PHILADELPHIA -- Jayson Werth tipped his cap in the top of the first inning Tuesday, and Phillies fans turned their boos into a standing ovation.
They offered him another ovation when he jogged to right field in the bottom of the first.
Fans showed Werth the love early, but gave him the enemy treatment much of the rest of the night as the Phillies beat the Nationals at Citizens Bank Park, 4-1. It was Werth's first appearance in Philadelphia since he signed a seven-year, $126 million contract with the Nationals in December.
Fans booed and jeered.
Werth waved back.
"I had a good time," he said. "I enjoyed every second. I think the fans welcomed me back for the most part. I was happy to be back. It's an atmosphere here like no other. I've very grateful and I will definitely remember that first at-bat the rest of my career.
"I kind of expected to be welcomed back, but you never know here. If I am booed every day here for the rest of my career, I will take that as a compliment."
Werth's return ultimately got pushed into the background as Cole Hamels pitched a brilliant complete game and Raul Ibanez mercifully snapped a 0-for-35 slump.
Hamels allowed five hits, one run, one walk and struck out six in a complete-game effort. He is 4-1 with a 2.66 ERA in six starts this season, and 4-0 with a 1.42 ERA in his last five. In those last five starts, he has allowed 24 hits, six runs and eight walks in 38 innings. He has struck out 37 as opponents have hit just .182 against him.
He is matching Roy Halladay every step of the way.
Hamels walked Werth in the first inning. Werth went 0-for-3 the rest of the night, including a strikeout in the ninth.
"He's a player," Hamels said. "I'm the same way. When we're on the field, we're enemies. When we're off the field, we can be friends. I think that's just kind of the mentality you have to keep. We're all out to win."
Ibanez just wanted a hit.
He had been hitless since April 18. His 0-for-35 slump tied Joe Morgan for the second-longest hitless streak for the Phillies since 1973. Desi Relaford holds the record with a 0-for-36 slump in 1998.
But Ibanez snapped the streak with a ground-rule double to center field in the fourth.
"I can't put it into words and I can't put the feeling in words when I hit it and I saw him running for it," Ibanez said. "That was a good feeling."
Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard looked at Ibanez and clapped from third base. Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond patted Ibanez on the back, which got him to smile.
He looked tremendously relieved.
Ibanez told Desmond he had been in an awful slump.
"I know," Desmond replied. "I actually looked it up. If you can get out of that, you can get out of anything."
Ibanez doubled to score the Phils' fourth run in the seventh, making him 2-for-4 with two doubles and one RBI.
"That's what you've got to do," Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said. "You've got to grind it out. When the going gets tough, you've got to get tough with it. You've got to stay with it. You've got to keep working, you keep working, you keep swinging. Do a lot of praying. Something good might happen for you, really. That's how you get out of a slump. You get yourself in there, you've got to get yourself out."
Ibanez always has been a hard worker, but he has been working extensively in the batting cages before and after games.
"It's been a lot of work going on behind the scenes to try to make something happen," Ibanez said. "It worked out today. I enjoyed the moment. The moment's over and now you've got to move on and put it behind you."
He starts Wednesday with a one-game hitting streak. He will take it.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.