With a chance to get his club to .500 before the All-Star break, beleaguered Philadelphia Phillies starter Cole Hamels hopes to secure a third straight winning start as he takes the hill on Sunday afternoon to wrap a long three-game set with the Chicago White Sox.
Hamels is looking to get on a roll and has won back-to-back outings for the first time this season. That still leaves the 2008 World Series MVP 4-11 through 19 starts this season -- one loss shy of a new single-season career high -- with a 4.17 earned run average.
However, the left-hander has given up just two earned runs over his winning streak with 12 strikeouts over 15 innings. He held Washington to just a run over eight frames of a 4-2 win on Tuesday.
"I know it was hot, but I was able to maintain the energy and intensity level," Hamels said.
The 29-year-old Hamels has faced the White Sox once before and picked up a victory in Philadelphia on June 12, 2007. He logged eight innings of two-run ball while striking out eight.
After putting a long winless stretch behind him last time out, Chicago's Jose Quintana eyes another victory in his first ever meeting with the Phillies.
The 24-year-old southpaw is coming off Tuesday's win at Detroit, where he allowed three runs over eight innings while striking out seven. Quintana used his longest start of the campaign to win for the first time since May 21. He lost six days after that before failing to record a decision in seven straight starts.
The second-year hurler is 4-2 with a 3.67 ERA in 18 starts this season, including 2-0 with a 3.52 ERA in nine on the road.
After having the opener of this series on Friday postponed due to rain, the Phillies and White Sox endured a long day of baseball yesterday. A doubleheader between the clubs saw a combined 24 innings played, totaling nearly eight hours of baseball with a 41-minute rain delay in Game 1.
Alexei Ramirez doubled home Alejandro De Aza in the 11th inning of the first game and scored a key run in the frame when Philadelphia's Jimmy Rollins failed to secure Alex Rios' ground ball.
The Phillies scored once in the bottom of the frame, but the White Sox held on for a 5-4 win.
The second contest then stretched to 13 innings and came to a 2-1 conclusion when Philadelphia's Michael Young singled home Rollins with two outs.
"I think we were all pretty exhausted," Young said. "It was a long day, but at this point, obviously we need wins any way we can get them. So it was important to get the second one."
Philadelphia improved to 6-3 on a 10-game homestand and has won eight of its past 12 overall, giving it a 47-48 mark on the final day before the All-Star break.
Chicago won for the third time in four games by taking the first game of the doubleheader.
Both clubs lost a player to injury during the doubleheader, with Phillies outfielder Ben Revere suffering a broken right foot in the 11th inning of Game 1.
Revere, hitting .347 since May 1, fouled a ball off his foot and is expected to go on the disabled list. He will see a specialist on Monday.
For the White Sox, second baseman Gordon Beckham had to exit the nightcap due to a left quad bruise sustained when he collided with outfielder Casper Wells when the latter made a diving catch in the 12th inning.
Beckham initially stayed in the game, but came out in the bottom of the 13th. He is not expected to play today and is hitting .335 in 44 games with a pair of homers and 13 RBI.
The Phillies are playing host to the White Sox for the first time since sweeping a three-game series from June 11-13, 2007.