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Hamels does job as Phils beat Nats

The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels did not warm up well Monday, and he wasn't around when the issue was decided.

Hamels still believed he did his job, going seven strong innings as the Phils beat the Washington Nationals 3-2 on Carlos Ruiz's tie-breaking single in the eighth inning.

"Ultimately I wasn't trying to overextend myself," Hamels said, "and I felt good doing it. ... Luckily I was able to go deep and give the team a chance."

It helped, he said, that he was opposed by a quality pitcher like Washington's Stephen Strasburg.

"You have to strive for perfection," Hamels said.

He was close, allowing a first-inning solo homer to Ryan Zimmerman but yielding only one other hit over his seven innings. It was the eighth straight quality start for Hamels, who is just 2-1 with a 1.98 ERA over that stretch.

Monday's game, in which he struck out eight and didn't walk a batter, was his fifth no-decision in that stretch. His record remains 6-13, despite a 3.50 ERA. He threw just 87 pitches Monday.

"We felt like he did his job there," Phillies interim manager Ryne Sandberg said. "We had fresh arms in the bullpen."

The Nats broke a 1-1 tie on Scott Hairston's sacrifice fly in the top of the eighth, but in the bottom of the inning Cesar Hernandez drew a two-out walk from Tyler Clippard (6-3), then scored all the way from first on Jimmy Rollins' double off the wall in right-center field.

After an intentional walk to Chase Utley, Ruiz grounded a single to left field. Rollins beat Bryce Harper's throw to the plate with a head-first slide.

Ruiz, who went 2-for-3, also drove in the Phillies' first run of the game with a single.

"That was really a tough one," Washington manager Davey Johnson said. "It really hurt. It was like a stab in the heart."

B.J. Rosenberg (2-0) pitched one-third of an inning for the victory. Jonathan Papelbon pitched out of a two-on, one-out jam in the ninth for his 24th save.

Strasburg pitched six innings and allowed an unearned run on two hits, but was left with his fourth straight no-decision, and his fifth in his last six starts. Strasburg struck out 10 and walked two.

It was the 11th double-digit strikeout game of his career, and the second straight time he has fanned more than 10 Phillies in a game. But Johnson said Strasburg was "kind of spent after six innings."

"I was sweating a lot out there," Strasburg said. "It affected me not being able to pitch more innings. Strange circumstances, but I have to be able to deal with it. It was tough gripping the ball like I usually do."

Zimmerman launched an 0-2 fastball from Hamels into the left-center field seats for a two-out homer in the first, Zimmerman's 16th of the season.

The Phillies drew even on Ruiz's broken-bat RBI single in the fourth.

NOTES: Phillies OF Domonic Brown did not play. It was the seventh time in nine games he hasn't started because of a sore right Achilles tendon. Brown underwent an MRI earlier in the day which according to Sandberg showed "mild" tendinitis and bursitis. Sandberg pronounced Brown day to day. ... The Phillies recalled C Cameron Rupp, INF Freddy Galvis, RHP Tyler Cloyd, RHP Luis Garcia, LHP Mauricio Robles and LHP Joe Savery from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. ... Phils 3B Cody Asche, who missed three straight games last week with a sore right hamstring, played Sunday against the Chicago Cubs but was held out Monday. Sandberg said the plan all along had been to rest Asche. ... Nats OF Denard Span, a left-handed hitter riding a 15-game hitting streak, did not start against Hamels. Span did enter the game as a defensive replacement. ... Zimmerman has three career homers off Hamels. ... Washington's Adam LaRoche broke an 0-for-18 slump with a ninth-inning single. ... Phillies LF John Mayberry Jr. went 0-for-3 and is now hitless in his last 15 at-bats.
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