Hamels goes for the milestone Sunday afternoon when the Phillies look to take two of three from the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.
Hamels (9-2, 2.49 ERA) is tied with teammate Roy Halladay(notes), who’s slated to start against St. Louis on Tuesday, and Jon Lester(notes), who failed to get win No. 10 after Boston’s 4-2 loss to Milwaukee on Saturday.
The left-hander retired 17 straight at one point Tuesday and limited Florida to a run and three hits in seven-plus innings, but left after his back tightened up in a 9-1 rout of the Marlins.
“I don’t think that it’s smart to compete not at my best,” said Hamels, who added that he didn’t expect to miss a start after improving to 5-0 with a 1.97 ERA in his last seven games.
With an ERA better than Halladay’s and more wins than Cliff Lee(notes) and Roy Oswalt(notes), Hamels may indeed be the best pitcher on the Phillies’ vaunted staff, but he prefers to put the team’s accomplishments first.
“Everyone jumps on the bandwagon when they see the Ws, but all that matters is we’re winning as a team,” he said. “The individual won-loss record is not important.”
Hamels is 5-8 with a 4.62 ERA in 16 career interleague starts as he faces the Mariners for the first time.
Owner of the majors’ best record, Philadelphia (45-27) won for the eighth time in nine games after a 5-1 victory Saturday.
Shane Victorino’s(notes) two-run ground-rule double in the seventh inning off 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez(notes) snapped a 1-all tie, and he homered for the second straight game with a two-run shot in the ninth for a season-best four RBIs.
“When I got past first I looked at the umpire and where he was pointing. I tried to find where the ball was and it was in the stands,” Victorino said of his double. “Our crowd (Phillies supporters) was cheering, so I knew.”
Victorino, who was a single shy of the cycle, is hitting .354 in 16 games since coming off the disabled list June 3 from a hamstring injury.
Ichiro Suzuki(notes) went 1 for 4, ending a streak of six straight multihit games in which he batted .520 (13 for 25). He’s batting .394 (13 for 33) in a seven-game hitting streak against the Phillies.
The left-hander has no record and 9.45 ERA in three games, including one start, against the Phillies. He hasn’t faced them since July 29, 2006, while with Florida.
Since pitching a four-hitter to beat Tampa Bay on June 3, Vargas is 0-1 with a 5.02 ERA. He was tagged for five runs and six hits in seven innings - including two homers to light-hitting Vernon Wells(notes) - in the Mariners’ 6-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Monday.