The losses are piling up far too fast for Cole Hamels. Perhaps facing a team whom he has historically dominated will bring him better fortune.
The Philadelphia Phillies send Hamels to the mound Wednesday night against the host San Diego Padres.Hamels (2-11, 4.50 ERA) not only leads the major leagues in losses, but he's already tied his career-worst total for a season from 2009 and 2010."It does get frustrating at times," he said. "I'm striving to win. When I make a (bad) pitch, it seems to break the game open."In the three-time All-Star's defense, his 3.06 run support average is one of the majors' lowest. He's received a combined three runs of support over his last five road starts while going 0-4.But Hamels squandered a 3-0 lead at home his last time out, giving up four runs over six innings in a 4-3 loss to the Mets on Friday."It's a process. You can't be selfish in this game," Hamels said. "If you want to be a team player, you can't put the selfish side in there. I'm not doing my part because I'm not defending enough runs when I get runs."The Padres (39-39) could be a good opponent for Hamels to face to turn things around, as he's won his last five starts against them while yielding three runs over 37 innings. He's 8-2 with a 2.15 ERA in 13 career starts versus San Diego, and his .186 opponents' batting average in those games is his second-lowest against one team.Hamels wouldn't mind some support from Domonic Brown, who ended a 14-game homerless drought with a three-run shot in a 6-2 victory Tuesday for the Phillies (37-41). The drought matched his longest of the season, but he followed the first with 17 home runs over the next 39 contests."I was just trying to hit something in the middle the other way and I just reacted to the ball," said Brown, second in the NL with 20 homers.Looking to keep him from leaving the yard Wednesday will be Robbie Erlin (1-0, 4.15) as he makes his second career start while filling in for the injured Clayton Richard.The left-hander won his first major league start June 1, limiting Toronto to two runs over 6 2/3 innings in a 4-3 victory. He also gave up two runs over two innings in two relief appearances earlier in the season.He'll be recalled from Triple-A Tucson for Wednesday's outing."We liked what we saw when he beat the Blue Jays," manager Bud Black said. "He's getting to a point where he's about to break through."Ryan Howard was 0 for 4 on Tuesday but walked and scored a run after missing Monday's series opener with a sore left knee. He's batting .392 with 11 RBIs over his last 14 contests.Cameron Maybin, still out with a torn ligament in his left knee, is the only Padre hitting better than .286 in more than four at-bats against Hamels. Chase Headley, Nick Hundley and Chris Denorfia are a combined 7 for 43 (.163) versus the southpaw.