Looking to build off a solid start, Hamels gets the call as the Phillies close out a three-game series with the Dodgers on Thursday at Citizens Bank Park.
After struggling with freak injuries to start 2009, Hamels (1-2, 6.17 ERA) recorded his first victory for Philadelphia (16-15) since Game 1 of the World Series, allowing two runs and three hits over six innings on Friday in a 10-6 win against Atlanta.
“I’m glad nothing came down and hit me,” said Hamels, who had exited early in his previous two starts. “It was almost abnormal, being out there in the sixth inning.”
Hamels, who also pitched in Game 5 against Tampa Bay to capture Philadelphia’s first World Series title since 1980, will now face the team he recorded two wins against during the NLCS, allowing three runs over 14 innings.
The left-hander made four total starts against Los Angeles (23-12) in 2008, going 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA.
The Phillies and Dodgers split the first two contests of this series with Los Angeles winning 9-2 on Wednesday. Former Phillie Randy Wolf(notes) allowed one run over six innings and James Loney(notes) added three hits, including a three-run homer and RBI single.
The Dodgers, who won for only the second time in six games since slugger Manny Ramirez(notes) was suspended 50 games for a failed drug test, had four doubles and two home runs - their most extra-base hits in 22 games. Juan Pierre(notes) had one of the doubles, and is hitting .480 (12 for 25) during a six-game hitting streak.
“It feels good,” said Loney, who has five doubles during his run. “Sometimes we all struggle at the same time. But the guys swung the bats well. Hopefully we’ll keep it up.”
Loney and the Dodgers might have more trouble against Hamels, however. They managed five doubles and two home runs in four games against him last year, and Loney went 3 for 11 when facing him.
Philadelphia comes in having lost five of seven. Jimmy Rollins(notes) batted fifth for the second straight game Wednesday instead of his usual leadoff spot, and homered in the second inning—he was 2 for 17 before connecting for the second time this season.
Los Angeles averaged 6.6 runs in Billingsley’s first six starts, but scored far fewer on Friday against San Francisco. The right-hander allowed three runs and eight hits over seven innings of the 3-1 loss.
“Billingsley pitched well enough to win,” manager Joe Torre told the Dodgers’ official Web site. “He’s a tough kid.”
Billingsley is 1-3 with a 7.04 ERA in five starts against the Phillies. He suffered two losses against them in the NLCS, including Game 5 against Hamels.