SAN DIEGO - Cole Hamels had not picked up a win in San Diego since he pitched for Rancho Bernardo High School in 2002.
He had not picked up a win for the Phillies since July 3.
The lefthander ended both winless streaks last night in a 2-1 victory over the San Diego Padres at Petco Park, which kept the Phillies two games behind the New York Mets in the National League East.
"It definitely means a lot just getting a win, but it also means a lot just being able to finally get one in San Diego," Hamels said. "Any time you come home, you want to do the best you possibly can."
Hamels allowed seven hits, one run and no walks in eight innings to improve to 10-8 with a 3.22 ERA. He also improved to 1-1 with a 2.18 ERA in three starts at Petco Park. But as well as he pitched last night, the Phillies still boarded a return flight to Philadelphia just 2-5 on a seven-game road trip through Los Angeles and San Diego that bumped them from first place in the East. With just 38 games to play, they need to start playing better baseball.
"We weren't able to really go out there and succeed," Hamels said. "I think that's more the focus. It's all about the team. When you start focusing on your own goals, you're going to get yourself in trouble. The ultimate goal is to get to the playoffs and get to the World Series. One win doesn't really mean anything. A 5-2 record would have been a lot better."
The Phillies hit .190 (43 for 226) and scored just 22 runs on the road trip, but Hamels is used to that type of run support. In his last six losses, the Phillies had scored just nine runs for him. In his seven starts between July 3 and last night, they had been shut out twice.
Jimmy Rollins worked an infield single to lead off the first inning. He stole second and reached third on catcher Luke Carlin's throwing error into center field. Rollins scored on Jayson Werth's sacrifice fly to right to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead.
The Phils did not get another hit until Pat Burrell singled to lead off the fourth inning. They did not get another run until Burrell hit a solo home run to left field with one out in the sixth.
They managed just six hits in the game. They have not had 10 hits in a game since last Monday in an 8-6 loss to the Dodgers. But with Hamels on the mound last night, it did not matter.
"Hamels is one of the best in the league," Padres manager Bud Black said.
The Phillies' offense was supposed to be one of the best, too. It has not been for weeks.
"We're definitely ready to go home," manager Charlie Manuel said. "We've had a tough trip. I think getting home and getting back in our ballpark, I think our hitting should pick up. We like playing in our yard, and I think we should put up some more runs."