Cole Hamels has pitched well in his last four starts against the Miami Marlins but hasn't been rewarded for his efforts in two matchups this season.
The Philadelphia Phillies left-hander will try again to earn a win over the Marlins for his short-handed club and avoid a career high-tying fourth consecutive defeat Monday night in Miami.
Hamels (1-6, 4.61 ERA) is 2-1 with a 1.20 ERA in his last four matchups with the Marlins but is 0-1 in his two this season despite posting a 1.93 ERA. He gave up two solo homers and two other hits over eight innings in a 2-0 home defeat May 4, and allowed one run over six innings in a game the Phillies would go on to lose 2-1 in Miami on April 13.
Hamels has one of the lowest run support averages in the NL at 3.02 but didn't help himself Wednesday by giving up five runs to Cleveland in five innings of a 10-4 loss.
"You have to go out there and execute pitches," Hamels said. "I wasn't able to do that early on."
Hamels added that he's trying to work on his delivery and that has led to a career-worst 1.96 strikeouts-to-walk ratio. The only time he lost four straight starts was from June 11-28, 2006, his rookie season.
"I think he's going to get it figured out," manager Charlie Manuel said. "He's having a hard time putting the ball where he wanted it to go. That's what I saw. He thought he had some close pitches. He didn't get them. He was having trouble locating the ball with his pitches."
Hamels needed 106 pitches to get through his five innings and will try to be more efficient against the Marlins, who are batting .197 during a 2-10 stretch. Miami (12-32) has totaled 19 runs in those games but got enough to snap a seven-game skid Sunday with a 2-1 victory over Arizona.
Marcell Ozuna doubled in both runs in the sixth inning.
"We got beat around a little bit, but we were able to pitch some really nice games the last couple of days," said manager Mike Redmond, whose team lost 1-0 on Saturday.
The Phillies (21-23), meanwhile, earned their fifth win in seventh games in dramatic fashion Sunday, 3-2 over Cincinnati. Down a run in the ninth inning, Erik Kratz and Freddy Galvis ended the game with back-to-back homers.
The Phillies will next try to move one game within .500 for the first time since they were 6-7 on April 15. Philadelphia took two of three in Miami from April 12-14 but had to settle for a four-game split at home against the Marlins from May 2-5.
The Phillies, though, won't have catcher Carlos Ruiz and first baseman Ryan Howard in Monday's opener. Ruiz had to leave Sunday's game with a strained right hamstring and Howard won't play in Miami due to right knee soreness.
Alex Sanabia (2-6, 5.00) took the loss in the series opener in Philadelphia after giving up four runs - two earned - over five innings in a 7-2 defeat. That loss was the third of his career-high five in a row.
Sanabia has a 5.46 ERA during his losing streak and has been given just seven runs of support. He allowed four runs over six innings in a 4-0 loss to Cincinnati on Wednesday.