Cole Hamels has done something that no other Philadelphia Phillies pitcher had done in 122 years. He'll try to snap a career-long six- start losing streak Wednesday afternoon when the Phils go for a three-game sweep of the Miami Marlins.
Hamels fell to 1-9 with a 4.86 earned run average through 12 starts this season following a loss to Milwaukee on Friday. The left-hander and former World Series MVP became the first Phils pitcher to lose nine games before June 1 since Kid Gleason in 1891.
Philadelphia had plated just seven runs over the first five games of Hamels' current slide, but the 29-year-old did not help himself in his last outing. Despite pitching with a lead in a game for the first time since April 7, Hamels suffered an 8-5 loss after giving up seven runs -- six earned -- on a career-high 12 hits in five-plus innings of work.
Winless since April 28, Hamels will face the Marlins for the fourth time already this season. He is 0-2 in the previous three encounters despite a 2.25 ERA, striking out 21 over 20 innings while allowing five runs.
The Marlins would love to extend Hamels' struggles and for Jacob Turner to build off an excellent season debut when he toes the rubber today.
The 22-year-old went 1-4 with a 3.38 ERA in seven starts last year with the Marlins, who acquired Turner on July 23 in a deal that sent Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez to Detroit. Turner was the ninth overall pick of the 2009 draft by the Tigers.
Expected to be part of Miami's starting rotation this season, Turner instead struggled during Spring Training and began the season in the minors. After shaking off a tough April, the righty began to turn things around at Triple-A and was recalled to take the place of Alex Sanabia (right groin strain) in the rotation.
Turner made his 2013 debut versus the Mets on Friday and picked up a victory after hurling seven scoreless innings of five-hit ball. He also fanned three with one walk.
"Obviously, it was a good start, and I'm glad we got the win," Turner said on Miami's website. "I feel like I've been throwing the ball similar to this in Triple-A. It was just a matter of time to make the adjustments I needed to make to get everything right.
"My last five or six starts, everything has been coming together. Obviously, it took a little bit longer than I would have liked. I'm happy that it's here now."
Turner will face the Phillies for the first time in his career.
Philadelphia has scored seven runs in each of its past three games, winning each contest. That includes Tuesday's 7-3 extra-inning victory that saw John Mayberry play the hero.
Mayberry tied the game with a solo homer in the 10th inning after Juan Pierre had given the Marlins a 3-2 lead in the top of the frame, scoring on a wild pitch. Mayberry then followed a four-pitch walk by Edgar Olmos to Erik Kratz that loaded the bases by drilling a 1-1 pitch into the first row of seats in left field.
The outfielder became the first player in baseball history to hit a pair of home runs in extra innings, with the second being a walk-off grand slam.
"It's definitely awesome. It's something that you dream of doing," Mayberry said of his late-game heroics. "One of those crazy games where you're the guy up to the plate in key situations and you're able to come through."
Rob Brantly and Casey Kotchman each knocked in a run for the Marlins, who had won three straight before dropping the first two games of this set and have now lost 11 of their last 14.
"That was a tough loss for us," Miami manager Mike Redmond admitted. "We had a couple of opportunities early in the game, we had runner there on third with one out, and we couldn't get those add-on runs."
The Phillies have won eight of 12 versus the Marlins this season, including a four-game split in Philadelphia from May 2-5.