By Sam Bush
Wil Nieves doubled and had three hits and Cole Hamels got a victory as the Phillies defeated the Seattle Mariners 4-3 on Wednesday.
Chase Utley had the go-ahead RBI and Ben Revere and Marlon Byrd drove in runs for the Phillies, who won for just the third time in their last nine.
Kendrys Morales homered for Seattle, which was bidding to move 12 games over .500 for the first time since 2007. The Mariners, who are battling Detroit for the AL’s second wild-card spot, lost for just the third time in 10 games.
Hamels (7-6) snapped his string of seven straight starts going at least seven innings, but picked up the win in a rare reversal of fortunes. The left-hander entered Wednesday with the eight-best ERA in baseball but there were more than 100 pitchers with more victories. Hamels didn’t have his best stuff against the Mariners, giving up three runs on nine hits with four strikeouts, one walk and two wild pitches, but he got just enough run support and a lift from the Philadelphia bullpen.
Hamels said: “I think the team definitely played really well with getting the runs in when we needed to.”
Jonathan Papelbon struck out two in a scoreless ninth for his 30th save in 33 opportunities. Jake Diekman followed Hamels and struck out four in two scoreless frames and Ken Giles fanned the side in the scoreless eighth.
James Paxton (3-1) took the first loss of his career after the shortest outing in his 10th start. He lasted four innings while allowing four runs – one earned – on seven hits. The 25-year-old Paxton was 6-0 in his career.
“I probably could’ve executed pitches a little bit better,” Paxton said. “But they were finding holes with ground balls, a couple bloopers in there, but that’s baseball.”
Philadelphia was helped by Paxton in the fourth. After Nieves led off with a single, Andres Blanco hit a liner off Paxton’s left ankle. The pitcher retrieved the ball but threw it away to put runners on second and third with no outs. Nieves scored on a passed ball and Utley’s RBI single made it 4-3.