Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/18/12

MILWAUKEE -- In an otherwise disappointing season, Cole Hamels has been one of the few bright spots for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Since signing a six-year, $144 million contact at the end of July, Hamels has been spectacular, allowing just two earned runs in his last three starts and pitching back-to-back complete-game shutouts. He continued his strong season Saturday, striking out 10 over eight innings in the Phillies' 4-3 victory over the Brewers at Miller Park.

Hamels, who had won three previous starts against Milwaukee, cruised into the eighth and appeared to be well on his way to a third consecutive complete game. But Jonathan Lucroy's double, followed by Ryan Braun's 33rd home run of the season, brought Hamels' day to an end, though with a one-run lead.

"He pitched really good," Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said. "He used all of his pitches and had great command."

Hamels' only tough tests came against Braun, who snapped out of a month-long slump during this series. Coming into the game, Braun had three home runs and four RBI. Saturday, he went 3-for-4 against Hamels with a home run and two RBI.

"He does some damage against lefties," Hamels said. "I've been able to have some success against him the past couple years, but it's always going to be a battle with Braun because he's that good."

Milwaukee starter Mike Fiers struggled for the second straight outing, allowing all four Philadelphia runs on five hits with four walks and five strikeouts in five innings. After posting a 6-4 record and a 1.03 ERA in his first 12 starts since being summoned from Class AAA Nashville on May 29, Fiers has lost two straight and has allowed 12 earned runs in seven innings.

He struggled with control in his last outing, when he allowed eight earned runs in just two innings of a 9-6 loss at Colorado. Those struggles continued Saturday.

After working around trouble in the first, Fiers led off the second with a walk to Laynce Nix. John Mayberry Jr. followed with a home run to left, his 10th of the season, and Fiers, after going 3-2 to Erik Kratz, threw a fastball that went to left for Kratz's sixth home run of the season.

"I think I was pulling my breaking ball a little. A lot of them were down too far, almost too far in front of the plate," Fiers said. "So I don't think they had the curveball in the back of their mind. I think they were canceling it out since I wasn't throwing it for strikes. So they were really just sitting on the fastball."

Milwaukee got one run back in the second, when Aramis Ramirez led off with a solo home run to left to make it 3-1. But Philadelphia restored the three-run deficit in the third when Chase Utley scored on Ryan Howard's double.

The Brewers looked like they were about to get back into the game in the third. Lucroy singled to left, bringing up Braun with two outs. Braun hit a line drive that hit the yellow stripe on the left-field wall, just missing a home run.

Lucroy missed second base, turned around and went back to make the tag. In the meantime, Braun was barreling toward the base and found himself caught in a rundown, ending the threat and the inning.

"I missed the bag, stepped over second," Lucroy said. "I looked up to see where the ball was -- which I shouldn't have done with two outs -- but I looked up to see where the ball was and I just missed the bag. I could have kept running, but then they could have appealed it. Hindsight, I probably should have kept running because I asked (Rollins) and (Utley) if they saw it, and they both said no. Of course I should have kept running, but obviously I didn't do that. It was just a screw-up. I just don't know what else to say. I just messed up."

The Brewers scored two more in the eighth, on Braun's home run, but Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon recorded the final out of the eighth and worked a scoreless ninth to preserve Hamels' 14th victory of the season and snap Philadelphia's three-game losing streak.

NOTES: Before the game, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said that despite not pitching since Aug. 8, left-hander Antonio Bastardo still has a role with the club. After going 6-1 with a 2.64 ERA last season, Bastardo has struggled in 2012, posting a 2-4 record with a 5.45 ERA in 45 appearances. ... Milwaukee second baseman Rickie Weeks was given the day off Saturday. ... Brewers pitchers surpassed the 1,000-strikeout mark. They entered the game with 1,002, the most in the majors this season.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Ben McAdoo willing to give up play-calling duties

Dolphins suspend Lawrence Timmons indefinitely

Greg Olsen placed on IR, will miss at least eight weeks

Report: NFL official under investigation for domestic violence

Alvarez vs. Golovkin result gives boxing another black eye

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jerry Jones defends Elliott amid criticism over lack of effort

NFL monitoring CFL’s decision to end contact practices

RG3 fires back at Santana Moss over Mike Shanahan comments

Chris Long donating game checks to fund Charlottesville scholarships

WATCH: Tigers’ Jeff Ferrell responsive after taking 103-mph liner to head

College football's biggest winners and losers so far

NFL Referee Hotline: Mike McCarthy is sick of these calls

The 'Kevin Durant has mad (Twitter) handles' quiz

Baseball's most underwhelming teams of 2017

The 'Remember the tight ends' quiz

Ranking the best college football fan bases

Getaway Day: Time runs short as postseason nears

Sports & Politics Intersect: White House sticks it to sports

The 'Not so elementary, my dear Watson' quiz

September chill hits Astros, Dodgers at worst time

College football 2017 Week 3 predictions

Three Up, Three Down: Cleveland hits historic heights while Cubs struggle

The 'Will the Indians ever lose again?' quiz

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

NFL Referee Hotline: Mike McCarthy is sick of these calls

Baseball's most underwhelming teams of 2017

The 'Kevin Durant has mad (Twitter) handles' quiz

Ranking the best college football fan bases

The 'Remember the tight ends' quiz

Getaway Day: Time runs short as postseason nears

Sports & Politics Intersect: White House sticks it to sports

The 'Not so elementary, my dear Watson' quiz

September chill hits Astros, Dodgers at worst time

Three Up, Three Down: Cleveland hits historic heights while Cubs struggle

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker