It's been almost a month since Roy Halladay won a game for the Philadelphia Phillies. That drought began with his first career loss to the San Diego Padres.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner looks to avoid extending his winless stretch to five games when he tries to help the Phillies win consecutive contests for the first time in more than a week Saturday night against the Padres.
Halladay (3-2, 3.28 ERA) allowed two runs in eight innings of a 5-2 win at San Francisco on April 16 to improve to 3-0. In his next start April 21, the right-hander gave up two runs and a season-high four walks in seven innings of a 5-1 loss at San Diego that dropped him to 3-1 with a 2.05 ERA against the Padres.
The Phillies have lost each of the last four started by Halladay, who went five straight starts without a win Aug. 24-Sept. 10, 2007.
The low point of the drought came May 2 when Halladay yielded eight runs and 12 hits in 5 1-3 innings of a 15-13, 11-inning loss at Atlanta. The next day he left the team for personal reasons, but returned to allow two runs and strike out a season-high seven in seven innings while not factoring in the decision of a 5-2 loss at New York on Monday.
"I felt good the whole time,'' Halladay said. "You have to overcome it and move on.''
He hopes to lead Philadelphia (15-18) to back-to-back wins for the first time since April 30-May 1. Carlos Ruiz and John Mayberry each homered and drove in three runs as the Phillies snapped a three-game skid with a 7-3 win over San Diego on Friday.
Philadelphia's run total was one fewer than it scored while splitting a four-game set at Petco Park last month. It came in the club's first game since manager Charlie Manuel's team meeting Wednesday and the same day the versatile Laynce Nix was placed on the disabled list with a strained calf.
"It's a good start for us to get back on the right foot,'' Friday's winner Vance Worley said. "That's something we can build on.''
Ruiz is batting .422 with four of his six home runs and 18 of his 22 RBIs in his last 13 games.
The Phillies have won 13 of 16 against the Padres (11-22), who have lost three straight on the road where they are 2-8. Yonder Alonso homered and had two RBIs as San Diego failed to score more than three runs for a sixth straight game.
Alonso has batted .407 with seven RBIs in his last 14 games.
Scheduled Padres starter Edinson Volquez (1-2, 2.98) allowed three runs in six innings of a 4-1 loss April 20 to fall to 2-1 with a 1.96 ERA against the Phillies.
Since that defeat, the right-hander has yielded three runs and 11 hits in 19 1-3 innings while going 1-0 in three starts. He earned his first win in San Diego after giving up two runs and overcoming four walks in 5 1-3 innings of a 3-2 victory over Colorado on Monday.
"I don't care how I win the game, but I want to win," said Volquez, who has received an average 2.13 runs of support. "I wasn't sharp like my last three games, but it happens sometimes."