Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins celebrate after Howard's two-run homer in the 1st inning. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
For one night, Cole Hamels knew what it was like to get run support.
For one night, the Phillies knew what it was like to absolutely explode with the long ball.
For one night, the fans could relax and enjoy a game without the worry of a come back or close game.
Tonight was that one night, as the Phils exploded with five home runs to beat the Marlins, 9-1, and gain a game in the division on both Florida and Atlanta, who lost as well.
The Phils won their fourth straight game and improved to a three-game lead on the Braves and a distant eight-game lead on the Marlins, who were knocked into fourth place.
Ryan Howard got the derby going in the 1st when his two-run bomb gave the Phils a 2-1 lead. He, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins each hit home runs and rookie Domonic Brown had his first career two-homer game.
The game started at 8:20 after an hour and 15-minute delay. Hamels gave up an early run on a Gabby Sanchez ground out to make it 1-0 Marlins. But that was all the scoring they would get off the left-hander, who was dealing.
Hamels’ night actually ended abruptly when he needed to exit in the top of the 8th. He left the game with tightness in his middle back. More should follow tomorrow.
Hamels allowed a run one three hits and a walk while striking six in seven-plus innings. At one point, Hamels had retired 17 straight batters.
David Herndon came in and finished the 8th for Hamels. Herndon also came out and cleaned up in the 9th.
The Phils made it a 4-1 game in the 3rd off Utley’s two-run homer. They made it 5-1 the following inning off Brown’s first homer, a solo shot. With a 6-1 lead in the 6th, Rollins hit a two-run shot to make it 8-1 and Brown’s second homer of the night made it 9-1.
FUN FACTS: This is the first time all season the Phils got four consecutive winning decisions from their Big Four.
It was the first time since June 19, 2010 that the offense explode for five homers.
2B: Utley (4). HR: Howard (14), Utley (3), Brown 2 (4), Rollins (5).
WP: Hamels (9-2). LP: Volstad (2-7).