PHILADELPHIA -- It's almost impossible to believe, but the Phillies are only 3-9 in games started by Cy Young award winners Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee this season. That's been largely a result of lack of run support.
Fortunately for them, Cole Hamels has picked up the slack.
The lanky left-hander lost his first start of the season. Since then he's tied his career] high with a five-game winning streak, including Sunday against the Padres when he allowed just one run on five hits in seven innings.
That streak covers six starts and the Phillies have won all of them. Overall, he's 5-1 with a 2.28 ERA.
Hamels was making his first start since being suspended for admitting he hit Nationals phenom Bryce Harper with a pitch on May 6. His command wasn't as sharp as it usually is, and he said that was because he was having trouble keeping his changeup down in the strike zone. One sign: He walked three batters in the first three innings. By contrast, he walked a total of just three batters in four April starts and had just six for the season coming into play Sunday.
"I had to make some pitches. I had a lot of foul balls. It kind of becomes frustrating, but I felt really good. I felt strong and sometimes when I'm a little too strong it affects my changeup and then I'm up in the zone a little too much," he said. "It was just trying to make the adjustments. And eventually, when you go inning after inning, you get worn down and it clicks."
Polanco eyes 2,000-hit milestone
PHILADELPHIA -- There are, according to the best available research, 17,788 souls who have played in the Major Leagues. Only 267 of them have amassed 2,000 base hits in their careers. Just 16 are currently active.
Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco needs just one hit to join that select group.
"It means a lot," he said. "I've been lucky enough to have played since 1998. I've played in good organizations. It means a lot and maybe someday I'll look back at all the hits and really appreciate it."
Polanco didn't start Sunday against the Padres but as a pinch-hitter in the seventh, he ripped a line drive right at third baseman James Darnell. He'll try again Monday night against the Astros. And yes, he's already picked out the spot in his Miami home to display the baseball.
Pierre's mom honored in pregame ceremony
PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies left fielder Juan Pierre used a pink bat in Sunday's game. He does that every year for Mother's Day. He got a couple hits, including an RBI double in the seventh inning that turned out to be the decisive run in his team's 3-2 win. That meant a lot.
It also meant a lot that his mother, Derry, had been flown in from Louisiana for the occasion. Each year the Phillies have a drawing to see which player's mother will be brought in and this year it was Pierre.
He joked that he didn't need to have a good game for her, though.
"Mom doesn't care if you're 0-for-4, she still loves you no matter what. You're always a hero in mom's eyes, man. That's why moms are so special. Everybody needs them," he said with a laugh. "But it was good for her to be here and enjoy it."
Even before the game, wearing a pink sweater in honor of the occasion, she was thrilled to be in town. "This is awesome. We're on cloud nine. It's a great honor to be here on Mother's Day. We're so proud of him," she said.
She's see her son play before. But this was even more special.
"It's almost like when I went to the first game he ever played. I feel like that. Because I just couldn't believe it. And being down on the field [for a pregame ceremony], it's just amazing," she said. "[And seeing him use the pink bat] makes it even better. The idea of a pink bat for mothers all over."
Jimmy Rollins hit the 38th leadoff home run of his career in the first inning, extending his own franchise record. It was also his first home run of the year. Asked if he felt good to finally hit one, he shrugged. "It felt good to hit a line drive," he said.
The Phillies still haven't had a three-game winning streak. The last time they got this deep into a season without winning three in a row was 1992, when they didn't do it until Games 37-39.
Jonathan Papelbon is now 10-for-10 in save situations. But Sunday was his first save opportunity since May 1.
Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.