Houston, TX – Ryan Howard and John Mayberry Jr. each drove in three runs on Friday as the Philadelphia Phillies dropped the Houston Astros, 12-6, in the second installment of a four-game series at Minute Maid Park.
Domonic Brown crushed a two-run home run and Jimmy Rollins hit his team- leading 20th homer of the season for the Phils, who have won eight of their last nine games. Chase Utley knocked in a pair and scored three times and Kevin Frandsen contributed an RBI in the victory.
Cole Hamels (15-6) wasn't sharp early, but found his groove later in the game. He allowed four runs -- three earned -- on seven hits with eight strikeouts and a walk over seven innings. The lefty reached the 15-win plateau for the first time since going 15-5 in 2007.
"By the third inning he started using his fastball more and I think it kind of helped him," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said about Hamels.
Matt Downs clubbed a two-run home run and Justin Maxwell added a solo shot for the Astros, who have lost two of their last three. Edgar Gonzalez (2-1) took the loss after allowing five runs on six hits in four innings.
"They swung the bats extremely well tonight and you have to take your hat off to them," Downs said about the Phillies.
The Phillies jumped on Gonzalez for four runs in their first at-bat. Rollins got the inning started when he belted a high changeup over the wall in right field. Juan Pierre then walked and swiped second before scoring on a single up the middle by Utley.
Utley then stole second and scored after Howard yanked a fastball into right field for a ground-rule double. Mayberry capped the inning with an RBI base hit to center.
Houston got a run back in the home first when Jose Altuve began the frame with a base hit and scored on a fielder's choice by Maxwell after Rollins fired the ball past Howard and into the dugout.
The Astros loaded the bases with two outs in the second, but Hamels got Brandon Barnes to fly out to deep center field.
Mayberry laced a one-out double down the line in left field in the fourth and scored on a base hit by Frandsen to extend the lead to 5-1.
Downs pulled Houston within two in the fourth when he clubbed a fastball from Hamels into the Crawford Boxes in left field
The Phils padded their lead with two runs in the fifth. With the bases loaded and two down in the inning, Mayberry scorched a line drive off the leg of Fernando Rodriguez. The ball deflected all the way into short right field, allowing Utley and Carlos Ruiz to score.
Maxwell slammed one off the left-field foul pole for a solo shot in the home fifth, but the Phillies got two runs in the seventh to widen the lead to 9-4.
Ruiz worked a one-out walk and Brown got a high splitter from Jose Valdez and hammered it into the second deck in right field for his third homer of the season.
Philadelphia made it a blowout in the eighth. Rollins and Pierre hit back-to- back-singles and both scored on a double into the left-field corner by Utley. Howard capped the frame with an RBI base hit to right.
Maxwell scored on a wild pitch by Justin de Fratus in the eighth and Altuve scored from second in the ninth courtesy of an error by Frandsen.
The Phillies improved their all-time record at Minute Maid Park to 18-25 ... Hamels has thrown six or more innings in 26 of his 28 starts this season and is 9-3 in 14 starts this season following a Phillies loss ... It was Rollins' 42nd career leadoff home run ... Astros infielder Brett Wallace snapped an 0- for-14 slump with a single in the first inning ... Phillies prospect Darin Ruf made his major league debut with a pinch-hit at-bat in the ninth inning. Ruf led the Eastern League with 38 home runs this season, breaking Howard's Reading Phillies record for homers in a season.