PHILADELPHIA - Cole Hamels pitched a three-hitter for his second career shutout and the Philadelphia Phillies took advantage of two dropped balls to beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-0 today.
Ken Griffey Jr. remained one shy of 600 home runs, going 1-for-4 in his first start in four games. Junior hit a double off the wall in left-center, grounded out twice and hit a deep drive to center field leading off the ninth.
A sellout crowd gave Griffey a standing ovation as he headed back to the dugout after his long out. Griffey tipped his hat and waved to the fans.
Griffey also dropped a ball in right field that directly led to a pair of unearned runs against Homer Bailey (0-1). Griffey wasn't in the lineup the previous three games because of general soreness, including a bothersome left knee. He walked as a pinch hitter the last two games.
Geoff Jenkins hit a solo shot for the NL East-leading Phillies, who won for the ninth time in 11 games.
Hamels (6-4) struck out four and walked three, rebounding from consecutive poor starts. The left-hander tossed a four-hitter against Atlanta on May 15 for his first shutout.
Phillies shortstop Eric Bruntlett saved the shutout, making a diving stop and strong throw to first to retire Jay Bruce with two outs and a runner on second in the eighth.
Mixing a sharp fastball with his deceptive changeup, Hamels kept hitters off balance all day. He pitched out of his only jam in the second, retiring Bailey on a popup to leave the bases loaded.
Bailey didn't get much defensive support in his first start of the season. The former first-round pick allowed five runs - two earned - and four hits in 6 1-3 innings.
Griffey now takes his pursuit of No. 600 to Miami. The Reds have a four-game series against the Florida Marlins before returning to Cincinnati for a nine-game homestand.
The only other players to hit 600 homers are Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays and Sammy Sosa.
Griffey hit No. 599 against Atlanta on Saturday, but missed a chance to reach the milestone in front of his hometown fans.
The Phillies took a 1-0 lead when shortstop Paul Janish dropped Jimmy Rollins' shallow popup to left for an error with two outs in the third, allowing Carlos Ruiz to score from second base. Rollins should've been standing on second base, but he didn't run hard out of the box.
The reigning NL MVP was replaced by Bruntlett after four innings, and there was no word on why he came out. Rollins sprained his left ankle and landed on the disabled list for the first time in his career earlier this season.
Janish made a sliding catch on a popup near the foul line in shallow left on the next hitter, Shane Victorino.
With two outs and two runners on in the fifth, Bruntlett hit a liner to right. Griffey charged, then ducked and covered his head and dropped the ball for an error, allowing a run to score. Griffey likely lost the ball in the lights on an overcast afternoon.
Victorino followed with an RBI single to make it 3-0. Jenkins drove one into the right-center seats for a 4-0 lead in the sixth. Ryan Howard's two-out RBI single in the seventh made it 5-0.
Hamels allowed 13 runs in 9 2/3 innings in his previous two starts after a 19-inning scoreless streak. He lowered his ERA to 3.35.