Cole Hamels’ only loss of the season came at home against the
Miami Marlins. It was also in his first start of 2012.
Hamels gets a chance to avenge that defeat and become the
majors’ first nine-game winner Saturday when the Philadelphia
Phillies host the Marlins.
Hamels (8-1, 2.43 ERA) began his season with a 6-2 loss to Miami
(29-23) on April 9, allowing four runs – three earned – and eight
hits with nine strikeouts in 5 1-3 innings.
He hasn’t lost since.
The left-hander is 8-0 in his last nine starts, compiling a 2.22
ERA while limiting opponents to a .210 average. He’s tied for the
most wins in baseball with St. Louis’ Lance Lynn, also scheduled to
start Saturday afternoon.
Hamels won his fifth consecutive start Monday, allowing four
runs in eight innings of an 8-4 victory at New York. That
performance came a day after teammate and two-time Cy Young winner
Roy Halladay was lost for six to eight weeks because of a strained
“I’m just trying to keep the same approach that I have,” Hamels
told the team’s official website. “I try to go out and win as many
games as I can. I’m trying to go deep into the ballgame and,
obviously, not allow as many runs.”
Hamels has reached at least the seventh inning in seven of his
last nine trips to the mound, completing eight in the last two.
Another strong outing could help Philadelphia (28-25) win for
the eighth time in 10 games. The Phillies continued their surge
with a 6-4 victory Friday in the opener of this three-game
Hunter Pence had three hits and three runs in the win, including
his team-leading 12th homer. He’s batting .379 with two homers,
four RBIs and nine runs over the last seven games.
Pence is 9 for 16 in four games this season against Miami,
helping Philadelphia win the last three matchups.
The Marlins, who had a three-game win streak snapped, will give
the ball to Ricky Nolasco (5-3, 4.26) hoping he can continue his
success in Philadelphia.
The right-hander is 5-1 with a 2.61 ERA in six starts there,
winning four in a row while holding the Phillies to .190 at the
plate. However, he hasn’t made an appearance at Citizens Bank Park
since April 17, 2010, when he tossed a five-hitter in a 5-1
Nolasco hasn’t come close to being that sharp while losing three
of his last four starts with a 7.06 ERA. He allowed three runs over
seven innings in a 3-2 loss to San Francisco on Sunday.
He’s also served up three homers on four hits by Pence, but that
damage has come in 21 at-bats.
Miami’s Jose Reyes has the longest active hitting streak in the
majors at 12 games after going 3 for 4 with a double Friday. He’s
batting .373 with seven runs and five steals during that
The All-Star shortstop is hitting .357 (15 for 42) against