Cole Hamels hopes the Phillies' recent good fortune on offense will extend his way.
Philadelphia tries to push its win streak to a season-high four games against a Cleveland Indians team trying to reignite its offense.
Hamels (1-5, 4.18 ERA) already has one fewer loss than all of last season, when he went 17-6. His strikeout-to-walk ratio - which has never been worse than 3.02 in a season - has dipped from 4.15 in 2012 to 1.95 in 2013.
The left-hander's control issues followed him into his last start, a 2-1 defeat to Arizona on Thursday in which he walked five and gave up six hits in six innings. Hamels took the loss as the Phillies (19-21) dropped to 1-7 when he takes the mound."I'm just not executing when I need to," said Hamels, who has issued 22 walks in 51 2-3 innings. "That's my biggest issue so far, the walks. For me it's just to be able to go out, execute pitches and stop the walks. I have to correct what I can correct and that's what's going to make me a better player."
Hamels also has had some tough luck of late. He has given up two or fewer runs in each of his last four starts and surrendered just 11 in his last six outings after giving up 13 in his first two.
The Phillies have scored just 16 runs for him in his eight starts, but showed potential to provide more after Tuesday night's 6-2 win to open this two-game set. John Mayberry went 3 for 4 with three RBIs for his first multihit game since April 19, raising his average 24 points to .242.
The Phillies have tallied 10 or more hits in four of their last eight games and are 12-4 when reaching double figures."I think it's a matter of time and we can end up having a good offense," Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said.
Cleveland (21-17) has endured a bit of an offensive slump on its end. During a six-game win streak from April 28-May 4, the Indians hit .357 with 14 homers and scored 53 runs, and still have won seven of their last 11 despite batting .231 with 11 home runs."I don't know if I'd call it a valley," manager Terry Francona said. "We played a lot of baseball in a short amount of time. We were pretty hot. You can erupt any night or you can't score. I don't see it as a trend either way."
The one constant for the Indians has been Michael Brantley , who accounted for Cleveland's offense Tuesday with a two-run single and has hit safely in five straight games. Brantley is hitting .361 over his last 10 games.
Corey Kluber (2-2, 5.64) could use more support like Brantley's. He was tagged for eight runs and 11 hits in 4 2-3 innings of Cleveland's 10-4 loss at Detroit on Friday. After a strong debut, the right-hander has a 9.58 ERA in his last two starts, surrendering 16 hits and six walks over 10 1-3 innings."I made too many mistakes with the cutter," Kluber said of his latest start. "I left one over the plate to (Miguel) Cabrera, and they got a couple more hits off that exact same pitch."
|May 01, 2013||Vinnie Pestano||15-Day DL||Right elbow soreness|
|April 30, 2013||Nick Swisher||Day-to-Day||Sore left shoulder|
|April 25, 2013||Lou Marson||15-Day DL||Right shoulder soreness|
|April 20, 2013||Asdrubal Cabrera||Day-to-Day||Left game - left wrist contusion|
|April 20, 2013||Brett Myers||15-Day DL||Right elbow inflammation|
|April 16, 2013||Jason Kipnis||Day-to-Day||Sore elbow|
|May 12, 2013||Mike Adams||Day-to-Day||Back spasms|
|May 06, 2013||Roy Halladay||15-Day DL||Right shoulder surgery|
|April 18, 2013||John Lannan||15-Day DL||Strained left quadriceps tendon|
|March 22, 2013||Delmon Young||15-Day DL||Recovery from right ankle surgery|
|March 22, 2013||Delmon Young||15-Day DL||Recovery from right ankle surgery|
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Corey Kluber inspired his teammates with a tough at-bat his first time up to the plate in the majors.
Jason Kipnis hit a three-run homer, Nick Swisher and Mike Aviles also went deep to back Kluber, and the Cleveland Indians beat the Philadelphia Phillies 10-4 Wednesday.
Kluber (3-2) gave up three runs and six hits in six innings. But it was his first career AB against Cole Hamels in the second inning that set the tone. Kluber fouled off consecutive 1-2 pitches and worked the count full before flying out to deep left.
"I guess that's beginner's luck," he said.
Maybe so, but it made the hitters adjust their approach.
"Corey woke us up, having the best at-bat in the first couple innings," Kipnis said. "We did a nice job not chasing his pitches. That's an approach we try to take against everyone. We want to see some pitches, get quality at-bats."
Hamels needed 91 pitches to get through four innings and reached 100 in the fifth.
"We drove his pitch count up early," manager Terry Francona said. "We made him earn his outs and we scored early. It's great to work the count and have something to show for it."
A day after rookie Jonathan Pettibone held the Indians in check, Hamels got roughed up by one of the league's highest-scoring offenses. Cleveland had been in a slight funk, scoring just seven runs in its previous four games.
Hamels (1-6) allowed five runs and six hits in five innings. The three-time All-Star and 2008 World Series MVP has a 4.61 ERA, and the Phillies are 1-8 in his starts. Hamels had six straight quality starts before this one, with a 2.41 ERA in that span.
"You have to go out there and execute pitches," Hamels said. "I wasn't able to do that early on. I think any time you go 3-2 to pretty much the whole lineup over and over, you're not putting yourself into a good spot. I was pitching myself into situations where most likely they're going to get the hits, they're going to get the walks, they're going to score the runs."
Jimmy Rollins drove in three runs for Philadelphia, which ended a three-game winning streak.
The surprising Indians have won 12 of 16 and are 22-17 under Francona, in his first year with Cleveland after winning two World Series title in Boston in 2004 and 2007.
Now the Indians get a day off after playing 14 games in 13 days. They'll play 20 straight, starting Friday against Seattle.
"These guys need it," Francona said. "They deserve it. They need a day away from the ballpark."
Kluber rebounded nicely after allowing eight runs in 4 2-3 innings against Detroit in his previous start.
"I threw more strikes, was more aggressive in the strike zone and didn't fall behind guys," he said.
Mark Reynolds hit a two-run double with two outs in the third to give the Indians the lead. Kipnis doubled and Asdrubal Cabrera walked before Reynolds hit a drive to left to knock them in.
John Mayberry Jr. singled in the third, advanced on a sacrifice and scored when Rollins lined a two-out single to cut it to 2-1.
Rollins delivered another clutch two-out hit in the fifth. After singles by Carlos Ruiz and Mayberry, he ripped a two-run double to right to cut the deficit to 5-3.
Aviles lined a homer to left in the fourth for a 3-1 lead.
Swisher connected in the fifth, driving a 2-0 pitch a few feet inside the left-field foul pole to make it 5-1.
Cabrera hit a two-run single with two outs in the sixth off Jeremy Horst to extend Cleveland's lead to 7-3.
Kipnis took Raul Valdes out to right in the eighth.
The Phillies are 12-4 when Pettibone, Kyle Kendrick or John Lannan start. They're 7-17 in games started by the $64.5 million trio of Hamels, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee .
NOTES: The Phillies signed three-time All-Star Carlos Zambrano to a minor league deal. The right-hander will report to extended spring training this week. ... The Indians won three of four interleague meetings this season against the Phillies, outscoring them 32-12. ... Halladay was scheduled for shoulder surgery in California. He hopes to return to Philadelphia's rotation this year. ... Two of Swisher's six homers are off lefties. ... The Phillies have their second off day this week on Thursday. ... The Indians open a four-game series against Seattle on Friday.
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