Cole comes up big as Phils advance

Cole Hamels dominated the Cincinnati Reds, throwing seven scoreless innings, allowing just five hits, striking out nine and allowing no walks.

In his 2-0 NLDS-sweeping victory over the Reds, the cool California kid was absolutely dominant, sending the Phillies to nearly a week of rest before they meet Atlanta or San Francisco for the NLCS beginning Saturday.

Hamels retired 24 of 28 batters between Drew Stubbs’ first-inning leadoff single and Brandon Phillips’ leadoff single in the ninth.

After waiting 15 years to get back to the postseason, the Reds were simply dominated by Hamels in their first game back at Great American Ballpark.

The Phillies put the game’s first run on the board in the top of the first. Placido Polanco singled on a line drive to center and later advanced to third on a two-out single by Ryan Howard. Jayson Werth followed Howard and reached first on a throwing error by Reds shortstop Orlando Cabrera, scoring Polanco.

The Phils added to their lead in the fifth on a two-out solo homer by Chase Utley. Reds starter Johnny Cueto had struck out Utley in the third with a fantastic slider and tried to go back to it again but hung it out over the plate. Utley crushed the pitch into the right-center field bleachers to put the Phils ahead 2-0.

Those two runs were all that Hamels and the Phillies would need.

After Phillips singled to open the bottom of the ninth, Hamels got Joey Votto to ground into a 4-6-3 double play, then threw his 119th and final pitch past former Phillie Scott Rolen to complete the three-game sweep.

Giants control NLDS

The San Francisco Giants took a 2-1 series lead with a 3-2 win over the Braves in Atlanta on Sunday.

The Giants trailed 2-1 in the top of the ninth inning, but Aubrey Huff hit an RBI single and Freddie Sanchez scored on an error to give San Fran the lead.

Game 4 is tonight in Atlanta, as Madison Baumgardner will pitch for the Giants and Derek Lowe for the Braves. METRO

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