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Hamels Struggles To Start The Season

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Cole Hamels feels fine. His results, not so great.

Hamels gave up the first grand slam of his career and the Phillies’ left-handed ace muddled through his second straight sub-par outing this season as Philadelphia lost to the Kansas City Royals 9-8 on Sunday.

Hamels allowed eight runs and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings.

“I feel good,” he said. “I definitely have good feel with all of my pitches. Unfortunately, it’s not showing.”

Billy Butler did the greatest damage against Hamels (0-2), hitting a grand slam that was confirmed by video review. Butler tied a team record with seven RBIs.

“It’s unfortunate because grand slams definitely put your team behind,” Hamels said. “No matter how many runs you have, a grand slam is a definite momentum changer. That’s obviously what it did today.”

The Phillies staked Hamels to a 4-0 lead with four first-inning runs off Shields, but he couldn’t hold it.

Hamels walked four and struck out two. On opening day, he gave up five runs and seven hits in five innings in Philadelphia’s 7-5 loss at Atlanta.

“It’s giving up runs, not giving the team the opportunity to win,” Hamels said. “When we’re able to score runs early, you want to be able to keep the team in the ballgame. I wasn’t able to do that.”

The three-time All-Star has a 10.97 ERA after two starts.

“He was throwing the ball close to the plate but command was a problem,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “Cole usually doesn’t walk guys and doesn’t give up that many runs.”

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)



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