Cole Hamels is a three-time All-Star, and he's finally starting to pitch like one again.
Hamels attempts to win a third straight start and help the Philadelphia Phillies head into the break with a .500 record by beating the last-place Chicago White Sox on Sunday.
Hamels (4-11, 4.17 ERA) set career highs with 17 wins and 216 strikeouts last year, but he's failed to build on that in 2013. The left-hander has already tied his career high in losses, set in 2009 and matched the following year.
Recently, he's looked more like the pitcher that's recorded double-digit victories each of the last six seasons. He's won back-to-back starts, yielding two earned runs and 11 hits over 15 innings while walking one and striking out 12.
Hamels had perhaps his best outing of the season Tuesday, allowing one run and pitching out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam to complete the eighth inning in a 4-2 win over Washington.
Getting consistency from Hamels would give the Phillies (47-48) a strong 1-2 punch in the rotation with All-Star Cliff Lee. It may also re-establish them as a viable contender in the NL East.
"That would mean that we definitely have a chance to win two games in a series," Charlie Manuel told the team's official website. "That's what that means. And I'd get my regular sleep."
Hamels earned a 7-3 win in his only career meeting with the White Sox (37-54) on June 12, 2007.
Michael Young's two-out, walkoff single gave the Phillies a 2-1 win over Chicago on Saturday after dropping the opener of the doubleheader 5-4.
Young had four hits in the twin bill, and he's batting .400 with four doubles and six RBIs over the past eight games. However, he's 0 for 3 versus Jose Quintana, the White Sox's scheduled starter.
Young's production may be even more important after center fielder Ben Revere broke his right foot on a foul ball before grounding into a double play to end the first game Saturday.
Revere has a .431 average over his last 15 games, managing at least one hit in 14 of them.
"It's tough," Manuel said. "I couldn't believe it."
The White Sox look to head into the break with four wins in six games, and Gordon Beckham's hot bat could help them achieve that.
He's hitting .396 over the past 12 games, despite going 0 for 5 in Saturday's nightcap. He had a single, triple and scored a run in the opener of this three-game series.
Quintana (4-2, 3.67) is trying to win back-to-back starts for the first time since April.
The left-hander, who is facing the Phillies for the first time, allowed three runs and two homers over a season-high eight innings of Tuesday's 11-4 win at Detroit. He hadn't won on the road since April 17 at Toronto.
Quintana is 1-1 with a 1.65 ERA in four career interleague starts. However, that defeat came May 27 against the Cubs, who reached him for four runs in six innings of a 7-0 win.
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