Cole Hamels is a three-time All-Star, and he's finally starting to pitch like one again.
Hamels attempts to win a third straight start and help the Philadelphia Phillies head into the break with a .500 record by beating the last-place Chicago White Sox on Sunday.
Hamels (4-11, 4.17 ERA) set career highs with 17 wins and 216 strikeouts last year, but he's failed to build on that in 2013. The left-hander has already tied his career high in losses, set in 2009 and matched the following year.
Recently, he's looked more like the pitcher that's recorded double-digit victories each of the last six seasons. He's won back-to-back starts, yielding two earned runs and 11 hits over 15 innings while walking one and striking out 12.
Hamels had perhaps his best outing of the season Tuesday, allowing one run and pitching out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam to complete the eighth inning in a 4-2 win over Washington.
Getting consistency from Hamels would give the Phillies (47-48) a strong 1-2 punch in the rotation with All-Star Cliff Lee . It may also re-establish them as a viable contender in the NL East.
"That would mean that we definitely have a chance to win two games in a series," Charlie Manuel told the team's official website. "That's what that means. And I'd get my regular sleep."
Hamels earned a 7-3 win in his only career meeting with the White Sox (37-54) on June 12, 2007.
Michael Young 's two-out, walkoff single gave the Phillies a 2-1 win over Chicago on Saturday after dropping the opener of the doubleheader 5-4.
Young had four hits in the twin bill, and he's batting .400 with four doubles and six RBIs over the past eight games. However, he's 0 for 3 versus Jose Quintana , the White Sox's scheduled starter.
Young's production may be even more important after center fielder Ben Revere broke his right foot on a foul ball before grounding into a double play to end the first game Saturday.
Revere has a .431 average over his last 15 games, managing at least one hit in 14 of them.
"It's tough," Manuel said. "I couldn't believe it."
The White Sox look to head into the break with four wins in six games, and Gordon Beckham 's hot bat could help them achieve that.
He's hitting .396 over the past 12 games, despite going 0 for 5 in Saturday's nightcap. He had a single, triple and scored a run in the opener of this three-game series.
Quintana (4-2, 3.67) is trying to win back-to-back starts for the first time since April.
The left-hander, who is facing the Phillies for the first time, allowed three runs and two homers over a season-high eight innings of Tuesday's 11-4 win at Detroit. He hadn't won on the road since April 17 at Toronto.
Quintana is 1-1 with a 1.65 ERA in four career interleague starts. However, that defeat came May 27 against the Cubs, who reached him for four runs in six innings of a 7-0 win.
|Chicago White Sox|
|July 03, 2013||Paul Konerko||15-Day DL||Strained lower back|
|July 02, 2013||Jesse Crain||Day-to-Day||Right shoulder tightness|
|June 30, 2013||Jesse Crain||15-Day DL||Sprained right shoulder|
|June 29, 2013||Brian Omogrosso||15-Day DL||Strained right triceps|
|June 15, 2013||Alejandro De Aza||Day-to-Day||Illness|
|June 05, 2013||Jake Peavy||15-Day DL||Fractured rib - out 4-6 weeks|
|July 13, 2013||Ben Revere||Day-to-Day||Broken right foot|
|July 06, 2013||Ryan Howard||15-Day DL||Left knee inflammation|
|June 24, 2013||Ryan Howard||Day-to-Day||Knee|
|June 23, 2013||Michael Stutes||15-Day DL||Right biceps tendinitis|
|June 22, 2013||Jonathan Pettibone||Day-to-Day||Back|
|June 20, 2013||Mike Adams||60-Day DL||Right biceps tendinitis|
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- John Mayberry Jr. sent the Philadelphia Phillies in the right direction going into the All-Star break.
Mayberry hit an RBI single with two outs in the 10th inning, lifting Philadelphia over the Chicago White Sox 4-3 on Sunday.
The Phillies have won nine of 13 and stand 6 1/2 games behind NL East-leading Atlanta.
"It's definitely exciting to pull that one out," Mayberry said. "It definitely gives us momentum and being able to carry momentum into the All-Star break and second half."
Chase Utley led off the 10th with a double and David Purcey (0-1) walked Jimmy Rollins . The runners advanced on Domonic Brown 's groundout and Darin Ruf was intentionally walked to load the bases.
Ramon Troncoso relieved and struck out Young. But Mayberry lined Troncoso's first pitch up the middle for the winning run.
"I think this sets us up," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "We've got to get going, we've got to get some wins."
Antonio Bastardo (3-2) pitched a scoreless 10th to earn the victory.
All three games in the series went extra innings. The teams played a total of 34 innings over 11 hours, 12 minutes.
The White Sox scored a run in the ninth off Jonathan Papelbon , who blew his fifth save in 25 chances.
Brown, picked for his first All-Star team, drove in a pair of runs and upped his team-leading total to 67 RBIs entering the break to help the Phillies reach .500 for the first time since June 7.
"The bottom line is if you don't finish in first place or get in the playoffs, you haven't done anything," Manuel said.
Cole Hamels was poised for his third straight win after a poor start to the season prior to Papelbon's blown save.
The left-hander has a 1.57 ERA in his last three starts. He allowed two runs and eight hits while striking out seven and walking none in eight innings. The three-time All-Star enters the break with a 4-11 record, but he is encouraged by his performance of late.
"To put the team in situations where we win, that's ultimately the big idea," Hamels said. "(Earlier in the season) I was a little wild and not able to pitch deep in ballgames."
Alejandro De Aza homered for Chicago, which enters the All-Star break having lost seven of its last 10 and 31 of 44.
"The record stands for itself," manager Robin Ventura said of the White Sox, who dropped to 18 games below .500. "We'll just go home, try to clear our minds and get ready to go in the second half."
Brown's two-run double in the first off Jose Quintana gave the Phillies a 2-0 lead. Philadelphia added a run in the fourth on Hamels' RBI single, the first of his two hits.
The White Sox scored in the seventh on Jeff Keppinger 's RBI single.
De Aza hit a solo homer in the eighth.
Dayan Viciedo hit a one-out single in the Chicago ninth and pinch-runner Blake Tekotte stole second. After Keppinger flied out, Josh Phegley singled up the middle to tie it at 3.
Papelbon was booed loudly as he walked back to the dugout after the inning ended.
"He might be getting a little spent this time of year," Manuel said. "The break is going to be real good for him."
Quintana allowed three runs on five hits in six innings. It was the ninth straight start without a loss for Quintana, who has just one win during that span.
NOTES: The Phillies have won five of their last six series. ... Phegley exited in the bottom of the ninth with an injury to his right index finger after taking a foul ball off the hand. X-rays were negative. ... The Phillies put OF Ben Revere on the 15-day disabled list with a broken right foot and activated C Erik Kratz . Revere, who was injured fouling a ball off his foot on Saturday, will have further tests on Monday to determine the extent of his absence. ... White Sox INF Gordon Beckham , who is batting .378 in his last 19 games, didn't play after getting a bruised thigh in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader.