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Hamels strikes out 10, but takes tough loss in Miami

Lefty allows two runs over six, falls to 1-7 as offensive woes continue

MIAMI -- Cole Hamels probably had it right Monday when he stormed out of the visitors' clubhouse at Marlins Park without a word.

If he had spoken candidly, imagine what he might have said?

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MIAMI -- Cole Hamels probably had it right Monday when he stormed out of the visitors' clubhouse at Marlins Park without a word.

If he had spoken candidly, imagine what he might have said?

View Full Game Coverage

The Phillies lost to the lowly Marlins, 5-1, so there could have been any number of things on his mind. It could have been the fact the Phils lost for the fourth time to a team on pace to finish 46-116. It could have been the fact Philadelphia is 1-9 in his starts or the offense has scored two or fewer runs in 40 percent of its games, or maybe that the Marlins, who have a historically anemic offense, scored five runs against them.

It could have been any numbers of things.

"I think it's a lot of tight ballgames, his contract," Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said, referring to Hamels' six-year, $144 million deal. "He's an accountable guy just like Doc [Roy Halladay]. He's probably one of the bigger faces of the Phillies, and he wants to be accountable for that, and not winning probably weighs on him, and I think losing Doc weighs on him. We're down one of our aces and I think that's weighed on him. Again, this is an accountable guy who wants to win."

Hamels allowed seven hits, two runs and struck out 10 in six innings. He walked zero after walking 13 in his previous four starts. He would have pitched longer, except Phillies manager Charlie Manuel had to remove him for a pinch-hitter in the seventh with runners on first and third and one out and the club down a run.

It should not have come as a surprise the Phillies did not score. They have scored two or fewer runs in 18 games (40 percent) and three or fewer runs in 25 games (56 percent).

"He needs some runs," Manuel said of Hamels. "He needs to pitch with a lead sometime and have room to breathe and room if he makes a mistake. Yeah, that's a concern of mine, but I don't know what we're going to do about it."

The Phils' offense has been trending downward over the past few seasons. Asked why he remains optimistic his batters will hit, despite evidence that suggests otherwise, Manuel said, "History of Delmon Young is he's a better hitter than what he's showing right now. He has 50 at-bats. He's having a hard time getting going. We're going to lose [Carlos] Ruiz for a while. I still think Michael Young and [Chase] Utley and I'm hoping [Ryan] Howard will come back and hit a streak where he'll really help us.

"We have Jimmy Rollins. [Domonic] Brown is improving. We have some spots where if we get going we might be able to muster some offense. Hopefully that's what will happen. We're so inconsistent. When your team is hitting .245, you're inconsistent. That's inconsistent. That's the bottom line."

But the fact remains the Phillies lost to a team that is on a historic pace for offensive ineptitude. The Marlins entered the night averaging a meager 2.66 runs per game, which would be the fifth-worst mark in baseball since 1884. The 1942 Phillies are the only team since 1909 with a worse average (2.61 runs per game).

Miami's .599 on-base-plus-slugging percentage also would be the lowest in baseball since the 1972 Rangers (.581).

"Against us, they score," Manuel said.

The Marlins took a 1-0 lead in the first when Adeiny Hechavarria singled to right field, stole second, advanced to third on Derek Deitrich's single to center and scored on Marcell Ozuna's single to center.

Hamels settled after he allowed a triple to Chris Coghlan to start the second. He retired 12 of the next 13 batters as the Phillies tied the game in the second when Domonic Brown hit a solo home run to right field. It was his team-leading eighth homer of the season.

Marlins right-hander Alex Sanabia, who entered the night with a 5.00 ERA, kept the Phillies at bay the rest of his outing, while the Marlins took the 2-1 lead in the sixth when Placido Polanco singled and scored from first on Justin Ruggiano's double to right.

The Phillies forgot their offensive shortcomings temporarily after they hit back-to-back home runs against Reds closer Aroldis Chapman in the ninth inning Sunday at Citizens Bank Park. But Sanabia only returned them to reality. Sanabia had allowed four or more runs in five of his previous seven starts, allowing 18 hits in 10 1/3 innings in his previous two. But he bested the Phillies.

"It's May. It's time to get going," Brown said. "It's got to start tomorrow. And that's a tough guy we're facing [Marlins rookie Jose Fernandez]. We've got to hit some balls hard."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for

Philadelphia Phillies, Domonic Brown, Cole Hamels