Ryan Howard homered twice and Jimmy Rollins also connected to back another strong outing by Hamels, helping the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Red Sox 8-2 Monday night in an interleague matchup of division leaders.
Hamels (7-4) allowed two runs and seven hits in seven-plus innings. Since consecutive poor outings last month, the left-hander has a 1.50 ERA in his last three starts.
"I believe we're destined to play each other in the World Series," Hamels said. "We can compete with them any day of the week."
Red Sox starter Bartolo Colon (4-2) gave up four runs and six hits in four innings before leaving with back stiffness.
"I think I did it on a swing," Colon said through a translator. "We'll find out more tomorrow, but I think I'll make my next start."
Howard had his second multihomer game in four nights and finished 3-for-5 with four RBI. Howard, who has struggled most of the season, now is tied for second in the NL with 19 homers and he's in a three-way tie with teammate Chase Utley and Adrian Gonzalez for first in RBI with 62. The 2006 NL MVP is batting just .224.
"I'm just up there trying to be as relaxed as possible," Howard said. "Whatever the numbers are, it doesn't matter as long as we get the win."
The Phillies teed off against Colon in the first inning. Rollins hit his 28th career leadoff homer into the second deck in right field for a 1-0 lead. Shane Victorino followed with a double off the wall in right-center.
After Utley struck out, Howard lined an opposite-field shot into the left-field seats to make it 3-0. Howard hit another opposite-field drive to left-center for a 4-0 lead in the third.
"It's being able to see the ball deep in the zone," Howard said, explaining his power to left field.
Pedroia and Drew went deep in the fifth to cut the deficit to 4-2. But the Phillies scored four runs off reliever Mike Timlin in the sixth to increase their cushion.
Rollins had a two-run single and scored on Utley's fielder's choice grounder. Howard ripped a triple to right-center off Jacoby Ellsbury's glove to make it 8-2.
Hamels improved to 6-1 following a loss this season.
"He's not the type of guy you want to fall behind," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "He's terrific."
- Red Sox 1B Kevin Youkilis was scratched from the lineup because of muscle spasms in the middle of his back. Manny Ramirez was 0-for-4 in his return after missing two games with a sore hamstring.
- Howard has 15 career multihomer games, including three this season. He has 46 RBI in the last 37 games.
- Slow-footed Phillies LF Pat Burrell legged out his first triple since Aug. 11, 2006.