Published April 29, 2014
(SportsNetwork.com) - Cole Hamels and the Philadelphia Phillies make their return to Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday evening for the start of a two-game series with the rival New York Mets.
The Phillies went 6-4 on a 10-game road trip out west, picking up those six victories over the swing's final eight games.
Hamels made his season debut while Philadelphia was on the road, with the left-hander having begun the season on the disabled list due to biceps tendinitis. He faced the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday and pitched well in a loss, giving up two runs on six hits and a walk over six innings while striking out five.
"I knew what I was going into. It was just a matter of preparing myself just like I normally have and getting ready in a spring training-type setting. It was just a couple of weeks later than everybody else," Hamels said.
The 30-year-old Hamels is 7-13 with a 4.44 earned run average in his career versus the Mets and will be following up an excellent showing on Sunday by A.J. Burnett.
The veteran notched his first victory of the season and with the Phillies by hurling eight scoreless innings to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 2-0. Burnett scattered five hits without a walk while adding eight strikeouts to his line.
"He threw the ball well on the outside of the plate," said Arizona manager Kirk Gibson. "We just couldn't get at him."
Chase Utley was 2-for-4 with an RBI for the Phillies, who also will host Washington and Toronto on a seven-game homestand.
Philadelphia will try to prevent New York hurler Jon Niese from logging a second straight win tonight as the lefty snapped his 0-2 start to the campaign by beating St. Louis on Wednesday.
Niese gave up only a single run for the second start in a row and held the Cardinals to six hits and a pair of walks in 6 2/3 innings. That lowered the 27-year-old's ERA on the season to 2.45.
Niese is 6-6 in his career versus the Phillies with a 3.13 ERA.
New York also got a scoreless performance from a starter on Sunday, with Dillon Gee hurling eight frames to key a 4-0 win over the Miami Marlins. Though he allowed more walks (4) and hits (3), Gee struck out six in a win that helped the Mets bounce back after an extra-inning loss on Saturday.
"My only goal every time I take the mound is to try to get as deep as I can and give us a chance to win," Gee said. "I'm happy when that happens and we won today, so I'm happy."
New York has won six of its last eight to move three games over .500 as David Wright and Lucas Duda both drove in a run on Sunday.
The Mets have gone 13-5 in Philadelphia since the start of the 2012 season.