PHILADELPHIA — Cole Hamels threw a five-hitter for his fifth career shutout, Ryan Howard hit a two-run homer and the Philadelphia Phillies beat Atlanta 3-0 Tuesday night to snap a seven-game losing streak against the Braves.
Hamels (12-6) struck out six and didn’t walk a batter to record his 11th career complete game and his first win in three tries since signing a $144 million, six-year contract July 25. The All-Star left-hander is 4-5 since going 8-1 the first two months of the season.
Mike Minor (6-8) took the loss for the wild card-leading Braves, who had won eight of 10. Minor allowed three runs and seven hits in seven innings.
Hamels last threw a regular-season shutout on Sept. 1, 2009 against San Francisco. He tossed a five-hitter against Cincinnati to complete Philadelphia’s three-game sweep in the 2010 NLDS.
The Phillies scored all their runs in the first inning.
Jimmy Rollins led off with a double down the left-field line. Domonic Brown then lined a double to left-center, hustling his way to second and sliding headfirst to reach safely because the ball was dropped.
After Chase Utley lined out, Howard drove an opposite-field shot out to left-center to make it 3-0.
That’s all Hamels needed.
He dominated the Braves by mixing a sharp fastball with his trademark changeup.
While Atlanta is chasing Washington in the division race, the five-time defending NL East champion Phillies are going nowhere. They’ve already lost as many games (60) as all of last year.
The Phillies had 42,660 fans in attendance after Monday night’s crowd of 41,665 halted the team’s consecutive sellout streak at 257 games — the third-longest in MLB history, according to the club. The streak started on July 7, 2009.
Philadelphia was 154-103 during the sellout streak, with Citizens Bank Park averaging 45,082 fans per game for a total draw of 11,585,952.
The Braves, who entered three games behind the Washington Nationals in the division, hadn’t lost to the Phillies since May 3 at Turner Field.