Phillies hurler Cole Hamels has the Marlins on the hook. The southpaw has recorded nine straight quality starts against Miami, compiling a 2.14 ERA during that stretch. His most recent strong outing against the National League East rivals came when he held them to three runs in seven frames on May 22.
That no-decision at Marlins Park was the third of nine straight turns of seven innings or more for Hamels, who has a 1.66 ERA, eight quality starts and three scoreless outings in what has been an impressive streak from the 30-year-old lefty, who faces the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park on Thursday night.
But Hamels is just 2-2 and the Phillies 4-5 during the run, which included a hard-luck loss for the veteran starter on Saturday in St. Louis. Hamels gave up only two earned runs in 7 1/3 innings opposite one earned run in eight frames by Adam Wainwright.
"You can feel when there's a good back-and-forth going. I knew coming in today it was going to be a tough game," Wainwright said of the duel. "Cole Hamels has been pitching really, really well."
Although Hamels would like to continue pitching really, really well, he may be able to afford a mistake here and there as Miami starts Tom Koehler, who has struggled since enjoying a strong opening to this season.
Koehler is 2-4 with a 6.11 ERA in his past six starts after rebounding from a tough 2013 with a 2.25 ERA and seven quality starts in his first nine outings. But things are looking up for Koehler as he notched his first quality start since May on Saturday.
He gave up two earned runs in seven frames and fanned a season-best eight in a tough loss in Miami. Although happy he limited damage on the mound, Koehler was upset he failed to help the Marlins with a sacrifice bunt in third inning of the 4-0 loss.
"It was nice to get out of that jam in the sixth, but at the same time, it's frustrating giving up those two runs and not getting those bunts down," Koehler said. "They're eating at me a little right now."
Phillies: Hollands holding hitters scoreless
Left-hander Mario Hollands has pitched 17 consecutive scoreless outings since May 9, tossing 15 2/3 shutout innings. His impressive run has already set a franchise record for the longest streak of scoreless outings by a rookie.
Hollands has held opposing batters to a .150 (3-for-20) clip with men in scoring position, and he has shut down left-handed bats, limiting them to a .125 (5-for-40) batting average.
Marlins: Stanton chasing franchise history
Giancarlo Stanton (20 homers, 58 RBIs) is one of six Marlins all-time to hit 20 or more home runs and notch 50 or more RBIs before the All-Star break. Mike Lowell was the last one to do it, accomplishing the feat both in 2003 and '04. Lowell's 28 home runs and 76 RBIs in 93 games prior to the 2003 All-Star break are a franchise record.
Stanton leads the National League and ranks among the top five in the Majors in both categories this season.
• Since falling a season-worst 11 games under .500 on June 8 with a 25-36 record, the Phillies have compiled a 10-5 record.
• Phillies hurler A.J. Burnett pitched against his former club on Wednesday night, 12 years to the day after hitting his second career home run as a member of the Marlins in 2002. Burnett did not homer on the anniversary, finishing 0-for-1 with a sacrifice bunt.
Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.