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Phillies pound Nationals but lose Hamels


Phillies pound Nationals but lose Hamels
Finally, everything was going smoothly for Cole Hamels.

No more elbow soreness; no more pain from getting hit by a line drive in the fourth inning last Thursday.

"He was cruising," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of his ace who had pitched 41/3 scoreless innings.

Then another stroke of bad luck struck Hamels.

Nationals pitcher John Lannan laid down a bunt that Hamels went to field. As he did, he twisted his ankle and fell awkwardly. Before he got up, he pounded the ground.

"That was disappointment," he said. "It's knowing that I still had a lot left in the tank."

Hamels didn't pout for long. In the clubhouse just a few hours later, he smiled and was clearly enjoying his team's 7-1 victory, the Phils' fifth straight.

"Disgusted?" he asked rhetorically. "Hey, we won."

Thanks to the long ball; every one of their runs came across the plate via a home run. The Phillies hit four of them, including two by Chase Utley, who is now tied for the league lead with seven. Raul Ibanez joined Utley atop the rankings. He also hit his seventh -- a solo shot in the eighth. Pedro Feliz drilled a three-run shot in the five-run third that put the Phils ahead 5-0.

"We have a lot of good hitters," said Utley. "From top to bottom, we can swing the bats pretty well. [Tuesday] I thought we worked some good at-bats."

Hamels, who had allowed four hits and two walks, said it is not a high ankle sprain and expects to make his next start.

"This ankle sprain is not severe," he said. "It helps that we have a day off [Thursday]."

After talking to pitching coach Rich Dubee, manager Charlie Manuel and assistant trainer Mark Andersen, Hamels threw a test pitch. He only needed one to tell him he wasn't staying in the game.

"He was definitely hurting," Manuel said. "He was in pain when the catcher threw it back."

The bullpen, namely Chad Durbin, came on in relief and allowed minimal damage. In 32/3 innings, he gave up just one hit, a solo home run, to Adam Dunn in the sixth. He retired the other 11 batters he faced.

"I was going to try to throw as many strikes as I could and get as many outs as I could to try to give everybody a break," Durbin said.

Manuel was relieved to see Durbin, who was the team's bullpen backbone for the first half of the 2008 season, look like he was back to form. Before Tuesday's game, he had a 6.00 ERA in nine innings pitched. He had walked eight and allowed two home runs.

"I thought it was the best job he's done all year," Manuel said.

Durbin, who got the win, is expecting things to start going Hamels' way for a change.

"His luck is going to turn," Durbin said. "And when it does, there's going to be a bunch of teams not real happy to face him because his last two outings his stuff was electric. It's just a matter of time."

Clay Condrey, who's tied for the team lead in wins with three, threw a scoreless ninth to preserve the win.

Quick hitters: It was Utley's 16th career multi-home run game. ? It was Ibanez's ninth multi-hit game this season, which ties him for second most in the league. ? Shane Victorino has hit safely in nine games (.368, 10 RBIs). ? Washington's Ryan Zimmerman extended his major-league best hitting streak to 17 games with a double in the first inning. ? Washington's Nick Johnson's hitting streak ended at 11 games. ? The Phillies hadn't allowed fewer than two runs this season.

amanda.housenick@mcall.com

610-820-6187

Looking ahead: Phillies send RHP Brett Myers (1-1, 4.91 ERA) against Nationals LHP Scott Olsen (0-2, 4.50) in the 7:05 p.m. game.

Phillies 7

Nationals 1


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 30, 2009

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