Hamels shaky in 5-4 loss to Marlins

Posted: June 03, 2012

For the second straight game, Cole Hamels was less than dominating. But unlike his previous outing, this one cost him.

Hamels allowed a season-high five earned runs as the Phillies suffered a 5-4 loss to the Miami Marlins Saturday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.

In his previous start, an 8-4 win over the New York Mets, Hamels surrendered a then-season-high four earned runs.

Saturday's game was only the second the Phillies have lost that Hamels started this season. The first was against these same Marlins, 6-2, in the home opener on April 9.

"They're a good team," Hamels said of the Marlins. "Unfortunately, I think it's a matter of both games that I've pitched against them, just making too many mistakes."

On the long list of Phillies problems, Hamels' pitching isn't in sight, but he surrendered two home runs, both to Hanley Ramirez, which has continued a recent trend.

It was the third time in the last four games that Hamels has allowed two homers in a game after issuing a total of just three in his first seven starts.

"I wasn't really executing the first pitch," said Hamels, now 8-2 with a 2.81 ERA. "When you're getting behind in counts over and over and over, obviously you aren't putting yourself in a good situation."

The Phillies took a 3-0 lead on Carlos Ruiz's RBI groundout in the first, Jimmy Rollins RBI infield single in the second, and Hunter Pence's solo homer in the third. It was his 13th, and second in two days.

Miami got two back in the fourth on Ramirez's solo home run and Justin Ruggiano's RBI double. Ramirez's home run was upheld after the umpires reviewed it for fan interference.

Miami took a 4-3 lead in the sixth on Ramirez's two-run home run to left. It was his 12th career multi-home run game, giving him the franchise lead.

Ramirez's first home run was on a fastball, which Hamels said he thought was a good pitch. The second came on a change-up, which wasn't.

"The second one was definitely my fault, just cut the pitch back over the plate," Hamels said.

Hamels walked Chris Coghlan to open the seventh. It was only his second walk of the game, but extremely costly. Coghlan is hitting just .151, which made it even more painful.

He advanced to second on pitcher Ricky Nolasco's sacrifice bunt and scored on Reyes' two-out double down the left-field line. That extended Reyes' hitting streak to 13 games.

It also ended Hamels' afternoon.

Hamels was relieved by Chad Qualls. The starter pitched 62/3 innings and allowed five runs on seven hits while striking out eight.

"It's never easy against Hamels," Reyes said. "With him you have to be aggressive."

Rollins led off the eighth with a triple that was misplayed off the right-field wall by Giancarlo Stanton. Juan Pierre then walked on four pitches, and righthander Steve Cishek replaced Nolasco.

Pence knocked in the fourth Phils run with a sacrifice to right, and Pierre, who had stolen second, advanced to third on the play. Ruiz struck out for the second out. Shane Victorino walked, putting runners at the corners.

Ty Wigginton ended the inning by striking out after hitting a 1-1 pitch just foul down the left-field line.

Righthander Heath Bell, who has a 6.86 ERA, earned the save for the Marlins, but as usual, he didn't make it easy.

Bell, who doesn't appear to have spent a lot of time at fitness centers, surrendered a single to Polanco to open the ninth inning. Freddy Galvis then sacrificed pinch- runner Mike Fontenot to second. Both Galvis and manager Charlie Manuel argued that first baseman Logan Morrison never tagged him.

Both said that first base umpire Doug Eddings said that Galvis ran out of the baseline.

"I saw the replay and I was in the line," Galvis said.

Either way, he was called out. Pinch-hitter Brian Schneider popped to second on a full count, and the game ended when Rollins popped out to short.

The Phillies are 0-20 when trailing after seven innings, a problem of much more concern than a couple of rougher-than-usual outings by Hamels.

Contact Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225, mnarducci@phillynews.com or @sjnard on Twitter.

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