Hamels won for the third time in four starts on Friday, as he beat the San Diego Padres, holding them to a run and three hits over eight innings. He also matched a season high with 10 strikeouts and improved to 12-5 on the year to go along with a 2.62 earned run average.
Hamels has faced the Giants eight times and is 4-2 against them with a 4.67 ERA.
The Phils can only hope Hamels gives them the type of effort Vance Worley did in the opener, as the young right-hander tossed the first complete game of his career and was backed by four home runs in a 7-2 win.
This, of course, was the first matchup between these teams since San Francisco beat the Phillies in six games of last year’s NLCS.
Worley (7-1) maintained his minuscule 2.02 earned-run average by allowing only two runs on three hits. He struck out five and walked one in the brisk two- hour, eight-minute affair.
“[Worley] has good stuff. We knew coming into the game he was throwing the ball well, and he did. He throws quality strikes and pounds the strike zone,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
Raul Ibanez smacked a three-run homer in the first inning, Ryan Howard and John Mayberry each added solo blasts and Chase Utley raced around for an inside-the-parker for the Phillies, who failed to finish off a four-game sweep of the Padres on Monday but have won six of seven overall.
Philadelphia did most of its damage against Barry Zito (3-3), who was tagged for six runs on six hits over seven frames. Aaron Rowand had a pinch-hit home run for San Francisco, which took two of three from the Brewers over the weekend in another battle of first-place teams.
Zito’s spot in the rotation was moved up a day because Tim Lincecum was scratched due to an apparent stomach virus.
The Giants had hoped to have Lincecum back on the hill this evening, but he remained ill so the club moved righty Matt Cain, who is 8-6 on the year with a 3.06 ERA, up a day.
Because of an off day on Monday, Cain is still pitching on a normal four days’ rest.
Cain pitched well against the Phils in last year’s NLCS, but is 0-3 in five regular season starts against them with a 6.23 ERA.
The Phillies are a stellar 74-40 against the NL West since 2008.