PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Phillies’ three aces can’t throw shutouts every start. Some pop in that lineup on a more consistent basis sure would help — even a team with the best record in baseball.
Trevor Cahill tossed three-hit ball into the eighth inning, Adam Rosales homered and the Oakland Athletics beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4-1 on Saturday night.
The Phillies had only four hits and scored two or less runs for the third straight game.
“At the same time,” said losing starter Cole Hamels, “You’ve got to limit the runs.”
Cahill and Hamels had a nice and easy duel going in a game that breezed by until the Phillies rallied late. Cahill (8-5) won his second straight start after dropping five straight and spoiled Hamels’ bid to get his 10th win.
“It’s a matter of how many zeros vs. the guy who’s putting up zeros himself,” Hamels said.
Scott Sizemore’s RBI single in the fourth made it 2-1. Cahill and Andrew Bailey held the lead from there. Bailey got four outs to earn his fifth save of the season.
Cahill struck out six and walked three in 7 2-3 innings, and has allowed one run or less 10 times this season.
Hamels lost his second straight start, but extended his streak of not allowing more than two earned runs to six straight outings. Hamels, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay have the Phillies atop the NL East.
“We have to manage and try and squeak as many runs as we possibly can,” Hamels said.
Hamels (9-4) put runners on base in every inning but the second, but the A’s failed to break the game open with one big swing. In the eighth, they had runners on first and third with one out, but Hamels retired the last two batters on grounders to escape the jam.
Hamels allowed eight hits and struck out five in eight innings.The Phillies nearly bailed him out in the eighth.
Ross Gload hit a one-out, pinch-hit double. There was a visit to the mound to chat with the righty and Michael Martinez came in to pinch run.
The A’s faith in Cahill was rewarded for one more at-bat.
He struck out Jimmy Rollins swinging at a 79 mph curveball. Martinez scampered to third on a wild pitch with Placido Polanco batting. Cahill walked Polanco and that was it for the A’s starter.
Bailey, a New Jersey native raised a diehard Phillies fan, retired Chase Utley on a grounder to first.
The A’s put Bailey back on the mound in the ninth with little pressure after Mark Ellis’ RBI single and Coco Crisp’s sacrifice fly off Michael Stutes made it 4-1.
Bailey, though, put two runners on before retiring Domonic Brown on a game-ending double play.
Bailey kidded that Joe Carter spoiled his childhood.
Raised in southern New Jersey a diehard Phillies fan, Bailey spent his nights rooting for them through Carter’s homer in the 1993 World Series, the lean years that followed, and straight into their resurgence early last decade.
Against his favorite team, it was Bailey’s turn to play spoiler.
His parents and wife were part of the 165th straight sellout at Citizens Bank Park, and cheers for his entrance were heard from various pockets throughout the stadium.
“It was pretty cool to get that call,” Bailey said. “It was good times in Philadelphia when they were winning like it is here now. With all my family being back here, diehard Phillies fans, it’s nice to go out there and beat them today.
“Make them have the decision who to cheer for,” Bailey said.
There were few reasons to cheer for the Phillies.
The A’s entered with an AL-worst 40 homers until Rosales poked one over the right-field wall for his second home run to tie the game at 1 in the third.
Hamels issued a one-out walk to Crisp in the fourth and Hideki Matsui singled, setting up Sizemore’s go-ahead single.
Cahill ran into his toughest jam in the second inning and was fortunate the Phillies only scored one run. He walked Ryan Howard and Shane Victorino to open the inning, then struck out the next two batters. Carlos Ruiz singled up the middle for a 1-0 lead.
“They got good pitching,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “At the same time, we’ve got to score runs. I think it might have been a little bit of both.”
NOTES: Phillies RHP Roy Oswalt has a mild bulging disc in his back and likely won’t return until August. … The A’s have hit one home run or less in 29 straight games. The team record is 31 straight back in 1978. … The Phillies snapped an eight-game home winning streak.
(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)