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Red Sox Go For Series Sweep Against Phillies On Sunday

(Sports Network) - Cole Hamels will try to play the role of stopper this afternoon when the Philadelphia Phillies try to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.

A lot had been made of Philadelphia's struggling offense heading into this series, but it has been its starting pitching that has let it down through the first two games of this interleague set.

After Jamie Moyer surrendered nine runs in a 12-2 loss on Friday, Joe Blanton gave up nine in a 10-2 setback on Saturday.

"Our offense has been struggling, like it's been said for a while," noted Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. "When you give a team eight and nine runs early, that's kinda hard to overcome."

Daniel Nava provided the offense for the Red Sox, as he went 2-for-4 and hit a grand slam in his first major-league at-bat, joining three other players in baseball history to clear the bases with a home run in their first big-league plate appearance. He also became just the second player ever to hit one on the first pitch.

J.D. Drew homered and drove in two runs and Marco Scutaro also drove in a pair for the Red Sox, who have won four of six overall. Manny Delcarmen (2-2) allowed one hit in two scoreless relief innings for the win.

Scott Atchison allowed two hits and two runs in three full frames. He started in place of Daisuke Matsuzaka, who was a late scratch after being placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right forearm strain.

"On a day when it starts out that you lose your starting pitcher, got a young kid who's never played a day in the major leagues, this is probably something that only happens in Boston," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona of the odd circumstances that framed the win.

Brian Schneider went 3-for-4 with a two-run double for the Phillies, who skidded to their third straight defeat and fifth in six games.

Hamels will try to stop the bleeding this afternoon, as he himself attempts to snap a personal three-game losing streak. Hamels carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning of his last start but surrendered back-to-back solo home runs in the 3-1 loss.

He is 5-5 on the year with a 3.98 ERA, but is a perfect 2-0 in two starts against the Red Sox in his career. His last win came against them back on May 21 when he held them to a run and three hits in seven innings.

Boston, though, will counter with knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, who tossed eight scoreless innings to beat the Phils on May 23. He is 4-1 lifetime against them with a 2.68 ERA in 10 games (eight starts).

Wakefield snapped a two-start losing streak on Tuesday in Cleveland, as he allowed two runs (one earned) and four hits in 7 1/3 innings to run his record to 2-4 on the year to go along with a 5.48 ERA.

The Red Sox took two of three from the Phils earlier in the year and are 18-5 in the series since the start of the 2004 campaign with a 7-1 mark at Fenway Park in that span.