Joely Rodriguez had grinded for seven weeks of spring training to lock down one of the final spots in the Phillies bullpen. He called his mother on her birthday back home in the Dominican Republic to say he was headed to the majors. It was the best moment of his career.

But that joy appeared to be fleeting once the season began, as the lefthander was lashed for seven runs in his first four appearances. Rodriguez needed a fresh approach. He reviewed his mechanics and altered his delivery, making a small adjustment that has put his season back on track with five straight scoreless outings.

Rodriguez changed the way he holds his glove at the start of his delivery. He used to keep his glove near his belly button. The pitcher now keeps it higher to his chest before attacking the batter. A minor fix, but one that Rodriguez said helped calm his nerves. He has not allowed a run in his last five games, a stretch that covers 5 2/3 innings. He has thrown just 60 pitches over that five-game span.

"At the beginning of the season, I was uncomfortable," Rodriguez said after Sunday's 5-2 win over Atlanta. "This has really helped me a lot. I have more patience to throw the ball with more confidence. I stay more relaxed."

Most important might be Rodriguez' success against lefthanded batters, who are 2 for 9 against Rodriguez in his last five games. Those two hits - both harmless singles - came from Bryce Harper and Freddie Freeman, two of the National League's best hitters. Rodriguez is the bullpen's lone lefthanded reliever and could find himself in more high-leverage situations if he proves to be a lockdown lefty.

"I'm ready for every situation," Rodriguez said. "I'm ready for whatever situation they want to bring me into. Every day, I just stay ready."

He inherited a runner on second base with one out Sunday when he relieved Pat Neshek in the eighth inning. It was high leverage, for sure. Rodriguez forced Ender Inciarte, a lefthander, to ground out. He then whiffed Brandon Phillips and pumped his fist. The Phillies scored five runs in the bottom of the inning, and Rodriguez had his first major-league win.

"Joely Rodriguez has really stepped up and done a great job for us," manager Pete Mackanin said. "We originally considered him more of a long guy, but he is starting to prove to me that he can get big outs late in the game against certain hitters, and he got a couple of big outs with Inciarte and Phillips."