Phillies 5, Pirates 4(10)

Cole Hamels appears to be in regular-season form.

Hamels threw four-hit ball into the fourth inning for the

Philadelphia Phillies in a 5-4, 10-inning win over the Pittsburgh

Pirates on Thursday.

”My changeup is going really well,” Hamels said. ”It’s my

main pitch. It’s the reason why I’m here. It’s always been a pitch

I can go to in any count. I’ve always had enough confidence in it

that it’s always moving and at the right speed. But unfortunately I

can’t throw it every pitch and I have to improve the other

three.”

The 28-year-old left-hander struck out two and walked none.

Phillies outfielder Luis Montanez hit a game-ending homer off

Pittsburgh right-hander Michael Dubee leading off the 10th

inning.

Hamels, who can be a free agent for the first time in his career

at the end of the season, repeated a mantra he made at the start of

spring training: He is not going to put a demand on getting a new

deal complete before opening day.

”I’m not the type of guy that needs to put parameters and

barriers,” Hamels said. ”It’s a situation where I think I’m more

focused on being able to go out and pitch. I think that’s what I

know the team wants me to do. Our ultimate goal is to win a World

Series, not play for a contract.”

Shane Victorino, Hunter Pence and Ty Wigginton also helped the

Phillies offense.

With one on and one out in the fifth inning, Victorino drilled a

two-run home run over the right field fence. The home run was the

first for Victorino this spring.

Pence went 2 for 3 and scored the game’s first run on

Wigginton’s double in the second inning. Wigginton, making his

first start at second base, also walked twice.

The Pirates rallied from a 4-0 deficit with a three-run sixth

inning. Josh Harrison, Casey McGehee and Rod Barajas had three

consecutive hits off Philadelphia right-hander Dave Bush.

In the seventh, Pittsburgh center fielder Starling Marte led off

with a home run to tie the game. The home run was the second this

spring for Marte and it also gave him a hit in eight consecutive

at-bats.

Marte’s run ended in the 10th inning, when he flew out to left

field. Marte is 9 for 12 at the this spring.

”I was aware (of the streak), but I wasn’t thinking about it,”

Marte said through an interpreter. ”I just tried to connect and

put the ball in play.”

In his second start, Pittsburgh right-hander James McDonald

allowed one run on two hits in three innings.

”It’s getting better,” McDonald said. ”I’m starting to feel a

better rhythm.”

Like Hamels, McDonald was working on his changeup Wednesday

afternoon. The 27-year-old McDonald said he didn’t have a great

changeup throughout the 2011 season.

”There were flashes of it here and there,” McDonald said. ”So

I told myself I really wanted to work on that this spring, to be

able to throw it whenever and against whoever I want. Righties,

lefties, it shouldn’t matter. That was a pitch that was real big

for me coming up through the minors. It was something I could fall

back on.”

NOTES: Philadelphia outfielder Domonic Brown was out of the

lineup for the third straight game with a sprained right thumb.

Brown, who had a thumb injury last May, was scheduled to have an

MRI on Thursday afternoon. . Phillies LHP Dontrelle Willis was

originally scheduled to make his next appearance on Sunday but he

might not take the mound. Philadelphia assistant general manager

Scott Proefrock said the Phils will ”back off” from using Willis

in the next few days as the pitcher deals with soreness and

fatigue. Willis has given up five runs in two games (1 2-3 innings)

this spring. . Phillies RHP Jose Contreras will throw to hitters on

Friday in a batting practice session. Contreras, who had elbow

surgery before the end of the 2011 season, has not pitched in a

game yet this spring. … Pittsburgh assigned RHP Gerrit Cole to

minor league camp. Cole was the top overall draft pick in 2011. .

Pirates RHP Daniel Cabrera (forearm tightness) threw a 15-pitch

batting practice Thursday morning. Cabrera is scheduled to pitch

one inning in a ”B” game Saturday against the Minnesota

Twins.