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Hamels' arm, bat lead Phillies to 7-2 win over Diamomdbacks

The SportsXchange

PHOENIX - Cole Hamels and Hunter Pence continue to bask in the regenerative aura of Chase Field.

Hamels multi-tasked in a 7-2 Phillies victory over Arizona on Wednesday, limiting the Diamondbacks to four hits over eight innings while capping a five-run fifth inning with a two-out, two-run single for a decisive 6-0 lead. Pence had two hits and two RBIs.

"When you are able to go out there and just plug away, have some quick at-bats, you do get in a comfortable rhythm," said Hamels, who is 4-1 with a 2.86 ERA in five career starts in Arizona's retractable-roofed stadium.

"I was just trying to keep the ball down," Hamels added. "And when the ball was up, I was getting some bad swings and they were popping the ball up."

Pence drove in runs on singles in the first and sixth to raise his batting average to .365 with four homers and 15 RBIs in 63 career at-bats at Chase. He was 3 for 9 with four RBIs in the final two games of the series after missing the first because of shoulder soreness. He was 0 for 15 entering the series.

Hamels (3-1) retired 18 consecutive batters after giving up a leadoff double to Willie Bloomquist in the first inning. A potential free agent after the season, Hamels lowered his ERA to 2.73 and has not given up more than three earned runs in any of his four starts this season.

"He's got 17 different pitches, and he throws them all for strikes," Bloomquist said. "When he's locating pitches, he can be awful tough. I hate to give a pitcher too much credit, but today he deserves it."

The Phillies won their first series since taking two of three from Miami in the second series of the season and finished their 10-game road trip at 5-5.

"The old saying is if you go .500 on the road and win at home you'll be in the playoffs. I'm not sure I buy that, but that's what they say," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.

Placido Polanco had three hits and scored twice and doubled in a run. Carlos Ruiz had three hits, including an RBI-single in the five-run sixth.

Trevor Cahill (1-2) gave up four runs in 5 1/3 innings and lost his second straight home start as his ERA rose to 3.70.

The D-backs have lost seven of nine.

"I don't think we feel like we are in real good synch," said manager Kirk Gibson, whose team played 16 straight days. "It hasn't been easy for us. We'll get back after it on Friday."

The D-backs broke Hamels' shutout with two runs in the seventh. Aaron Hill singled with one out and scored after singles by Justin Upton and Jason Kubel, making it 6-1. Kubel extended his hitting streak to nine games.

Cody Ransom walked and Phillies' second baseman Pete Orr muffed a throw from shortstop on a potential double play ball hit by Paul Goldschmidt, enabling Upton to score and keep the bases loaded, before A.J. Pollock grounded into a double play started by Orr to end the inning.

Polanco singled with one out in the first inning and went to second on a passed ball before scoring on Hunter Pence's ground ball single through the hole between third base and shortstop to make it 1-0.

Laynce Nix followed with a looping fly down the left field line that bounced off diving third baseman Cody Ransom's glove for a double, but left fielder Kubel tracked the ball down in foul territory and threw out Pence attempting to score on a close play at the plate. Kubel leads major league outfielders with five assists, four from left field and one from right.

Nix has hit safely in all three games here, doubling as a pinch-hitter in a 9-5 loss Monday and getting three hits, including a two-run homer, in an 8-5 victory Tuesday.

Bloomquist was the only runner off Hamels in the first 6 1/3 innings, but he was not there long. He was picked off by Hamels as he broke toward third base attempting to steal with one out.

NOTES: Right-hander Michael Schwimer pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning Wednesday after being promoted from Class AAA Lehigh Valley to replace right-hander Michael Stutes on the roster. Stutes was placed on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. ... Infielder Pete Orr's three-run triple in the seventh inning Tuesday was the first three-RBI game of his career in his 397th game. His 396-game streak without as many as three RBIs in a game was the longest for an major league active position player, according to Elias. Kansas City second Chris Gets now has the longest streak, 319 games. ... After completing a 10-game western swing in Arizona, the Phillies have only two more series west of the Central time zone. They have a six-game trip to Colorado and the Los Angeles Dodgers immediately after the All-Star break.
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