Cole Hamels pitched a four-hitter and Hunter Pence's triple keyed a six-run sixth inning as the Phillies beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-2 on Thursday night.
Philadelphia played the game without Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins.
Not that it mattered.
"It starts with Cole Hamels, I can tell you that," Pence said. "A complete game with two runs. Any time that happens it gives you a great chance to win."
Hamels (14-7) gave up solo home runs to Yuniesky Betancourt and Corey Hart, but kept Milwaukee from mounting any big innings in a game between the two best teams in the National League. The left-hander pitched his third complete game of the year, walking two and striking out two.
"Just staying in that top echelon of guys," Hamels said of his goals for this season. "I want to be in that sort of category. That's what I strive for every year."
Elsewhere in the NL, it was: Atlanta 6 N.Y. Mets 5 (game 1); Atlanta 5 N.Y. Mets 1 (game 2); Arizona 4 San Diego 1; and L.A. Dodgers 7 Washington 4.
At Milwaukee, the Phillies managed only one hit off Chris Narveson (10-7) in the first 5 2-3 innings, but then broke through for six runs by getting seven consecutive batters on base to chase the Milwaukee starter in the sixth. Philadelphia had 11 of its 12 hits in the final 3 1-3 innings to win its fourth straight.
"It's hard to figure out with him," Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said of Narveson. "He's had so many games where he's pitched really well and he's breezing through.
"Like today, his first five innings were outstanding," he said.
It was just the second time since Sept. 12, 2004 that Howard, Utley and Rollins all missed a game. The only other time was Oct. 4, 2009, when the trio rested in a meaningless game after the Phillies had clinched a playoff berth.
"A lot of times when you put your reserves players in there, they are wanting to play and be a part of it," Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said. " They want to show they can earn the right to be on our team and show you they can contribute."
Even without the three stars, each of the eight position players in the starting lineup had at least one hit. John Mayberry Jr., Wilson Valdez and Ben Francisco each had two hits for the Phillies.
"It definitely can bring your team together," he said. "Actually, that's what happens a lot of times. The game tonight was good in that respect. Guys that hadn't played for a while winning the game. I guarantee you they feel good about themselves."
Pence also had a run-scoring double in the ninth and finished with three RBIs. It was his first game at Miller Park since July 29, when Houston manager Brad Mills removed him in the fifth inning and told him he had been traded to the Phillies.
"We have a lot of guys who can swing here, all the way up and down," Pence said.
Utley likely will miss the series after suffering a concussion Wednesday night. Rollins was reinstated off the disabled list before the game, but did not play and Howard was given a night off to rest.
Diamondbacks 4, Padres 1
At Phoenix, Ian Kennedy struck out a season-high 11 over seven-plus innings for his National League-leading 19th win as the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the San Diego Padres.
Atlanta 6 N.Y. Mets 5
Atlanta 5 N.Y. Mets 1
At New York, Julio Teheran gave flashes of his vast potential in earning his first big league win and the Atlanta Braves, using a lineup with Chipper Jones starting as the No. 2 hitter for the first time in 15 years, beat the New York Mets to complete a sweep of a doubleheader made necessary by the threat of Hurricane Irene.
Dodgers 7, Nationals 4
At Washington, Tony Gwynn hit a tiebreaking double in the ninth inning and the Dodgers beat the Nationals in the first game of a doubleheader.
The second game of the doubleheader was later rained out.
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