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PHILADELPHIA -- Great pitching and great power allowed the Philadelphia Phillies to make short work of the Chuck James and the Atlanta Braves on Thursday. A trio of Phillies homered as Cole Hamels spun his first career shut-out in the 5-0 victory.
Hamels (5-3) was the story all night long, frustrating the Braves with razor sharp command. The lanky lefty threw 120 pitches, 86 of those for strikes. Not only did he collect six strike outs on the mound, but he also rapped a pair of hits at the plate to help his own cause.
The Phillies connected for three homers against James (2-3), who walked five and allowed all five Philadelphia runs in four innings of work. Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino and Pedro Feliz all went deep in support of Hammels.
Atlanta was forced to play the game without third baseman Chipper Jones, who aggravated a groin injury. Manager Bobby Cox shuffled his line-up yet again, with Omar Infante filling at third base and Jeff Francoeur hitting in Jones' customary three spot in the order. Jones expects to play Friday when the Braves open a series wtih the Oakland Athletics at Turner Field.
Mark Teixeira continues to struggle agianst left-handed pitching, going 0-for-4 and dropping his season average against southpaws to .203 (12-for-59). He is hitless in eight at-bats since sitting out two games with back spasms.
On Deck: The Braves return home, where they boast the best record in baseball (14-4) to open the longest homestand of the season. Jair Jurrjens will face Dana Eveland in the first of three against the A's. Game time is set for 7:30 PM EST.