Cole Hamels was dominant, striking out nine in eight scoreless innings, as the Phillies beat the Dodgers 2-0 in the finale of a three-game series at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. It was the first series loss in the last four series for the Dodgers. Hamels is now 3-0 with a 1.18 ERA in five career regular season starts against the Dodgers.
Hiroki Kuroda kept up with Hamels for a while, but ran into some trouble in the fifth. With two outs, Michael Martinez tripled, then Kuroda walked Hamels, and managed to throw a wild pitch that didn't score a run (the ball caromed off the backstop to catcher Rod Barajas, and Martinez hesitated before retreating to third). After an intentional walk to Shane Victorino, Kuroda retired Domonic Brown to end the threat.
Ryan Howard homered off Kuroda in the sixth inning, and Kuroda was removed one batter later after Raul Ibanez doubled. The Phillies tacked on another run in the seventh inning after Victorino tripled to lead off the inning. The Dodgers' best scoring threat came in the seventh, after Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp got hits to start the inning. The Dodgers managed to turn a first-and-third, no-out situation into no runs. On the night, Ethier and Kemp each went 2-for-4, while their teammates went a combined 3-for-25.
The Dodgers are now six and a half games behind the Giants in the NL West. Clayton Kershaw faces rookie Juan Nicasio on Thursday night as the Dodgers open a four-game series at Coors Field in Colorado.
For more news and information on the Dodgers, or on tonight's game, be sure to read the SB Nation blog True Blue LA.