PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Cole Hamels pitched well enough to win his first two starts only to watch the bullpen waste leads after he left.
Not this time.
Chase Utley homered and drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI double in the sixth, Jimmy Rollins hit his NL-leading sixth homer and a beleaguered bullpen pitched three scoreless innings in Philadelphia’s 8-5 victory over Houston on Saturday.
Jason Lane had a three-run homer and four RBIs for the Astros.
Hamels (1-0) allowed five runs and eight hits in six innings in the least effective of his three outings. He gave up two earned runs in 13 innings in his first two starts, but the bullpen cost him two wins.
“That’s the game of baseball. You put out some good starts and don’t get a win and you win your first in a game I wasn’t too pleased about,” Hamels said.
Francisco Rosario pitched a scoreless seventh in his first appearance since the Phillies acquired him from Toronto for cash last week. Antonio Alfonseca worked the eighth and Tom Gordon finished for his second save in three chances.
The Phillies won for the first time at home in five tries, improving to 3-8 overall.
Pinch-hitter Jayson Werth singled leading off the bottom of the sixth against starter Woody Williams (0-2). After left fielder Carlos Lee robbed Shane Victorino of extra bases with a leaping catch at the wall, Utley hit an RBI double off Trever Miller to right-center that put the Phillies ahead 6-5.
Williams gave up six runs—five earned—and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings.
“It just seemed like my location was off,” Williams said. “Most of their runs they got with two outs, I’m usually pretty good with two outs. It’s a good lineup. You can’t expect them not to score any runs.”
The Astros went ahead 4-1 in the fourth when Lane connected for his second homer. Lance Berkman and Morgan Ensberg singled around Lee’s flyout. Lane then hit a towering drive into the left-field seats.
Hamels struggled with the long ball in spring training, allowing nine homers in 20 2-3 innings. The left-hander hadn’t given up any homers in his first three starts until Lane went deep.
But the Phillies answered with three runs in the bottom half of the inning. An RBI double by Carlos Ruiz cut it to 4-2. With two outs, Rollins lined a two-run shot into the right-field seats to tie it at 4.
A 5-foot-8, 170-pound leadoff hitter, Rollins was tied with Alex Rodriguez for the major league lead in homers before the Yankees star hit his seventh Saturday night. Rollins, a three-time All-Star shortstop, hit a career-best 25 last season.
“Maturity. It’s simple,” Rollins said when asked about his strong start.
Lane’s RBI groundout to second base in the sixth tied it at 5.
Utley hit a 1-1 pitch into the second deck in right field for his second homer to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
Craig Biggio’s two-out single in the third tied it at 1. Biggio was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second base after first baseman Howard couldn’t handle second baseman Utley’s throw on Chris Burke’s grounder for an error. Astros third base coach Doug Mansolino was ejected by plate umpire Charlie Reliford for arguing the call.
Burrell flied out to right to end the third after Howard was intentionally walked with two outs to load the bases. Howard was intentionally walked three times and four times overall.
“They got big hits with runners in scoring position,” Astros manager Phil Garner said. “That’s what they did today.”
The Phillies designated RHP Clay Condrey for assignment to make room for Freddy Garcia, who is scheduled to make his first start on Sunday. … The Astros are 9-2 at Citizens Bank Park. … Hitting coach Sean Berry coached third base after Mansolino’s ejection. … Ruiz got his first career stolen base in the seventh inning.