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Hamels turns Dodgers' bats cold

Jun 9, 2011 - 3:36 AM Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Cole Hamels shut down the Dodgers again and Ryan Howard provided half of the Phillies' offense with a home run, as Philadelphia took the rubber match of their three-game series with Los Angeles, 2-0.

Hamels (8-2) worked eight innings in the Phillies' eighth shutout of the season, giving up six hits while striking out nine. The left-hander did not walk a batter and improved to 6-0 in nine career starts -- including the postseason -- against LA.

"I felt good. I felt strong. When you're letting the pitches go the right way, it's just a matter of time (before you're) hitting your spots. That's what I felt like from the beginning," Hamels said.

Hiroki Kuroda (5-7) surrendered Howard's homer, the only run he allowed in his otherwise solid 5 1/3-inning start. He was pulled after throwing 93 pitches, having allowed four hits and three walks to go with seven strikeouts.

The loss ended a string of three straight series victories for the Dodgers.

The starters controlled the first four frames, as each team recorded just one hit.

The Phillies, who had lost five of seven coming in, failed to score with the bases loaded in fifth, as Domonic Brown flied out to right to end the threat. One batter earlier, Michael Martinez opted against trying to score from third on a wild pitch.

Howard, though, got the hosts on the board in the sixth, sending a Kuroda offering into the first row of seats in right despite getting jammed, ending a 66-inning homerless drought for the club.

"It was a cutter inside, but it just didn't cut enough," Kuroda said of the pitch through an interpreter.

Hamels found himself in trouble for the first time in the seventh before retiring Juan Uribe, Marcus Thames and Rod Barajas in succession with runners on the corners.

Shane Victorino scored an insurance run in the bottom half, tripling off Matt Guerrier and narrowly beating Jamey Carroll's throw home on Brown's grounder to second.

Hamels again left two on in the eighth by getting Andre Ethier to ground out to first, and Ryan Madson erased a leadoff single in the ninth with a double- play ball en route to his 14th save of the season.

Game Notes

Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins was not in the starting lineup for the fourth straight game due to a bruised right knee...Hamels lowered his earned run average from 2.83 to 2.58...Kuroda has dropped four straight starts. He came in 2-0 with a 0.68 ERA in four career outings against the Phillies...The Phillies start a four-game series against the Cubs on Thursday...The Dodgers continue their road trip with four games in Colorado.