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Phillies empty Cole Hamels' locker, but ailing lefty not going anywhere

Cole Hamels will miss his scheduled start Friday with what the Philadelphia Phillies called a right hamstring strain.

Some members of his team thought the news, combined with a 2-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday, made for a perfect spot to play a prank.

When the clubhouse opened following the victory, which ended a nine-game losing streak, Hamels' locker was empty and his nameplate above it was gone. With the ace left-hander the subject of trade rumors for much of the past six months, it appeared perhaps the Phillies had struck a deal.

Not so, a team spokesman said.

No player owned up to the deed, though several were laughing about it. The team spokesman said he didn't know who was responsible.

Closer Jonathan Papelbon, a natural suspect, denied it.

"I don't know anything about Cole," he said.

Hamels has been one of the lone bright spots for Philadelphia this season, compiling a 5-5 record with a 2.96 ERA.

The three-time All-Star threw seven innings of shutout ball last Sunday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. It's not clear if he was hurt in that game.

Right-hander Phillippe Aumont will be called up from Triple-A and start for the Phillies on Friday against the St. Louis Cardinals. It will be his major league starting debut.

He started 10 games in the minors this season, going 3-4 with a 2.55 ERA. He was 1-5 with a 6.13 ERA in 45 relief appearances for Philadelphia from 2012 to '14.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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