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Cole Hamels did what he does best, pitching seven strong innings in a win as the Philadelphia Phillies ended their three-game stretch at Fenway Park, holding off the Red Sox 5-3. Though the game was a loss for the Red Sox, Tim Wakefield became the third active pitcher to surpass 3,000 innings pitched, going 7 1/3, allowing 4 runs on 5 hits.
“That’s pretty special,” he said. “Unfortunately we lost today. We were facing a tough guy over there in Cole Hamels. Reaching 3,000 is pretty cool. There’s not many guys that can say that.”
Hamels (6-5) allowed one run and five hits, struck out eight and walked two showing his first signs of turnaround after three losses in a row. At one point, he faced Victor Martinez in an epic 15-pitch battle, which culminated in a walk to the catcher. Hamels then showed toughness, responding by getting Adrian Beltre to bounce into an inning-ending double play.
“For him to do what he did after that shows what kind of pitcher he is,” said Boston Manager Terry Francona. “That can take a lot out of a pitcher.”
After scoring 22 runs in the first two games, Boston experienced a bit of a power outage, though Beltre did hit his ninth homer of the season in the second inning. Other signs of life came in the form of Daniel Nava and Dustin Pedroia. Nava, the undrafted prospect who hit a grand slam on the first pitch of his career Saturday, followed up with two more hits and an RBI. Pedroia, who continues to climb out of his slump added three hits and is hitting .471 in his last four games.
Wakefield’s 3000th inning came when he induced Shane Victorino to fly out to end the third. He joins Philadelphia’s Jamie Moyer and Andy Pettite as the only other active pitchers to accomplish the feat. Wakefield ended with 3004 2/3 innings, but never found his stride.
“Just my timing was a little off,” said Wakefield. “I left a couple up. Victor said the ball was moving. It just didn’t have that late finish to it. I left a couple of balls up that got hit pretty hard and made an adjustment after that.”
The fourth inning proved to be Wakefield’s undoing as the Phillies were able to plate four runs. Jayson Werth hit a tying RBI single and Ibanez ripped the following pitch into the Phillies’ bullpen to make it 3-1. Ben Francisco doubled and Juan Castro singled in another run before the damage was done at 4-1.
The quintessential Red Sox player continued to add to his lengthy resume, reaching 3,000 innings pitched at the end of the third.
He went 0-for-2 with a strikeout and his average sits in the high .270′s. Sadly, it’s becoming boringly predictable.
W: Cole Hamels (6-5)
L: Tim Wakefield (2-5)
S: Brad Lidge (1)