After struggling right after the All-Star break, the Philadelphia Phillies are starting to look like the two-time defending NL champions.
Philadelphia (53-46) lost four straight and six of seven out of the break, but has won five in a row. The Phillies also have an eight-game home winning streak after Monday’s 5-4 victory over Colorado completed a four-game sweep. They are 4 1/2 games behind first-place Atlanta in the NL East.
Hamels (7-7, 3.40 ERA) will try to ensure the Phillies do not lose any ground as he tries for a fourth straight strong start. He has allowed one run in 22 2-3 innings of his last three outings, but has a 1-1 record to show for it. Hamels gave up one hit in eight innings, but did not factor in the decision of the Phillies’ 2-0 loss to the Cardinals on Thursday.
“Absolutely outstanding,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of Hamels.
The left-hander is 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA in four starts against the Diamondbacks, but allowed six runs in six innings of a 7-4 loss at Arizona on April 23.
Though the Phillies lost two of three at Arizona earlier this season, they will try for a fifth straight home win over the Diamondbacks (37-62). Philadelphia won’t have to worry about facing Dan Haren(notes), who was scheduled to start before being traded to the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday.
“It is a chance for us to restructure our roster and give it a different look,” Arizona interim general manager Jerry Dipoto said. “One of the things we talked about three weeks ago was taking our current major league club and reconnecting it to our greatest depth, which is at the A-levels of the minor leagues.”
The right-hander, 3-1 with a 5.70 ERA in seven games - five starts - for Philadelphia in 2009, is 1-1 with a 6.27 ERA in three starts versus the Phillies. He allowed six runs in six innings, but didn’t factor in the decision of an 8-6 win over Philadelphia on April 25.
Arizona looks to avoid a fifth straight loss after being swept in a four-game set by San Francisco over the weekend. The Diamondbacks also have lost five of six on the road.
Upton is 21 for 48 with eight RBIs during his hitting streak, and a lifetime .375 hitter against Philadelphia. He is 3 for 6 versus Hamels.