Phillies 10, Diamondbacks 1
PHOENIX (AP)—Philadelphia pitcher Cole Hamels needed only three starts to record his first big league victory.
“It’s definitely nice, especially getting it early on,” Hamels said after the Phillies beat Arizona 10-1 Tuesday night. “I think in the past couple years, every time I’ve played it’s taken me six, seven starts to get a ‘W.’ “
Hamels (1-0), the Phillies’ first-round pick in the 2002 draft, looked sharp after spending 18 days on the disabled list with a strained left shoulder. He cruised against the Diamondbacks, whose .275 team batting average is second in the National League.
“I felt probably the best I’ve felt in a long time,” Hamels said. “I felt great. I was executing all the pitches.”
Hamels outpitched Arizona veteran Russ Ortiz (0-4), who also returned to the rotation after a stint on the disabled list with a calf injury.
The Diamondbacks saw their NL West lead over Los Angeles sliced to 1 1/2 games. Arizona came out flat after news broke, shortly before the game, that federal agents had searched reliever Jason Grimsley’s house in Scottsdale as part of their investigation into steroid use in baseball. Grimsley, who declined to comment after the game, spent the game in the bullpen, warming up at one point.
“I just think that the effect on us today, as we heard about one of our teammates, it certainly had an effect on us,” manager Bob Melvin said.
Hamels allowed three hits, mixing fastballs and curveballs to keep the Diamondbacks off balance. He set the tone early, striking out leadoff batter Eric Byrnes and No. 2 hitter Chad Tracy. Hamels retired the first 11 batters he faced before Conor Jackson blooped a single to center field with two out in the fourth inning.
“Hamels was good,” Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said. “I think he can be better than that, really. He’s just got to get his feet on the ground.
“I’ve said all along, if we can keep him healthy, he’s going to help us. I mean, it’s that simple. He looks like a pitcher.”
The Phillies gave Hamels plenty of support. Burrell hit a two-run homer down the left-field line in the first, and Philadelphia added another run in the fifth and three more in the sixth.
Hamels was involved in the sixth inning rally, much to his surprise. After Arizona reliever Brandon Medders struck out the first two batters, he walked Hamels on a 3-2 pitch that appeared to be a strike, at least to Hamels. He took several strides toward the visiting dugout before he realized that he had drawn a walk.
“I thought it was right down the pipe,” Hamels said.
Hamels had struck out four times, grounded out twice and recorded a sacrifice bunt in his first seven plate appearances in the big leagues.
“I don’t think he knew the way to first base,” Manuel said.
With Hamels aboard, Jimmy Rollins singled and first baseman Jackson was charged with an error on Chase Utley’s hard grounder, scoring Hamels and putting runners on second and third. Bobby Abreu singled to drive in two more runs.
Hamels may have tired running the bases. In the bottom of the inning, he loaded the bases on two walks and a single before giving up a run on Jackson’s sacrifice fly. After Hamels retired Luis Gonzalez on a bouncer back to the mound, Manuel summoned Geoff Geary, who came on to get Damion Easley to foul out.
“(Hamels) could have been getting a little tired,” Manuel said. “But he wasn’t going to tell me.”
Hamels struck out two and walked two.
Hamels had a better night than Ortiz, who needed 41 pitches to get out of the first inning, walking three and giving up Burrell’s homer and a double to Ryan Howard. Ortiz struck out Fasano to leave the bases loaded, and that turned his outing around.
Ortiz retired 10 of the next 11 batters before allowing Howard’s RBI single in the fifth. Ortiz gave up three runs and four hits in five innings. He walked five, tying a season high, and struck out a season-high seven.
“I had a lot more adrenalin going in the first inning than I did during my rehab,” Ortiz said. “I think after that inning was over I felt I was in control with my emotions and everything, and so I ended the last four innings fine.”
Arizona RHP Dustin Nippert, who has been pitching for Triple-A Tucson, will start Wednesday, Melvin announced after the game. Melvin said RHP Juan Cruz, who has a sore shoulder, would be placed on the disabled list. … Arizona OF Shawn Green went 0-for-3 to snap an 11-game hitting streak. … The Phillies’ bullpen has allowed four runs in 34 1-3 innings, a 1.05 ERA. … The Phils have hit a home run in 44 of 58 games. … Ortiz, who signed a $33 million, four-year contract in December 2004, has one victory in his last 18 starts dating to May 2005. … Philadelphia OF Bobby Abreu drew his major league-leading 60th walk.