Phillies' Hamels stops Giants on two hits, 1-0
PHILADELPHIA — Cole Hamels was relaxed, focused and in control. This was the Hamels the Philadelphia Phillies and their fans got used to seeing last postseason.
Hamels pitched a two-hitter, Ryan Howard drove in Maui's Shane Victorino with a fourth-inning double and the NL East-leading Phillies beat the San Francisco Giants, 1-0, last night.
Hamels (8-8) allowed a leadoff double to Ryan Garko in the second inning and a single to pinch-hitter Rich Aurilia to start the ninth. He struck out nine and walked one in his fourth career shutout and second this season. The left-hander extended his scoreless innings streak to 19, tying a career best, and won for the first time since July 28 against Arizona.
"He pitched a heck of a game," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "He used all his pitches. When he gets going, he keeps it for a while. That's what we're looking for. He looked like the old Cole."
Jonathan Sanchez (6-11) was the hard-luck loser for the Giants. He allowed one run and three hits, striking out eight in six innings.
The NL East-leading Phillies have won 15 of 20. They remained 7 1/2 games ahead of second-place Atlanta. The Giants fell one game behind Colorado in the NL wild card race.
ROCKIES 8, METS 3:
Todd Helton homered and drove in four runs as host Colorado snapped a five-game losing streak by beating New York, which activated third baseman David Wright from the 15-day disabled list.
BRAVES 4, MARLINS 3:
Tim Hudson (1-0) gave up six hits and two runs in 5 1/3 innings in his first big league start since having elbow ligament replacement surgery almost 13 months ago as visiting Atlanta beat Florida.
CARDINALS 7, BREWERS 6:
Matt Holliday's three-run homer broke a 4-all, seventh-inning tie, and Albert Pujols added his major league-leading 42nd homer as host St. Louis held off Milwaukee to improve to 26-9 since July 24.
REDS 11, PIRATES 5:
Craig Tatum drove in four runs, Wladimir Balentien hit a two-run homer, and host Cincinnati reached double figures in runs for only the third time this season in handing Pittsburgh its sixth consecutive loss.
CUBS 4, ASTROS 1:
Randy Wells (10-7) allowed an unearned run and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings to become the first Cubs rookie in 11 years to reach 10 wins, and Milton Bradley homered to lead host Chicago past Houston.
PADRES 4, NATIONALS 1:
Clayton Richard (4-1) worked 7 2/3 shutout innings before Josh Bard homered to left field, and fellow rookie Will Venable drove in a run and made another spectacular catch as host San Diego beat Washington.
DODGERS 4, DIAMONDBACKS 3:
Matt Kemp homered for the fourth consecutive game and Andre Ethier drew a bases-loaded walk that forced in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh inning, lifting Los Angeles over Arizona.