Philadelphia By the time Cole Hamels rushed off to be with his pregnant wife, his streak of postseason dominance was long over.
Yorvit Torrealba hit a two-run homer, Aaron Cook pitched effectively into the sixth inning, and the Colorado Rockies beat Hamels and the Philadelphia Phillies, 5-4, on Thursday to even their NL playoff series at a game apiece.
Huston Street pitched out of trouble in the ninth to secure the win for Colorado. He retired Shane Victorino on a soft liner to second to leave the potential tying run — Game 1 winner Cliff Lee — at second base.
“It was definitely a huge game for us,” Cook said. “It’s huge to go back home with the series tied.”
Hamels, the World Series and NLCS MVP last year, looked nothing like the guy who was brilliant during Philadelphia’s championship run last October. The left-hander allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings. He didn’t stick around after being pulled for a pinch hitter, heading to the hospital to join his wife, Heidi, who was in labor with the couple’s first child.
Was Hamels distracted on the mound?
“It could’ve bothered him, yes,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “He was concerned about his wife and his child. It’s an exciting time, something you look forward to. It was probably on his mind.”
The best-of-five series shifts to Denver for Game 3 on Saturday.
Jason Hammel (10-8) will start for the wild-card Rockies against a yet-to-be-announced pitcher.
Manuel said he’ll use Joe Blanton or Pedro Martinez. J.A. Happ was a candidate before getting injured.
Blanton pitched one inning in relief, allowing a run. Happ got knocked out of the game when Seth Smith hit a hard liner off the lower part of his left leg. X-rays were negative.
“He was trying to stay out there, but he wasn’t able to pitch,” Manuel said. “I think he’ll be fine.”