Phillies Go for .500

After a slow start, the Philadelphia Phillies took advantage of a long homestand to get back to .500. Now, they turn to their ace as they try to move above the break-even mark for the first time this season.

Cole Hamels takes the mound Tuesday as the Phillies open a three-game series against the Florida Marlins at Dolphin Stadium.

Oddsmakers have made Philadelphia -155 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 8.5 total runs (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 87% of bets for this game have been placed on Philadelphia -155 (View MLB Bet Percentages).

Philadelphia (22-22) won seven of 10 games on its latest homestand, improving to .500 after opening the season 3-10.

The Phillies beat Toronto 5-3 on Sunday for their 12th win in their last 17 games at Citizens Bank Park, where they haven't lost a series since being swept in a season-opening three-game set against Atlanta April 2-5.

Their recent success at home has pulled the Phillies into third place in the NL East.

"We got back to .500, but the ultimate goal is to be a division leader," outfielder Shane Victorino said. "But we have a long way to go before we do that. Fortunately, right now, we're making the plays. We haven't gone on that big win streak yet, but hopefully it's something that will happen in the future for us."

On the road, however, the Phillies have lost four of six. They dropped two of three against the Marlins (21-23) in their last trip to Miami April 6-8.

Hamels (6-1, 3.30 ERA) has won a career-high four straight starts. He took a perfect game into the seventh inning of his last outing, a 6-2 victory over Milwaukee on Wednesday.

Hamels' bid for a no-hitter ended on J.J. Hardy's two-run home run in the seventh, but the 23-year-old left-hander allowed only two runs and two hits while striking out 11 in eight innings, leading him to believe that a no-hitter is in his future.

"I think every year I try and go out and at least get one," Hamels said. "I know if I can keep fighting and keep plugging away, I can go out there and hopefully get one every year."

Hamels is 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA in three career starts against Florida, allowing 18 hits while striking out 20 in 18 innings.

Florida won all three meetings with Tampa Bay over the weekend for its first three-game sweep since Sept. 1-3. The Marlins trailed 3-0 entering the seventh inning on Sunday, but rallied for a 4-3 win.

"It shows the character of the club," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "They just keep battling and keep coming after you, and it's good."

The Marlins, one game behind the Phillies in the NL East, had lost the first four games of their road trip, but won five of the last six.

"The way we started off this road trip, we were flat-out awful," reliever Kevin Gregg told the team's official Web site after recording his third save in three chances Sunday. "And now, we turned it around, and hopefully, this gives us some momentum through this next homestand, and in our division. It's a good feeling."

The Marlins hope to continue their roll with left-hander Scott Olsen (3-3, 4.80) on the mound. Olsen allowed three runs and five hits in 6 1-3 innings on Wednesday, failing to receive a decision in Florida's 4-3 win at Pittsburgh.

He is 2-4 with a 5.51 ERA in seven career starts against the Phillies. Olsen held Philadelphia to three runs and four hits in five innings to come away with a 6-4 victory on April 8.

by: Dave Michaels - – Email Us

More MLB Baseball coverage from

 - MLB news wire
 - Current MLB Injuries
 - 2007 MLB standings
 - 2007 MLB schedule
 - 2007 MLB Umpire sheet
 - 2007 MLB stats
 - MLB scoreboard
 - Expert MLB picks
 - Accuscore predictions
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for daily newsletter
 - MLB home

Recent MLB Discussions

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Kershaw tries to keep visitors' run going The Cubs seized a 3-2 edge in the NLCS by winning Games 4 and 5 in Los Angeles. Will Clayton Kershaw be able to save the Dodgers’...
Thumbnail North Siders' bats rise as NCLS progresses Anthony Rizzo is still batting well below .200 in the playoffs. Yet the Chicago first baseman seems to be heating up at precisely...
Thumbnail Hosts ask Urias to give them 3-1 NLCS edge Tonight, Julio Urias will make history in Game 4 of the NLCS. The Dodgers simply hope that it’s for all the right reasons.
Thumbnail Francona needs relief corps to thrive again The Blue Jays suddenly have life in the NLCS. Now, though, can they truly put fear in the Indians and send the festivities back to northern...
Thumbnail Arrieta tries to lift visitors at Chavez Ravine After getting punched in the mouth in Game 1 of the NLCS, the Dodgers struck back on Sunday night. Can they keep running with the Cubs as the action...
More inMLB Articles  

MLB Headlines

More inMLB News  

MLB Team Pages