Hamels pitches Phillies past Rockies 4-3 for 6th straight
DENVER (AP) Cole Hamels is seeing a completely different demeanor among his teammates, a more playful and personable side.
Winning tends to do that, especially a streak that's stretched to six games.
Hamels pitched efficiently into the eighth inning and Odubel Herrera broke a tie in the sixth with a two-run double as the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Colorado Rockies 4-3 Monday night.
Philadelphia is on its longest winning streak since a seven-game run in September 2012.
''It's been fun,'' Hamels said. ''Guys tend to be themselves a little bit more instead of trying to crack down and be all serious 24/7.
''Guys are starting to be a little more relaxed and easy and still understanding the name of the game and what we have to do and what we have to accomplish.''
Hamels (4-3) is steadily returning to his All-Star form. He allowed one run and struck out seven in 7 1-3 sharp innings. The left-hander is 11-0 since 2014 when the Phillies score three or more runs for him.
Herrera had the decisive hit when he sent a two-out fastball from Jordan Lyles (2-4) into right field to make it 3-1. Carlos Ruiz added an RBI single.
Earlier in the game, Herrera lost a routine fly in the night sky that could've led to a big inning. But Hamels struck out two straight to quell the rally.
''He did a good job,'' Herrera said. ''He did a really good job.''
Lyles went six innings, giving up four runs in his first start since being hit on the right hand by a line drive last week. After the game, he was lamenting a walk he issued to Chase Utley after being ahead in the count. Herrera then followed with his double.
''The key was the walk to Utley,'' Lyles said. ''I shouldn't have walked Utley.''
This didn't help, either: Colorado struck out 11 times - including three times in the ninth - to extend the club's dubious streak to six straight games with 10 or more Ks. That's a new team record.
''We need to tighten up our approach with two strikes,'' manager Walt Weiss said. ''You can't miss your pitch when you get it early in the count.''
Hamels threw 105 pitches before being taken out for reliever Luis Garcia, who allowed an RBI single to Carlos Gonzalez. With two on and one out, Wilin Rosario struck out and Nick Hundley flied out to keep it a 4-2 game.
Hundley was ejected for arguing with the first base umpire over a check-swing call earlier in his at-bat.
Jonathan Papelbon pitched a rocky ninth - giving up an RBI single to Charlie Blackmon with two outs - before striking out Nolan Arenado to earn his 10th save in as many chances.
The Rockies returned after a tumultuous 2-4 road swing. While away, they were without Weiss for a few games when he underwent surgery to remove his appendix, and All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was sidelined for two games with tightness in his left quadriceps.
Weiss said he's feeling much better - even joking about being cleared to eat pizza again - and Tulowitzki was back in the starting lineup.
Hamels worked his way out of a sticky situation in the fourth, when Herrera couldn't locate a lazy fly until it was too late. That resulted in a double by Drew Stubbs, putting runners on second and third with one out. Hamels struck out DJ LeMahieu and Lyles to escape.
''Wasn't trying to be too fine. Trying to challenge them,'' Hamels explained.
Phillies: RHP Hector Neris was recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take the spot of RHP Chad Billingsley, who was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained shoulder. Manager Ryne Sandberg said the team will bring up RHP Severino Gonzalez to start Wednesday.
Rockies: LHP Jorge De La Rosa (groin) threw a side session and should make his next start Thursday. ... OF Corey Dickerson is sleeping in a special sock to help heal the plantar fasciitis in his left foot.
Phillies: RHP Aaron Harang (4-3, 2.03 ERA) has won two of his last three starts.
Rockies: RHP Chad Bettis (0-0, 7.20) makes his second start of the season.