PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Cole Hamels threw a five-hitter for his fifth career shutout, Ryan Howard hit a two-run homer and the Philadelphia Phillies beat Atlanta 3-0 Tuesday night to snap a seven-game losing streak against the Braves.
Hamels (12-6) struck out six and didn’t walk a batter to record his 11th career complete game and his first win in three tries since signing a $144 million, six-year contract July 25. The All-Star left-hander is 4-5 since going 8-1 the first two months of the season.
Mike Minor (6-8) took the loss for the wild card-leading Braves, who had won eight of 10. Minor allowed three runs and seven hits in seven innings.
Hamels last threw a regular-season shutout on Sept. 1, 2009 against San Francisco. He tossed a five-hitter against Cincinnati to complete Philadelphia’s three-game sweep in the 2010 NLDS.
The Phillies scored all their runs in the first inning.
Jimmy Rollins led off with a double down the left-field line. Domonic Brown then lined a double to left-center, hustling his way to second and sliding headfirst to reach safely because the ball was dropped.
After Chase Utley lined out, Howard drove an opposite-field shot out to left-center to make it 3-0.
That’s all Hamels needed. He dominated the Braves by mixing a sharp fastball with his trademark changeup. Hamels didn’t allow a runner to second and faced two batters over the minimum.
While Atlanta is chasing Washington in the division race, the five-time defending NL East champion Phillies are going nowhere. They’ve already lost as many games (60) as all of last year when they set a franchise record with 102 wins.
The Phillies had 42,660 fans in attendance after Monday night’s crowd of 41,665 halted the team’s consecutive sellout streak at 257 games — the third-longest in MLB history, according to the club. The streak started on July 7, 2009.
Philadelphia was 154-103 during the sellout streak, with Citizens Bank Park averaging 45,082 fans per game for a total draw of 11,585,952.
The Braves, who entered three games behind the Washington Nationals in the division, hadn’t lost to the Phillies since May 3 at Turner Field.
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