It was all going so perfectly. Two-run home runs from Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins. A pair of solo homers from Domonic Brown. Seven terrific innings from Cole Hamels. And then ... uh oh.
Hamels began feeling tightness in his back in the eighth inning, forcing the star lefty out of a game the Phillies went on to win 9-1 against the Marlins. The injury didn't appear too major, though there's really no such thing as a minor injury when it comes to an athlete's back, particularly an athlete who now is tied for the NL lead with nine victories.
Power alley: The Phillies' offense put together its first five-homer game since last summer. For Brown, it was the first multi-homer game of his young career. Howard's blast was his seventh in 24 career at-bats against Marlins starter Chris Volstad. Utley, who also doubled, is now 6-for-11 with two walks, three doubles, two homers, and six RBIs in his last three games. The nine runs were the Phils' most since beating the Reds 10-4 on May 26.
Next up: The Phillies will carry a four-game winning streak into a day-night doubleheader on Wednesday. Florida righty Elih Villanueva will make his major league debut in the opener against Kyle Kendrick. Roy Halladay starts the nightcap for the Phils against Anibal Sanchez.