Sports

Hamels gets nod as Phillies host Rockies

(SportsNetwork.com) - The red-hot Cole Hamels looks to play stopper for the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night when they kick off a nine-game homestand with the first of three straight meetings with the Colorado Rockies.

The Phillies split a four-game series with the hosting Rockies to begin a recent road trip, but return home riding a four-game slide and having posted just a 3-7 mark on their swing.

Philadelphia hopes to snap that skid tonight behind Hamels, who looks to stretch his personal win streak to five straight starts tonight.

Hamels has pitched to a 1.53 earned run average over his winning run while lasting at least seven innings each time out. He logged eight innings of one- run ball to beat Washington 8-1 on Saturday, charged with a run on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.

The left-hander is now 5-3 with a 2.98 ERA on the season and has not lost since May 2. Hamels beat the Rockies on May 18 in Colorado, giving up a run and fanning seven over 7 1/3 innings to improve to 4-3 with a 3.34 ERA in nine starts against them.

Philadelphia capped its disappointing road trip with a 7-0 setback on Wednesday to the New York Mets, who got 7 1/3 scoreless innings on the mound and a home run at the plate from starter Noah Syndergaard. He hit one of four New York homers in the game.

"Home runs hurt us throughout the series," said Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg. "Syndergaard was a one-man show today with the bat and his impressive pitching."

Grady Sizemore and Ben Revere had two hits each for Philadelphia. Revere is batting .356 over his last 11 games.

Sean O'Sullivan started on the mound for the Phillies and suffered the loss, allowing seven runs on 11 hits over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out two and walked one.

The Rockies come to town having won four of their past five games. They won the rubber match of a three-game set with the hosting Cincinnati Reds 6-4 on Wednesday as Nolan Arenado set the tone with a three-run homer in the first inning.

Arenado is 9-for-16 over his past four games with three homers and 10 RBI.

"It's always nice to win a series," said Arenado on Colorado's website. "We won't win every game. We're going on another road trip [to Philadelphia for three] knowing that we took care of business here."

Charlie Blackmon added a two-run homer on Wednesday and Kyle Kendrick got the win after giving up four runs over 7 1/3 frames.

The Rockies tonight turn to Chad Bettis, who is coming off just the second victory of his young career.

Bettis was outstanding on Sunday versus San Francisco, taking a shutout into the ninth inning of an 11-2 win. He ended up recording just one out and giving up two runs in the ninth, striking out seven while improving to 1-0 with a 4.19 ERA through three starts this season.

"I felt like I was the most convicted and aggressive with every single pitch this year," Bettis said.

The 26-year-old righty, who is set to make the 12th start and 41st appearance of his career tonight, has a 2.70 ERA without a decision in four prior meetings with the Phillies. He made his second career start against them May 19 and did not factor into a 6-5 win, allowing three runs over six innings.

Though they managed the recent split at home with the Phillies, the Rockies have lost 21 of their past 26 games in Philadelphia.