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Philadelphia at Cincinnati

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Philadelphia (3-0) «100010000281
Cincinnati (0-3)000000000052

Hamels' shutout completes Phils' NLDS sweep of Reds

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CINCINNATI -- Cole Hamels pumped his fist when it was over, and the Philadelphia Phillies celebrated with a few chest bumps and a handshake line before returning to the clubhouse for more champagne.

Ho-hum. Another ace, another dominating performance -- and one more trip to the NL Championship Series.

More on Phillies at Reds

Hamels struck out nine in a five-hitter, Chase Utley hit a home run and the Phillies beat the Reds 2-0 on Sunday night to finish off the franchise's first playoff sweep.

"This moment here is just another stepping stone to trying to win another World Series," Hamels said.

Philadelphia, attempting to become the first NL team in 66 years to win three consecutive pennants, will host San Francisco or Atlanta in the NLCS opener on Saturday. The Giants beat the Braves 3-2 on Sunday to take a 2-1 lead in their best-of-5 division series.

Roy Halladay got the Phillies off to a scintillating start with the second no-hitter in postseason history and Hamels finished off the Reds with a masterful performance of his own. With Roy Oswalt also rested and ready to go for the next round, look out.

"For everybody here the ultimate goal is to get to the World Series," Halladay said. "This is the first step. We're all looking to get to the end."

The Reds, making their first postseason appearance in 15 years, committed six errors in the last two games of the series after finishing second in the NL with a club-record .988 fielding percentage during the regular season.

The NL's top offense managed only 11 hits in three games -- the fewest for a team in a postseason series, according to STATS LLC. The previous low was 13 by Texas against the New York Yankees in 1998.

"I mean, they really pitched," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "They're a very good team. We kept 'em in the ballpark, so to speak, kept the runs down. We just didn't push across enough runs."

Hamels got Joey Votto to ground into a double play after Brandon Phillips' leadoff single in the ninth, then struck out Scott Rolen to end the game. The lanky left-hander threw 119 pitches in his first postseason complete game, 82 for strikes.

After Rolen struck out for the eighth time in the series, the celebration was on. Well, sort of.

It all looked very routine -- Charlie Manuel's team has practiced this a lot over the past couple of years, including a victory against Tampa Bay in the 2008 World Series.

"We don't want to get too carried away," Hamels said. "We're just going to move on and play the best baseball we can."

Utley, greeted with loud boos and chants of "Cheater! Cheater!" before each at-bat, connected against Johnny Cueto in the fifth, giving the Phillies a 2-0 lead. It was his 10th career postseason home run, moving him past teammate Jayson Werth and into first place on the club's career list.

Utley started Philadelphia's winning rally in Game 2 when he was hit by a pitch from hard-throwing reliever Aroldis Chapman in the seventh inning. The All-Star second baseman acknowledged after the game he wasn't sure if the ball hit him, and a record crowd of 44,599 at Great American Ball Park made it clear what it thought of the play.

Umpires reviewed Utley's drive to right-center to see if a fan interfered with the ball, but the replays were conclusive and the call was quickly upheld.

No cheating here. Just another timely drive for the NL East champs.

"I knew I hit it OK," Utley said. "I hit a ball in the first inning I thought I hit better than that one, but lucky for us, the weather is still warm and it's a good hitters' ballpark."

The Reds never regained their footing after Halladay shut them down in the series opener. The surprise NL Central winners led 4-0 in Game 2 but quickly fell apart, committing four errors in a gut-wrenching 7-4 loss that put them on the brink of elimination.

Hamels took it from there.

The 2008 World Series MVP, quite the luxury to have as a No. 3 starter in the postseason, increased his perfect mark against Cincinnati to 7-0 in eight career starts. He also improved to 6-3 in 11 postseason outings.

"I have that sort of positive energy every time I come here," said Hamels, who tossed five shutout innings in his major league debut in Cincinnati in 2006.

Hamels allowed only two runners to reach second and none of the Reds got to third. He also got some help from his defense in the first when center fielder Shane Victorino sprinted into the gap in left-center to grab Phillips' liner with speedy Drew Stubbs on first.

Cincinnati's fielders were not so helpful to Cueto.

Reds shortstop Orlando Cabrera, a late addition to the lineup, made an errant throw in the first that allowed Placido Polanco to score an unearned run, quieting the towel-waving crowd desperate for something to cheer about. Third baseman Scott Rolen mishandled Carlos Ruiz's grounder in the sixth but Homer Bailey got Hamels to fly out to end the inning.

Cincinnati chased nemesis Oswalt early in Game 2, but was still impressed with the Phillies' trio of starters.

"Those three alone can probably take them to the World Series and win it," Votto said.

Hamels closed the regular season with a flourish, going 5-1 with a 1.48 ERA in his final seven starts, and picked up right where he left off. He walked none and was in complete control throughout.

"He was sharp and I mean, he was good the whole nine innings," Manuel said.

Cabrera aggravated his injured left side Friday night and was in danger of being removed from the postseason roster before he fielded grounders and took batting practice before Game 3. Baker decided to insert him into the lineup after he said he felt fine, removing slick-fielding Paul Janish.

The move backfired in the first. With two outs and runners on the corners, Werth hit a grounder to Cabrera and his throw pulled Votto off the bag at first. Cabrera raised his left shoulder after the play, stretching out his side, and went 0 for 3 at the plate.

"We didn't get the job done," Rolen said. "We didn't have the series we wanted."

Notes

  • Hall of Fame 2B Joe Morgan, wearing his No. 8 Reds jersey, got a standing ovation when he threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
  • The St. Louis Cardinals were the last NL team to win three pennants in a row (1942-44).
  • It was an unseasonably warm 77 degrees at first pitch.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Philadelphia

C. Hamels
IP 9.0
H 5
ER 0
BB 0
K 9
Philadelphia

C. Utley
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Philadelphia Phillies
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Shane Victorino, CF5010002 .231
Placido Polanco, 3B4110001 .111
Chase Utley, 2B4111011 .273
Ryan Howard, 1B4020010 .273
Jayson Werth, RF4000031 .167
Jimmy Rollins, SS3010102 .091
Raul Ibanez, LF4000012 .250
Carlos Ruiz, C4020001 .250
Cole Hamels, P3000004 .000
Totals3528116  
Batting
2B - Carlos Ruiz (1, Chapman)
HR - Chase Utley (1, Cueto)
SH - Cole Hamels (1)
RBI - Chase Utley (4)
2-OUT RBI - Chase Utley (3)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Utley-Rollins-Howard
E - Placido Polanco (1, Dropped fly)
Philadelphia Phillies
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Cole Hamels (W,1-0) 9500090 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Cole Hamels 119-82
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cole Hamels 8-9
Batters Faced - Cole Hamels 31
Cincinnati Reds
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Drew Stubbs, CF4010020 .111
Brandon Phillips, 2B4010001 .333
Joey Votto, 1B4000011 .100
Scott Rolen, 3B4010031 .091
Jonny Gomes, LF3000011 .000
Ramon Hernandez, C3010001 .143
    Bronson Arroyo, PR0000000 .000
    Bill Bray, P0000000 .000
    Nick Masset, P0000000 .000
    Aroldis Chapman, P0000000 .000
Jay Bruce, RF3010001 .250
Orlando Cabrera, SS3000011 .125
Johnny Cueto, P1000000 .000
   a- Miguel Cairo, PH1000010 .000
    Homer Bailey, P0000000 .000
    Ryan Hanigan, C1000000 .000
Totals3105009  
a-struck out for Cueto in the 5th
Batting
2B - Ramon Hernandez (1, Hamels)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Cabrera-B. Phillips-Votto
E - Orlando Cabrera (1, Throwing), Scott Rolen (2, Misplayed grounder)
Cincinnati Reds
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Johnny Cueto (L,0-1) 5521121 1.80
Homer Bailey 2200020 0.00
Bill Bray 0.1000010 0.00
Nick Masset 0.2000010 4.50
Aroldis Chapman 1100000 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Johnny Cueto 83-50, Homer Bailey 29-21, Bill Bray 8-5, Nick Masset 11-7, Aroldis Chapman 18-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Johnny Cueto 6-8, Homer Bailey 2-2
Batters Faced - Johnny Cueto 22, Homer Bailey 8, Bill Bray 1, Nick Masset 2, Aroldis Chapman 4
Game Information
Attendance - 44599
Game Time - 3:00
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Sam Holbrook, First Base - Ed Rapuano, Second Base - Gary Cederstrom, Third Base - Rob Drake