(SportsNetwork.com) - After reaching a milestone last time out, Cole Hamels will try to pitch the Philadelphia Phillies to a series victory over the Miami Marlins in Thursday afternoon's finale of a three-game series.
Slowed by injury to begin the campaign, Hamels went 0-2 through his first four outings and the Phillies lost all four games. That delayed the left-hander picking up his 100th career victory, an achievement he finally locked down with a victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday.
Hamels got plenty of backing in the 12-1 win, but also gave up just one run over seven innings while striking out 10 for a second consecutive start. He posted the same stat line in a no-decision at the New York Mets on May 11 before holding the Reds to just three hits.
"By far the best that he's looked this year with velocity and command and throwing strikes and using all his pitches," said Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg. "He was just outstanding."
The 30-year-old Hamels, who has a 4.40 earned run average on the season, is 9-12 lifetime against the Marlins with a 3.16 ERA.
Miami will go with right-hander Henderson Alvarez, who is winless in two starts since tossing a six-hit shutout against the Mets on May 6.
Alvarez took a loss at San Diego five days later after allowing five runs over four innings, then followed up with a no-decision against the hosting San Francisco Giants on Friday. The 24-year-old was charged with five runs -- four earned -- on 10 hits over six innings, dropping to 2-3 on the year with a 3.62 ERA.
Alvarez is 0-1 with a 3.46 ERA in two previous meetings with the Phillies, getting the no-decision on April 13 in Philadelphia. He allowed three runs, 12 hits and three walks over six innings of the Marlins' 4-3 setback.
The Marlins were swept in that three-game series back in April and lost Tuesday's opener before notching a 14-5 victory last night to even this set. Marcell Ozuna hit his first career grand slam and drove in five runs in total, while Christian Yelich, Garrett Jones and Jarrod Saltalamacchia each knocked in two runs in Miami's MLB-leading 18th home win.
Miami starter Nathan Eovaldi allowed three runs -- one earned -- on 10 hits in six innings to get the win.
"I was able to make the big pitches when I needed to and the defense was there," Eovaldi said.
Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick, meanwhile, lost his 10th straight decision dating back to last August as he yielded six runs over 5 2/3 innings. That snapped a string of 10 straight wins over Miami.
Philadelphia was denied a season-high fourth straight win, though Jimmy Rollins had a pair of hits to tie Richie Ashburn for second place on the club's all-time hits list with 2,217.
Rollins is 17 hits shy of matching Mike Schmidt for the most in team history.
Philadelphia lost to Miami for only the fourth time in the previous 16 meetings.