Phils, Hamels return home to face Cardinals

Lefty Cole Hamels seeks his first victory of 2013 when the Philadelphia Phillies host the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series at Citizens Bank Park.

Hamels, a 17-game winner last season, opened the year with consecutive losses at Atlanta and at home to Kansas City while allowing 13 runs on 16 hits in just 10 2/3 innings of work.

He pitched better, but still got a no-decision, in the Phillies' 2-1 loss at Miami in his last start on April 13, allowing three hits and a run in six innings with three walks and five strikeouts.

The effort lowered his earned run average from 10.97 to 7.56.

Hamels is 2-3 in nine lifetime meetings with the Cardinals, while allowing a .225 batting average and striking out 56 batters in 55 innings.

He'll be opposed by 31-year-old Georgia native Adam Wainwright, who comes off his best outing of the young season.

Wainwright improved to 2-0 in three starts on April 13 when he pitched a four- hit shutout over the Milwaukee Brewers while notching the 12th complete game of his 154-start career.

He didn't walk a batter and struck out 12, which is how many strikeouts he'd recorded through two previous starts in April - while beating San Francisco and losing to Arizona.

Wainwright, who is 3-1 in nine career meetings with the Phillies, will try to get the Cardinals back on track Thursday after they were shut down by A.J. Burnett in a 5-0 loss to the Pirates on Wednesday.

Carlos Beltran's double in the seventh broke up Burnett's no-hit bid and was the only hit St. Louis recorded.

Shelby Miller (2-1) allowed two runs on six hits and a walk for the Cardinals, who have lost just two of their last seven.

"It was a well-pitched game on both sides," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "Their guy was just a little bit better."

Meanwhile in Cincinnati, Philadelphia lost Tuesday's suspended game then was crushed in the regularly scheduled series finale, falling, 11-2.

The Phillies scored just 10 runs on a disappointing 2-4 road trip.

"Sometimes you go through periods where you don't hit," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.

Freddy Galvis accounted for Wednesday's offense with a two-run homer in the eighth inning off Justin Freeman, but by that time the outcome was already decided.

John Lannan (0-1) was knocked out in the second as the veteran right-hander was tagged for six runs on eight hits.

The Phillies won five of seven games between the teams in 2012, a year after the Cardinals had won the season series, 6-3.