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WSH@PHI: Hamels fans eight, holds Nats to one run

Don't let his 6-13 record fool you, Cole Hamels has been on a roll of late. In his last 12 starts, the Phillies left-hander is 4-2 with a 2.17 ERA and has held opponents to a .233 batting average.

Hamels was dominant on Monday against the Nationals, allowing just one run on two hits, but still took the no-decision in a 3-2 Phillies win.

That has been a theme for Philadelphia in Hamels' starts this season, as the offense has scored three runs or fewer in 15 of his 29 starts.

"Can he feel that way all the time?" teammate Jimmy Rollins said after Hamels' last start. "He was nasty tonight. That changeup was as nasty or the second best it's been all season long. He hit his spots and he hit every pitch where he wanted to."

Getting just their fourth series win since the All-Star break with a 6-5, walk-off win over the Braves on Saturday, the Phillies go for the sweep on Sunday at Citizens Bank Park.

Left-hander Paul Maholm gets the nod for the Braves as they inch closer to securing the National League East.

Maholm (10-10, 4.41 ERA) got his first win since June 30 when he beat the Mets on Monday, allowing three runs on six hits in five innings of work. He also struck out four and walked three.

Marking his third start since returning from the disabled list with a sprained left wrist, Maholm struggled with his command, needing 100 pitches to get through those five innings.

"Normally I'm trying to get as close to 10 pitches per inning as I can, and obviously it wasn't there today, as far as that goes," Maholm said after the start. "I'm sure it [stinks] as a position guy to sit back and try and deal with that both ways. Both teams took forever, and that's not something I enjoy pitching with."

Braves: Gattis back in lineup
Manager Fredi Gonzalez is keeping Evan Gattis' bat in the lineup even though the skipper had the option of going to a healthy Jordan Schafer off the bench.

"In [Phillies starter Kyle] Kendrick's splits, right-handers are hitting pretty good [.319 vs. 245 by lefties] against him," Gonzalez said before Saturday's game. "We just brought [Gattis] back [from Triple-A Gwinett on Tuesday], he hasn't gotten a chance to play a lot, and to tell you the truth, I have seen some pretty good at-bats."

Gattis went 0-for-3 in Saturday's game with two strikeouts and a walk.

Phillies: Revere, Howard to play in instructional league
Center fielder Ben Revere and first baseman Ryan Howard will play in the Florida instructional league in the coming week.

Revere (broken right ankle) will head to Clearwater, Fla., while Howard (left knee inflammation) is already at the team's Spring Training site.

"They'll get more individualized attention there and they're starting to work in some of their baseball skills, so as we get closer and closer to FIL, those guys will be doing more and more," said general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. "Hopefully at some point, when they get their bodies together, they'll be healthy enough to play in some games. At the end of the day, we just want to make sure that, at least for their peace of mind, they know mentally that they're ready.

"They'll play as long as we think it's necessary. Whether it's two games or 10 games or 12 games. It's about being able to go into the offseason knowing that they're ready to go, ready for Spring Training."

Worth noting
• The Braves have recorded 20 quality starts in their last 29 games and lead the NL in that category with 87.

• The Phillies are just 17-58 when scoring three or fewer runs this season. When they score more than three, they are 48-19. Comments