ATLANTA -- Cole Hamels’ first career opening-day start did not go well. The left-hander made mistakes over the plate and allowed three home runs in the Phillies’ 7-5 loss to the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on Monday night.
Starting pitching report
Hamels ran a high pitch count and lasted just five innings. He allowed five runs, four of which came on three home runs. He left trailing, 5-3.
It wasn’t unusual to see Hamels struggle in his first start of the season. Over the last five seasons, he has allowed 23 earned runs in 21 2/3innings (9.55 ERA) in his first start.
Atlanta’s Tim Hudson allowed three runs over 4 1/3 innings.
Chad Durbin could not keep the game close in the sixth. He faced three batters and retired none in allowing two runs. Jeremy Horst pitched two scoreless innings for the Phils.
Atlanta lefty Luis Avilan got five outs and earned the win. Eric O’Flaherty and Jordan Walden were both touched for a run, but did not give up the lead. Craig Kimbrel, who had 42 saves last season, pitched a scoreless ninth for his first of the season
At the plate
Playing in his first opener since 2010, Chase Utley swung the bat well with a solo homer, a two-run single and a triple. The homer was the 200th of his career.
Ben Revere had a terrific 11-pitch at-bat against Hudson to help fuel a two-run rally in the fifth.
Freddie Freeman, Dan Uggla and Justin Upton homered for Atlanta. All were against Hamels. Freeman’s homer was a two-run shot with two outs in the first inning. Jason Heyward, who had walked, was on base.
Manager Charlie Manuel used Revere in the leadoff spot and Jimmy Rollins second (see story).
The Phillies are off Tuesday. The series resumes Wednesday night when Roy Halladay makes his season debut against Atlanta lefty Paul Maholm.