The Phillies won their first game in Fenway Park since 2004 on the strength of a brilliant performance by Cole Hamels and a rare offensive outburt in the fourth inning.
Hamels struck out eight and walked two in seven innings to earn his fifth win of the season. His only earned run was a homer by Adrian Beltre in the second, but he would quickly settle down and strike out David Ortiz, Mike Lowell, and JD Drew to end the inning.
The piviotal moment of the game for Hamels occurred in the sixth inning. After giving up a leadoff double to Dustin Pedroia and walking Victor Martinez in a 15-pitch battle, Cole would strike out Beltre, force Ortiz into a ground out, and get Lowell to fly out to right.
The Phillies bats would finally figure out Tim Wakefield with five straight hits in the fourth, including a two-run homer from Raul Ibanez, but the day belonged to Cole Hamels. Unlike last season, Cole was able to bounce back from adversity and pitch a gem against a team whose offense ranks fifth in the major leagues. I can tell that Cole has improved this year as the number of tweets calling him ‘Princess’ has steadily declined to a mere trickle in recent weeks.
Brad Lidge recorded his fourth save of the season after JC Romero allowed two runs to score in the ninth.
The Phillies are off today. They head to the Bronx for an interleague showdown with the Yankees tomorrow. Roy Halladay (8-4, 1.96 ERA) faces CC Sabathia (6-3, 4.01 ERA) in a matchup of two of the game’s best pitchers.