MIAMI (AP) — The Philadelphia Phillies have been scoring at a solid pace during their winning streak that has brought them to within a victory of reaching .500 for the first time since April.
Runs have been hard to come by, though, when Cole Hamels takes the mound.
Philadelphia seeks a season-high fourth straight win as Hamels looks to avoid a seventh consecutive defeat in Wednesday’s series finale against the Miami Marlins.
John Mayberry hit a tying homer in the 10th inning before his grand slam in the 11th gave the Phillies (29-30) a 7-3 victory Tuesday. They’ve scored seven runs in each game during their streak after scoring 21 while dropping five of their previous seven.
“We’re going to see if we can have a go at it. That’s what we come to the ballpark for,” manager Charlie Manuel said as his team seeks to reach .500 for the first time since April 14.
Hamels (1-9, 4.86 ERA) sure could use that type of run support as he continues to suffer through what is on pace to be the worst season of his career. He’s lost a career-worst six straight starts after giving up seven runs and a career-high 12 hits in five-plus innings of Friday’s 8-5 loss to Milwaukee, becoming first Phillies pitcher to lose nine games before June since Kid Gleason in 1891.
The left-hander, who signed a six-year, $144 million deal last season, has posted a 6.45 ERA over his last four outings.
“No matter what the stats say, you want to try to win (for the team), and that’s not happening,” Hamels said. “That’s kind of the difficult part.”
Philadelphia’s offense isn’t providing him much help, though. He hasn’t received more than four runs of support in any of his 12 starts, and his 2.92 run-support average ranks among the worst in baseball.
Hamels has a 2.25 ERA with 21 strikeouts in 20 innings in three starts versus Miami this season, but he’s 0-2 in those outings while receiving two total runs of support. He allowed two runs and struck out 10 in six innings of a 5-1 loss May 20 the last time he faced the Marlins.
“You have to keep understanding that you can only control so much,” Hamels said. “The game of baseball is very funny. I don’t have a lot of control over certain aspects of the game.”
The baseball-worst Marlins (16-43), who have scored five runs while dropping the first two of this series after plating 24 during a three-game winning streak, will send Jacob Turner to the mound for his second start looking to avoid the sweep.
Turner (1-0, 0.00), acquired in July in the trade that sent Anibal Sanchez to Detroit, allowed five hits in seven scoreless innings to beat the New York Mets 5-1 in his season debut Friday.
After going 1-4 with a 3.38 ERA in seven starts for the Marlins last season, Turner was expected to be a part of the team’s regular rotation. He began this year in Triple-A, though, after struggling in spring training.
“My last five or six starts (in the minors), everything has been coming together,” Turner told the team’s official website. “Obviously, it took a little bit longer than I would have liked (to return to the majors). I’m happy that it’s here now.”
The Phillies have won four straight overall and seven of the last nine home meetings versus the Marlins.