Burrell’s 5 RBIs back Hamels, Phillies beat LA
“Cole’s been pitching outstanding all year,” said Chase Utley, who scored three times. “We haven’t given him the best run support, but every game we feel like we have a great chance to win when he pitches. And again he pitched great today.”
Burrell put the Phillies ahead with his 30th homer, a three-run shot down the left-field line in the first inning. He got a gift RBI double in the fifth when Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp lost a routine fly in the sun, then capped his big day with an RBI single in the sixth.
Burrell also equaled a season high by scoring three runs as Philadelphia won for the fifth time in six games to move within 1 1/2 games of the NL East-leading New York Mets. He entered the day with two RBIs in his last nine games.
“He’s been the type of guy that has been plugging away,” Hamels said. “Unfortunately, he hasn’t had the best couple of weeks, but he’s been a player in there working hard every single day. So for him to come up with the big hit in the first inning definitely got us out in front, and I think that was huge.”
Hamels (11-8) allowed two runs and five hits while striking out five and walking none to lower his ERA to 3.20. Philadelphia totaled five runs in his previous three starts.
“He’s pitched some good ballgames where he got some losses and he’s pitched some real close ones where he didn’t get any decisions,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “His record definitely could be better.”
But Hamels said he concentrates on getting hitters out, not how much offense he gets.
“That’s my mind-set, to really focus on preventing runs instead of watching how many runs we have,” he said.
The Phillies have scored only nine runs over Hamels’ last six losses, but their hitters had no such problems Saturday.
Ryan Howard doubled and drove in two, and Shane Victorino had two RBIs for the Phillies, who have scored 17 runs in consecutive wins over the Dodgers after entering Friday night with 61 runs in 19 games (3.1 per contest) in August.
“We’re capable of scoring definitely more than three runs a night,” Manuel said. “When we’re clicking we’re going to average about five runs a game when we’re really good. Once we get consistent and start scoring runs like we can and our pitching stays as good as it’s been, we’re going to win quite a few games.”
Los Angeles rookie left-hander Clayton Kershaw (2-4) had his worst outing of the season as the Dodgers lost for the fourth time in five games. Kershaw, making his 15th career start, allowed a season-high six runs and seven hits in four-plus innings. He walked two and struck out five.
“I just didn’t have it today,” Kershaw said.
Russell Martin hit a two-run homer in the third inning for the Dodgers. Martin had been in a power funk, with just one RBI in his previous 16 games.
As a team, the Dodgers have struggled at the plate of late. Los Angeles has five hits in each of its last three games, resulting in six runs.
“We’re not hitting,” manager Joe Torre said. “We’re putting a lot of pressure on our pitchers because we’re not scoring runs.”
It was the 10th time Burrell had five RBIs in a game. The previous time was May 11, 2007, against the Chicago Cubs. He also reached 30 homers for the fourth time in his nine-year career. The Phillies placed OF Geoff Jenkins on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hip flexor and called up INF Andy Tracy from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Jenkins injured his hip while beating out an infield single Friday. Kershaw singled to center in the fifth for his first major league hit. He was 0-for-19 with 10 strikeouts entering the at-bat.