video thumbnail

SD@PHI: Hamels fans 10 over eight dominant innings

The Giants hoped to have Tim Lincecum back to full strength against Philadelphia on Wednesday, but with their ace still ailing, they'll have the luxury of pitching Matt Cain on his normal day of rest. Lincecum, a two-time Cy Young Award winner, was scratched for a second consecutive day due to a stomach illness.

Veteran left-hander Barry Zito started in Lincecum's place Tuesday night, and the Phillies jumped ahead early en route to a 7-2 victory. Cain has gone 8-6 with a 3.06 ERA this season, while Lincecum ranks in the National League's top 10 in strikeouts (146), ERA (2.90) and opponent's batting average (.223).

Philadelphia, meanwhile, will send its own highly decorated pitcher into action. Both Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay missed pitching in this series, but Cole Hamels will take the ball in Wednesday's middle act. Hamels is 12-5 with a 2.62 ERA this season, and he's finished seven innings in seven of his last 10 starts.

The left-hander has registered a 4-2 record and a 4.67 ERA in eight career starts against the Giants, and he's managed to go 7-3 with a 2.29 mark in 12 starts at Citizens Bank Park. Hamels has yet to post an ERA over 4.00 in any month this season, and he's 3-1 with a 3.49 ERA in four July starts.

Philadelphia hit four home runs -- one of them an inside-the-park shot by Chase Utley -- in Tuesday's series-opening victory over San Francisco. The Phillies have won six of their last seven games and their starting pitchers have registered a 29-9 record at home, second best among big league teams.

The Giants have won seven of their 11 games since the All-Star break and are 11-6 in their last 16 games. San Francisco has held first place in the National League West for 33 consecutive days and leads Arizona by three games. The Giants led the division for 36 days en route to last year's World Series title.

Giants: Sandoval not surprising
Pablo Sandoval went 0-for-3 to drop his batting average under .300 for the first time since July 3 on Tuesday night, but he's been fairly consistent. Sandoval hit over .300 in April and is batting .309 (26-for-81) in 21 games in July. For his career, Sandoval is a .298 first-half hitter and a .313 hitter after the All-Star break.

Phillies: Closers getting it done
The Phillies have used three different closers this year due to injuries, but they've somehow found a way to thrive. Ryan Madson (17-for-18), Antonio Bastardo (8-for-8) and Jose Contreras (5-for-5) have combined to go 30-for-31, and they have a collective 1.20 ERA with a .190 opponent's batting average.

Worth noting
The Phillies have 41 quality starts in their 54 home games, and they're 33-8 in those games. Philadelphia's starting staff has allowed two runs or less in 36 of its 54 home games. ... The Giants are 20-10 since June 22. ... The Giants and Phillies have the top two records in the National League.

MLB.com Comments