team with three hits, two singles and a solo home run, as he scored two of the Phils’ run, while knocking in one, as he raised his average to .417, after a slow start during opening weekend. Carlos Ruiz followed with two hits, both singles, raising his average to .346, putting all of the Phils’ regular, except for Raul Ibanez, who is now batting .257, at .300 or above. Placido Polanco (Single), Rollins (Double) and Ibanez (Single) had the other three Phils’ hits. Ryan Howard had the other Phil RBI, as he hit an RBI ground out, while Rollins knocked in the other run on a doubleplay, getting no RBI. The Phils’ offense have so far been able to beat the Astros, the Mets and now the Braves’ pitching, although kept under control in three of their first nine games, but winning one of those games, and losing one of the others because one of their starters let the lead get away.
The Phils (7-2, 1st) have tomorrow off, before they go to Washington to meet the Nationals (4-5, 5th) for three games, starting on Tuesday night.