Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Hamels hit hard and hits hard

In potential Philly swan song

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PHILADELPHIA -- Cole Hamels waved to an appreciative crowd that gave him a standing ovation after a mediocre outing.

Was it his last time wearing a Philadelphia Phillies uniform?

"I can't control it," Hamels said after a 6-5 loss to the San Francisco Giants in 10 innings Saturday.

Hamels and fellow All-Star pitcher Matt Cain hit homers in the same inning, but Gregor Blanco drove in the tiebreaking run with a drag bunt single.

The Phillies are hoping to re-sign Hamels before the 2008 World Series MVP becomes a free agent after this season. If a deal isn't reached before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, Hamels could be gone. Of course, that doesn't mean the Phillies couldn't re-sign him in the off-season. Hamels already has said he would be open to returning to Philadelphia, even if he's traded.

"I think that's up in the air," Hamels said when asked if he's optimistic he'll sign a deal soon.

This was hardly the pitching duel expected from two of the elite starters in the majors. Both allowed three homers and five runs. But they did their job with the bat.

"I figured he'd try to put one out," Cain said. "The most frustrating thing you can do is give up a homer to a pitcher."

It was the first time pitchers homered off each other in the same game since Atlanta's Kevin Millwood and Colorado's Denny Stark did it on May 18, 2002. The last time it happened in the same inning was May 14, 1990 when Montreal's Kevin Gross and Los Angeles' Fernando Valenzuela went deep in the third inning.

"It was nice," Hamels said. "I enjoyed it more after giving up my first-ever homer to a pitcher."

All-Star game MVP Melky Cabrera hit a tying homer off Hamels in the eighth and Buster Posey hit a two-run shot for the NL West-leading Giants, who are 7-1 since the All-Star break.

Ryan Howard hit a three-run homer and Chase Utley also went deep for the last-place Phillies, who've lost three in a row and seven straight at home.

The five-time defending NL East champions are 41-54 and moving closer to perhaps being a seller before the trade deadline.

Hamels allowed 10 hits in 7 2/3 innings on a career-high 128 pitches. The three-time All-Star lefty is seeking a contract perhaps bigger than the megadeal Cain signed before the season. Cain signed a $112.5-million, five-year extension in April. The deal guaranteed him at least $141 million over seven years, including this season's salary and a 2018 buyout.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 22, 2012 B6

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