(SportsNetwork.com) - Cole Hamels doesn't have a win over his first four starts, but the Philadelphia lefty figures to have a great opportunity Saturday when the Phillies take on the Cincinnati Reds at Citizens Bank Park.
Hamels is 7-0 with a 1.70 ERA in 10 career games against Cincinnati. That includes a pair of complete games, one being a shutout.
The 2008 World Series MVP didn't start this season until April 23 due to biceps tendinitis and a fatigued arm. Following losses to the Dodgers and Mets to begin the season, Hamels hasn't received a decision in each of his last two starts. Hamels, though, fanned 10 over seven strong frames at Citi Field on Sunday.
Homer Bailey enters tonight's contest on a roll with a 2-0 mark over his last three starts. The right-hander tossed 7 1/3 frames against Colorado on Sunday and gave up four hits and a run to get the victory. Bailey is 0-3 with a 3.61 ERA in eight career games versus the Phillies.
Devin Mesoraco hit a three-run homer in his first at-bat after coming off the disabled list and Alfredo Simon threw 7 2/3 scoreless innings, leading the Reds to a 3-0 victory Friday night.
Simon (5-2) had a 7.20 ERA over his previous two starts, both losses, but gave up just five hits and one walk against a Phillies lineup that has now gone 20 innings without scoring a run.
Four of the right-hander's eight strikeouts came with a runner on third base.
Mesoraco, who had been on the disabled list with a strained hamstring, homered off Kyle Kendrick (0-4) in the first inning for the game's only runs.
Kendrick went seven innings and had little trouble after Mesoraco, the catcher, got hold of a cut fastball. But he remained winless (0-9) in his last 15 starts dating back to last August.
Kendrick allowed four hits, one walk and struck out five.
"There's one pitch he'd like to have back," said Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg. "But he threw 106 pitches and put up six zeroes after that (home run)."
The Reds are playing this series without first baseman Joey Votto, who is out with a left distal quadriceps strain
The Phillies lost four of six against the Reds last season.