(Sports Network) – The Philadelphia Phillies have won each of Cole Hamels’ last five starts and hope to keep that trend going when the left-hander takes the mound tonight in the second installment of a three-game series versus the NL East-rival New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park.
Hamels is 1-0 with a 2.08 earned run average in his last five starts, but hasn’t figured into the decision in each of his previous four outings. The 2008 World Series MVP last took the hill in Sunday’s 6-4 win at Washington and yielded four runs in seven innings with a season high-tying 10 K’s.
The southpaw, who is 7-7 in 22 starts this season, hasn’t enjoyed much success against the Mets in his career, going 2-5 with a 3.98 ERA in 10 starts. Hamels faced them in a 3-0 loss on May 27 at Citi Field and allowed three runs — two earned — and nine hits over 6 1/3 innings to absorb the defeat.
Philadelphia looks for a strong home outing from Hamels after it scored six runs in the eighth inning of Friday’s series-opening 7-5 triumph to record the 12th straight win at Citizens Bank Park. Placido Polanco drove in two runs and Jimmy Rollins, newcomer Mike Sweeney, Ben Francisco, Carlos Ruiz and Ross Gload were each credited with an RBI.
“The most important thing for us every day we strap on this uniform is to win ballgames,” said Sweeney, who was acquired by the Phillies last week. “We did that today, it was truly a team effort. Joe Blanton pitched great and the bats came alive even though it was late.”
Raul Ibanez is riding a 14-game hitting streak and is batting .406 with 15 runs batted in since the All-Star break.