The Phillies on Tuesday lost their fourth straight game to a last-place team with a 3-2 defeat to the Twins.
Cole Hamels threw another quality start and the offense offered anemic support.
With the game tied in the eighth inning, the bullpen lost it.
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The Phillies’ (31-34) lousy four-game slide has come at the hands of the Brewers (26-38), who went 6-22 in May, and the Twins (28-33), who suffered a 10-game losing streak last month.
It’s become expected of the offense to not hit or score when Hamels takes the mound and Tuesday night was more of the same.
Hamels (6 IP, 2 R, 5 K) gave the Phillies his 10th quality start of the season, but the bats produced just two runs, one of which scored with the help of a throwing error from Minnesota shortstop Pedro Florimon in the fourth inning.
Entering Tuesday, 16 major-league starters had 10 or more quality starts. Those 16 had a combined record of 103-43 (.705) coming into Tuesday, and only two had losing records: James Shields (2-6) and A.J. Burnett (4-6). Hamels (2-9) becomes the third.
The lefty allowed two runs in the fourth inning on four consecutive hard-hit balls. Hamels was visibly peeved with home plate umpire Paul Emmel’s strike zone. With Ryan Doumit leading off the fourth, Hamels disagreed with a call and kept his back turned to Emmel for a few seconds in clear frustration. Emmel then took off his mask and sternly stared back at the 29-year-old. The four hits and two runs followed that sequence after Hamels retired Doumit.
The Phillies have scored 31 runs in Hamels’ 87 innings pitched this season.
However, Ryan Howard finally delivered a timely hit and RBI with a man in scoring position and two outs. The Phillies’ first baseman knotted the score at 2-2 in the eighth inning by plating Kevin Frandsen on a single to right field. Prior to that at-bat, Howard was 3 for 28 (.107) with RISP and two outs.
But the Phillies would give the run right back. Pitching in the eighth, Mike Adams was relieved by Antonio Bastardo with runners at the corners and two outs. Bastardo then left a 1-2 fastball up and over the plate to Justin Morneau, who lined it into center field for the go-ahead RBI single.
Adams, whose ERA has risen to 4.22, took the loss.
The Twins fouled off 29 balls against Hamels, forcing him to throw 108 pitches over six innings. The Phillies, on the other hand, fouled off just seven against Minnesota starter P.J. Walters, who went 7 1/3 innings in 97 pitches.
With the loss, the Phillies dropped to 8-27 when scoring three or fewer runs.
Tyler Cloyd (2-2, 3.68) will try to play stopper for the Phillies when he takes the ball on Wednesday. He opposes former Met Mike Pelfrey (3-6, 6.40).