Cole Hamels, who's been one of the true aces of Philadelphia's pitching rotation this season, will look to contain Hanley Ramirez and the Marlins in the opener of a four-game series vs. Florida this evening. The red-hot southpaw has been one of the Phillies' dominant players on the mound, but has struggled against the division rival Marlins in the past and is expected to match up with the All-Star Ramirez, who's returning from an injury and will try to lead his club to just its third victory since May 29.
The Phillies (40-26) are coming off three consecutive wins over the Cubs and are looking to maintain the offensive success they've generally been able to produce in recent games after taking Monday off. It should be noted that first baseman Ryan Howard has a tendency to hit the ball well against Chris Volstad, and that's exactly who the Phils will be facing tonight at Citizens Bank Park. The Marlins right-hander, who is 6-4 with a 2.88 ERA on the year, has given up six home runs to Howard in just 23 at-bats, along with five other hits.
Hamels will be looking for his ninth win of the season tonight, but has had trouble containing the Marlins' lineup. For his career, the lefty is 4-7 against Florida, but has been impressive in 2011; he's won eight contests thus far and his most recent outing included eight shutout innings against the Dodgers.