In a season that has been filled with disappointment after disappointment for the Philadelphia Phillies, today's win over the NL East leading Atlanta Braves clinched a Phillies sweep, capping off one of the more exciting and successful series of the otherwise disappointing second half of the season. Cole Hamels went out today and allowed just two hits and two runs, both solo home runs to Evan Gattis, while striking out 9 batters through 8 innings of work in a winning effort. Darin Ruf and Chase Utley provided all of the offense the Phillies needed to get the win and sweep their first series since early June.
Utley and Ruf got the Phillies on the board in the first inning, each with an RBI single. In the top of the 2nd, Evan Gattis got to Cole Hamels with a solo home run to cut the lead to 2-1. Braves starter Paul Maholm would settle down the rest of the way, only allowing the two Phillies runs in the first inning. With the Gattis home run in the second inning, Hamels would allow just his second hit of the day by the seventh inning – another home run by Gattis. The game was tied 2-2 heading into the eighth inning.
The Braves brought reliever David Carpenter into the game for the bottom half of the eighth inning. Darin Ruf wasted no time, crushing a line drive over the wall in right field to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead. Instead of Jonathan Papelbon, Ryne Sandberg sent out B.J. Rosenberg to pitch the top of the ninth. Rosenberg made Sandberg look good, retiring the Braves in order to get the save and help the Phillies to a series sweep of the Braves.
While Cole Hamels' line doesn't look quite as impressive as it could with the 2 earned runs, Hamels allowed just those two runs – on just two hits – by the same player. Outside of Evan Gattis, the Braves were 0-25 in this afternoon's game. With the win, the Phillies move to 66-77, and the Braves dropped their fourth straight game to fall to 85-57 – still best in the National League.
The Phillies have an off day tomorrow, but will get right back to work on Tuesday at home against the incoming San Diego Padres. The Padres are in the midst of a 64-77 campaign themselves, and both teams are way out of reach of any playoff spot. Andrew Cashner and Roy Halladay will do battle Tuesday at 7:05.
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