Monday, April 11, 2011

Hamels dominates Braves for series victory

The Phillies are off to a great start, and stand at 7-2 after taking the series from the Braves in Atlanta.

Cole Hamels was dominant in yesterday's affair against Derek Lowe. After a rough outing, or really a rough inning, against the Mets in his first start, Hamels got the bounce back he needed.

Just like last year, Hamels was pitching in a close, low scoring tilt in which his offense was struggling to support him. He didn't need much though.

The run the Phils scratched across the plate in the fourth was plenty for Hamels, who cruised through seven shutout innings. He allowed four hits and one walk while fanning eight. Ryan Madson and Jose Contreras slammed the door on the Braves in a 3-0 victory.

Shane Victorino hit his first home run of the year in the sixth, a solo blast on a rare pitch left up from Lowe.

The Phillies got to Braves' closer Craig Kimbrel for a run in the ninth. Jimmy Rollins led off with a double and advanced to third on a fielding error by Jason Heyward. Ryan Howard's ground-out drove Rollins home.

After Cliff Lee got touched up a bit, taking the loss in the opener, the Phils' bats supported Roy Oswalt on Saturday. The 10-2 victory was highlighted by Carlos Ruiz's pinch hit grand slam. Brian Schneider also went deep for the first time this season in the win.

The Phillies are doing exactly what good teams need to do. They've won each series against a division rival, and swept a bad team. They stand two games ahead of Florida in the standings.

Through nine games, the Phillies are third in MLB in runs with 59, trailing Cincinnati and the Chicago White Sox. They lead MLB in hits (107) and average (.334). They're second in OPS (.865) and OBP (.380).

The Phils will get their first look at Jayson Werth in a Nationals uniform tomorrow in Washington.

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