San Diego, CA (Sports Network) – Pitching well again in his hometown, Cole Hamels sparkled in eight scoreless innings to lead the Philadelphia Phillies to a 2-0 victory over San Diego.
The Padres have been shut out in each of the first two games of this four-game set and have been held scoreless in 21 straight innings.
Of course, they aren’t the only team having trouble scoring runs against the vaunted Phillies staff.
Hamels (2-1) yielded just four hits and three walks, striking out eight to pilot Philadelphia to its fifth shutout in 19 games — the first time since 1913 the team has done that.
He threw 82 of his 126 pitches for strikes, but was pulled for Ryan Madson after the eighth.
“When you start a game, you want to finish it. That’s always been my mind set. Unfortunately, the pitch counts get in the way,” said Hamels. “But at the same time, it does protect you through a long season and it’s still early.”
Madson threw a perfect ninth for his first save
- aided by Jimmy Rollins’ in the-hole stab and strong throw to get Nick Hundley leading off — ending the game in just 2 hours and 17 minutes.
Ryan Howard provided the only offense the Phillies needed with a two-run triple in the third inning, and Philadelphia won its ninth straight game in San Diego.
The Padres, shut down by Roy Oswalt and three relievers in Thursday’s opener, only had four baserunners after loading the bases with two outs in the second inning.
Clayton Richard (1-1) took the loss in 7 1/3 good innings, giving up six hits and four walks with four strikeouts.
The Padres have lost five of their last six and fell to 2-12 in their last 14 games against Philadelphia.
The Phillies remained undefeated in San Diego since August 16, 2008.
Hamels, whose road to the majors began as a high school pitcher in San Diego, improved to 3-1 lifetime at Petco Park. He worked out of his only jam in the second inning, getting the pitcher Richard to line out with the bases loaded.
The Phillies took the lead in the third. Hamels led off with a single, but was caught in a rundown after being picked off at first base. Shane Victorino and Placido Polanco walked, and Howard scored both runners with a triple off the wall in right-center field.
Howard knocked his first triple of the season to a deep part of the big ballpark and beat the throw to third base with a head-first slide.
“Hitters like him, they’ll get their doubles, triples, home runs — they’ll get those things,” said Richard. “It’s minimizing the damage before that, not putting guys on.”
The Phillies won their third straight game despite being held to four runs or fewer for the 11th straight time. They are 32-13 in their last 45 games against the Padres and 13-1 in their last 14 games in San Diego.