Phillies rookie lefthander Cole Hamels (7-7) capped an excellent August with another fine pitching performance, 1 run on 4 hits through 8 innings, and the Phils got some timely offense in defeating Washington by a 5-1 score.
By winning, the Phils remained close in the wild card standings, 1/2 game back of the San Diego Padres who also won on Wednesday.
Hamels threw a shut out through 7 innings, only allowing leftfielder Alphonso Soriano’s (43 HRs, 84 RBIs, .295 BA) solo shot to centerfield with 1 out in the 8th inning.
After both pitchers exchanged goose eggs in the first 2 innings, the Phils got to Nationals starter and losing pitcher Ramon Ortiz (9-12) for 3 runs in the 3rd inning as 2nd baseman Chase Utley (22 HRs, 80 RBIs, .312 BA) broke out of a 0-24 slump with an RBI single and 1st baseman Ryan Howard (48 HRs, 127 RBIs, .296 BA) followed with a 2 run double.
In the 6th inning, the Phils got their 4th run as they loaded the bases with 1 out. 3rd baseman Abraham Nunez (2 HRs, 20 RBIs) drove in the run with a ground out to the pitcher.
Starter Ortiz who gave up 4 of the Phillies runs was relieved in the 7th inning by Chris Shroeder (0-1) who pitched 2 scoreless innings giving up 2 hits, issuing 1 walk and striking out 4.
In the 8th inning, Washington got on the board with their only run on Soriano’s solo homer off of Hamels.
The Phillies got their 5th run in the 9th as they loaded the bases on reliever Jon Rauch (3-3, 3.22 ERA). Pinch hitter David Dellucci then sacrificed the run in with a fly out to leftfield. Reliever Ryan Wagner (1-2) was brought in to get the final out in the 9th inning.
Phils reliever Arthur Rhodes (0-3) closed down the Nationals in the 9th to end the game.
For full recap including box scores and play-by-play on Wednesday’s game click here.
The Phillies go with lefthander Randy Wolf (3-0) on Thursday in the series get-away game vs Pedro Astacio for the Nationals. A sweep of the series could give the Phils momentum as they return to Philadelphia for a huge 4 game series with the Atlanta Braves.
For full coverage of Thursday’s games in both leagues; previews, recaps, box scores and play-by-play coverage click here.