In his Triple-A debut, Cole Hamels showed why many people think he'll be in Philadelphia by year's end.
The Phillies' top pitching prospect dominated Norfolk in his first start since being promoted from Class A Clearwater, ringing up a whopping 14 hitters in seven innings as the visiting Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons blanked Norfolk, 5-0, on Thursday afternoon.
The Barons' 22-year-old, 6-foot-3 lefty allowed just three hits and exhibited supreme control. He did not walk a batter and threw 66 of his 99 pitches for strikes, striking out the side in the second and sixth. The 2002 first-round pick fanned six straight between the first and third innings and five in a row during the sixth and seventh.
Hamels (1-0) set a new team record for strikeouts by a left-hander and came within one of tying the Barons' all-time record of 15, set by Joel Bennett exactly seven years ago to the day (April 27, 1999). The previous high by a Barons lefty was 13, by Matt Beech, nearly exactly nine years ago (April 28, 1997).
Yoel Hernandez was perfect in relief of Hamels in the eighth, but the right-hander left the game after facing two batters in the ninth due to an arm injury, which caused him to writhe on the ground in pain.
Ryan Cameron came on to close the door on struggling Norfolk (6-16).
Hernandez's battery mate Carlos Ruiz also got hurt, leaving the game with one out in the eighth due to a neck and shoulder injury. Dusty Wathan replaced him and caught the rest of the game.
Before the injury, Ruiz led Scranton/WB by going 2-for-2, including a two-run homer in the first that proved to be the winning hit. Ruiz also got things going in the third when he singled and scored from first on Chris Coste's double to left. Josh Kroeger later singled home Coste to put Scranton/Wilkes-Barre up, 4-0.
Coste's sacrifice fly in the eighth plated Chris Roberson and capped the scoring.
Yusaku Iriki (1-2) surrendered four runs on 10 hits in five innings to take his second loss.
Chris Basak led Norfolk's offense by going 2-for-4 with a double. -- Christopher Heine/MLB.com
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.