Braves pitcher David Carpenter walks off the field after giving up the go-ahead run in Sunday’s loss against the Phillies. (Reuters)
PHILADELPHIA — If Atlanta’s Evan Gattis decides to enter a strong-man competition at the end of this season, he’s got Cole Hamels’ vote.
Hamels tossed eight innings of two-hit ball and made just two mistakes Sunday, both resulting in long home runs by Gattis. But Hamels was aided by Darin Ruf’s tie-breaking home run as the Philadelphia Phillies swept the Atlanta Braves with a 3-2 win on Sunday.
“He swung with everything he had in him. I felt like I was throwing a golf ball out there and he had a driver,” Hamels (7-13) said of Gattis. “He’s probably going to be in that strongest man competition at the end of the year, and I’m definitely going to vote for him, because he’ll win. It was impressive. You’re trying to work a couple pitches in just to get ahead and he definitely didn’t let me have it.”
Gattis turned in his first career multi-home run game for the Braves. He launched a 480-foot solo homer to dead center field in the second inning and tied the game with another long homer to left field in the seventh. He also flew out to the warning track to the deepest part of the park in center field in the fifth.
“I guess if the 50-mile-an-hour winds didn’t keep it in play, it definitely would’ve went off the wall,” Hamels said. “Or through it.”
Hamels retired the side in order four times, struck out nine and walked just two over eight frames. The Phillies have won the last six games started by the left-hander, although he’s been credited with the victory in just three of them.
“He was outstanding,” Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. “It’s about time he got a late-inning run to get the W.”
Ruf hit his 13th homer and finished with two hits on the afternoon. Chase Utley also had two base knocks.
“It was a good sign for Darin to go right-center like that,” Sandberg said. “He seems to get a lot of pitches away. It’s a good sign he stayed on that one, and it was a big moment. That’s what he needs to continue to do.”
B.J. Rosenberg relieved Hamels and notched his first career save with a perfect ninth.
An Utley double and a Ruf single drove in the Phillies’ first two runs in the first inning, but they could have had more. Leadoff hitter Cesar Hernandez, hit by a pitch to open the frame, was picked off, and Kevin Frandsen and Cody Asche each flew out to the warning track. Hernandez was also thrown out trying to go first to third in the fifth inning.