ATLANTA — Cole Hamels came within one out of his second shutout of the Braves this season, making the Phillies' second series sweep of the year in Atlanta look easy.
Hamels, who earned his first career shutout against the Braves on May 15, gave up his only run with two outs in the ninth, and the Phillies beat the Braves 4-1 on Thursday night to complete their second three-game sweep at Turner Field.
Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Pedro Feliz hit home runs as the Phillies improved to 8-1 against the Braves this season.
The Phillies hit seven homers and outscored the Braves 19-7 in the series, dropping Atlanta (40-46) a season-low six games below .500.
The Braves hoped the return of Chipper Jones, Yunel Escobar and Mark Kotsay from injuries would boost the team's sagging offense. Martin Prado came off the disabled list to start at second base on Thursday night, but all the reinforcements were of little help against Hamels (9-5).
He gave up only three hits through eight scoreless innings before a leadoff double to Jones in the ninth. Hamels still hadn't allowed a baserunner to reach third until Brian McCann drove in Jones with a two-out double into the right-field corner.
Tom Gordon retired Jeff Francoeur for his second save.
Hamels struck out seven and walked two while giving up five hits and one run in 8 2-3 innings. He gave up four hits in a 5-0 win over the Braves in Philadelphia on May 15 for his first career shutout, and added another home shutout over Cincinnati on June 5.
Utley hit his team-leading 24th homer off Jair Jurrjens (8-4) in the first inning. Jurrjens also gave up homers to Howard in the sixth and Feliz in the seventh.
The Phillies added another run in the fourth, when Pat Burrell led off with a double and scored on a single by Feliz.
Jurrjens gave up eight hits and four runs in seven innings, taking his first loss since May 12. He struck out six and walked one in his first career appearance against Philadelphia.
Notes: The last team to sweep the Braves in consecutive three-game series in Atlanta was Baltimore in 1997 and 1999. ... The Braves activated Prado from the disabled list and optioned SS Brent Lillibridge to Triple-A Richmond. ... Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said the team will call up LHP J.A. Happ from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to start against Johan Santana and the New York Mets on Friday.
More to come