Phillies SP Cole Hamels pitched eight scoreless innings to improve to 7-1 on the season. (AP Photo/H. Rumph Jr)
Phillies 4, Nationals 0
WP – Cole Hamels (7-1, 2.17)
LP – Edwin Jackson (1-2, 3.38)
PHILADELPHIA — The only Phillies pitcher that can seem to beat Washington this season is Cole Hamels.
Enjoying a career season in which Hamels is looking to get paid, he shut down the Nationals for the second time this young season. He pitched eight scoreless, shutting down the Nationals in a 4-1 win to prevent a sweep and snap a four-game losing streak.
The left-hander shook off the Bryce Harper rematch billing that was created all week when he got the rookie to fly out for the game’s first out. He then proceeded to no-hit the Nationals all the way until the 6th inning.
Danny Espinosa broke up the no-no bid with his one-out double in the 6th. He was then gunned out at the plate by Hunter Pence on the very next at-bat, a single by Harper.
Hamels allowed only two more hits after that, pitching eight scoreless and striking out eight while walking three. It was a brilliant outing by a pitcher who’s mental toughness was questioned by the Nationals GM, Mike Rizzo, two weeks ago.
Jonathan Papelbon pitched the 9th, giving up the Nationals only run on an Adam LaRoche solo home run.
The Phillies struck first in the 2nd inning when Mike Fontenot, playing in place of Jimmy Rollins who is on paternity leave, drove home Carlos Ruiz to make it 1-0. They added another in the 3rd on a Shane Victorino RBI double.
The Phillies next run came by way of small ball, a concept this offense will have to get used to if they don’t want to strand runners in scoring position.
Fontenot led off the 7th with a double over the head of Harper and moved to third on a Hamels sacrifice bunt. After taking a called strike, Juan Pierre squared to bunt while Fontenot broke towards home. It was a successful suicide squeeze and the Phillies expanded on their lead, making it 3-0.
Victorino added a solo home run in the 8th to make it 4-0. He finished the night 2-for-3 with a double, home run and two RBIs. Ruiz, batting in the clean-up position for the first time in his career, went 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored.
2B: Victorino (9), Ruiz (9), Fontenot (1). HR: Victorino (6).