The Phillies managed a total of four hits - and their only run was unearned - in a 2-1 loss to Matt Cain and the Giants in the middle game of their three-game NLCS rematch.
The pitching: Cole Hamels worked into the eighth inning for the fourth time in five starts this month. In all, the lefty gave up two runs and six hits in 7 2/3. He struck out six and walked one in his 109-pitch performance. Brad Lidge escaped an eighth-inning jam before Antonio Bastardo breezed through the ninth.
The scoring: The Giants pushed across a two-out run in the third inning on Aaron Rowand’s RBI triple into the right-field corner. They made it 2-0 in the seventh when Nate Schierholtz delivered an RBI double on a ball that Domonic Brown took a bad route on. Hamels avoided more trouble in the inning by striking out Cain with the bases loaded and inducing Rowand into a 6-4-3 double play. The Phillies got a run back in the bottom of the seventh by virtue of two lucky plays. First, Shane Victorino reached on a two-base error when Cain and Eli Whiteside collided on his routine infield popup. Then, Brown’s grounder bounced over the head of Aubrey Huff, plating Victorino to make it 2-1.
The hot stove: Nothing much to report in terms of trade talk, unless you consider it news that Charlie Manuel still wants the team to add another hitter. Noteworthy, though, is the fact that Roy Oswalt pitched four innings in a rehab start for the IronPigs. He gave up one run, one hit, two walks and struck out four, throwing 41 of 72 pitches for strikes. Oswalt (back) will likely need one more rehab start before potentially returning as early as next weekend.
Up next: Kyle Kendrick (5-4, 3.45) gets the ball for the Phils in Thursday night’s series finale. For the third straight day, the Giants will go with Tim Lincecum (8-8, 2.90) if the two-time Cy Young winner is healthy. If he’s not, it will be Ryan Vogelsong (8-1, 2.10). Either way, it appears that Carlos Beltran will be in the lineup for the defending champs.