Miami, FL (Sports Network) – Cole Hamels pitched into the seventh inning, and Jayson Werth notched the game-winning RBI in the fifth as Philadelphia clipped Florida, 2-1, in the middle contest of a three-game set.
Placido Polanco drove in the other run while Shane Victorino collected two hits and scored twice for the Phillies, who have won seven of eight and moved two games clear of Atlanta in the NL East. The Braves dropped a 6-0 decision to Washington earlier Tuesday.
Hamels (11-10) was pulled after 127 pitches over 6 2/3 innings, but scattered five hits and one run with two walks and fanned a season-high 13 batters.
“I think their team has become a lot more patient. That’s a lot different from the previous couple years,” Hamels said of the opposition. “You have to throw them strikes, but they’re willing to get behind in the count and work you. It’s unusual from the standpoint of hitting.”
Brad Lidge turned in a scoreless ninth for his 22nd save.
Dan Uggla hit safely twice and knocked in the lone run for the Marlins, who have dropped five of eight overall.
Adalberto Mendez (1-1) was charged with four hits and two runs, walking five over 4 1/3 frames.
Philly loaded the bases twice in the fifth inning, chasing Mendez in the process, but only scoring once on a fielder’s choice grounder from Werth. After Raul Ibanez was walked intentionally, Carlos Ruiz was called out on strikes to end the frame with the sacks full.
Hamels walked Logan Morrison with two down in the seventh before yielding to Chad Durbin, who induced an inning-ending line out from Hanley Ramirez.
Ryan Madson allowed a single and walk in the eighth but kept the Marlins off the board.
Philadelphia’s offense continued to fail to add to its lead, stranding a pair of runners in the top of the ninth as Werth fanned to end the frame.
Lidge shut the door in the Marlins’ at-bat, sending the side down in order.
“I felt good out there. The season’s always funny. I was happy to get a couple days off, said Lidge, who hadn’t pitched in eight days due to elbow trouble. “I wanted to get in there as fast as I could during the Mets series but they didn’t need me. I was just happy to have a good inning and feel good throwing.”
The Phils dented Mendez in the first, as Victorino singled and Polanco doubled him home.
Florida responded in the home half on an Uggla RBI infield single which ended Hamels’ scoreless string at 25 1/3 innings.
The Marlins stranded a runner in the second, then two in the third, and one more in the fifth and sixth frames.
“It’s disappointing when Mendez and the bullpen give us that great an outing and we can’t do anything for them,” lamented Morrison. “It’s pretty much the same old story.”
Hamels’ career-best in strikeouts is 15, set on April 21, 2007 at Cincinnati…His previous season best came in an 11-strikeout performance on August 7 against the Mets. Hamels last fanned 13 on June 11, 2008 at Florida…Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins sat out with soreness in his right hamstring…Philadelphia has won 12 of 17 meetings over Florida this season, including seven of eight in Miami.