Nats have been easy foe for Hamels

Nats have been easy foe for Hamels

PHILADELPHIA -- Cole Hamels sure likes facing Washington.

The Phillies' 25-year-old ace has allowed just two earned runs over his past seven starts against the Nationals (0.39 ERA), holding their hitters to a .183 average -- dominance he hopes to continue in Saturday night's matchup at Citizens Bank Park.

Hamels sprained his left ankle fielding a bunt against Washington on April 28, but that outing marked the end of his early-season woes. The lefty has since thrown four straight quality starts, going 2-0 with a 2.88 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 25 innings.

And with Brett Myers headed to the disabled list with a hip injury that could end his season, Philadelphia will be counting on Hamels, the 2007 All-Star and '08 World Series Most Valuable Player, even more to anchor its rotation.

"Anytime that we lose Myers, because he's one of the top-of-our-rotation guys, I think of course that makes our pitching weaker," manager Charlie Manuel said before Friday night's victory.

Meanwhile, the Phillies are aiming to clinch the three-game set; their only home series victory of 2009 occurred when the Nationals last came to town in late April.

Pitching matchup
PHI: LHP Cole Hamels (2-2, 4.68 ERA)
Hamels allowed two runs in six innings in Sunday's 5-4 victory in 11 innings over the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. He was in line for the win until Brad Lidge blew a save in the ninth. Hamels has been throwing the ball well lately. He is 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in his his past five starts.

WSH: RHP Shairon Martis (5-0, 4.86 ERA)
Martis started for the Nationals on Sunday and didn't have his best outing, lasting six-plus innings and giving up five runs. He had problems with his command throughout the game. In fact, Martis went into the fifth inning having thrown only 50 percent of his pitches for strikes.

Tidbits
The Phillies set a Citizens Bank Park attendance record by surpassing one million fans for the season on Friday, their 24th contest. In 2004, the stadium's inaugural year, the one millionth fan walked through the turnstiles in game No. 25. ... With Friday's win, Philadelphia improved to 12-4 against left-handed starters. ... Washington is 3-16 in its past 19 games.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• CSN

On radio
• WPHT 1210, WUBA 1480 (Español)

Up next
• Sunday: Phillies (Jamie Moyer, 3-5, 7.42) vs. Nationals (John Lannan, 2-4, 4.11), 1:35 p.m. ET
• Monday: Phillies (Joe Blanton, 3-3, 6.14) at Padres (Kevin Correia, 1-3, 5.11), 10:05 p.m. ET
• Tuesday: Phillies (TBD) at Padres (Jake Peavy, 5-5, 3.67), 10:05 p.m. ET

David Gurian-Peck is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.