MIAMI (AP) – With Cole Hamels on the mound, the reeling Philadelphia Phillies should at least believe they have a solid chance to end their latest skid.
The left-hander looks for another strong outing while trying to help the visiting Phillies avoid matching a season high with their sixth straight defeat Wednesday night against the Miami Marlins.
Philadelphia’s Marlon Byrd and Cody Asche hit back-to-back homers in the eighth inning to tie the score Tuesday, but Ed Lucas delivered a run-scoring single in the 11th to help Miami (40-43) snap a four-game skid with a 5-4 victory.
While the Marlins hope they are back on track, the Phillies (36-47) have totaled 12 runs during their five-game losing streak. Philadelphia dropped six in a row May 31-June 5.
“It just seems like the games we’re close to, we just don’t win them,” starter A.J. Burnett said. “We’ve been in spots to win a lot of ballgames.”
Hamels (2-4, 2.84 ERA) has a 1.88 ERA and has pitched at least seven innings each during a 10-start span in which he’s only 2-2. He went 1-1 with a 1.23 ERA in six June outings while his teammates gave him 11 runs with which to work.
The Phillies have won four of his last five outings.
Hamels gave up solo home runs to Giancarlo Stanton, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Marcell Ozuna and three other hits in seven innings of a 5-3, 14-inning win over Miami on Thursday.
Hamels’ success and Philadelphia’s troubles have led to talk of him possibly being dealt at the end of the month. The Phillies owe him $96 million following this season on a deal that runs through 2018.
Stanton, who is 4 for 6 with a homer versus Hamels this season, was mentioned in trade talks between the Marlins and Astros last offseason, according to information from hacked documents published Monday on Deadspin.com. But Miami continues to insist its star isn’t on the block.
“I would think that clubs like our players,” president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. “We have good players. We do get calls. It never was a consideration.”
Stanton is batting .474 (18 for 38) in his last 10 games. He is 11 for 22 in his last six games versus Philadelphia after going 4 for 21 in his first five this season.
Miami had been shut out in 15 consecutive innings after the ninth prior to Lucas coming through in the opener.
“After that kind of a streak, it starts to build and grate on you as a team, so it was nice to be able to finish one off,” Lucas said. “We’ve been so close in the past. We just haven’t been able to get the big hit when we needed to. So it’s good to be able to dump one in there and get us out of here for once.”
Though Miami’s Tom Koehler (5-6, 3.70) is 0-1 with a 4.81 ERA in his last four starts, the right-hander has allowed just two runs in each of the last two. He lasted six innings against Hamels and the Phillies on Thursday.
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