Cole Hamels pitches second straight shutout

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Cole Hamels went the distance against the Marlins on Monday, recording his second straight shutout after blanking the Braves last Tuesday.

Hamels, who last month agreed to a six-year, $144 million extension with the Phillies, scattered seven hits in the gem. It was his sixth career shutout.  He’s now 13-6 with a 2.91 ERA for the season.

Along with Johan Santana, Hamels is the second pitcher this year to throw shutouts in back-to-back outings. Phillies teammate Cliff Lee was the last pitcher to throw three in a row, doing so against the Marlins, Cardinals and Red Sox last June. Hamels will get the Brewers next as he tries to match Lee’s feat.

Giants place Hunter Pence on 10-day disabled list with right thumb sprain

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The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.

Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).

Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.