Cole Hamels stops Padres cold to end funk, help Phils sweep

SAN DIEGO -- Cole Hamels wouldn't mind another trip to his hometown this season.

That, of course, would mean a Phillies-Padres playoff series.

"It'd be special," Hamels said after shutting down the Padres on four singles in eight innings to lead Philadelphia to a 5-0 victory Sunday that completed a three-game sweep of the bumbling NL West leaders.

"It'd be very nice. It would be something for San Diego to get because they haven't been in the playoffs for a couple of years," said Hamels, the MVP of Philadelphia's World Series win over Tampa Bay two seasons ago.

Hamels won for the first time in nine starts and the two-time defending NL champions dominated the Padres, who continue to have the league's best record at 76-53. Hamels and the other two Philadelphia starters this series, Roy Oswalt and Joe Blanton, combined to go 3-0 and allow only two earned runs in 22 innings for a 0.82 ERA. The Phillies threw their 16th shutout, tying San Diego for second in the majors behind the New York Mets' 18.

The Phillies remained 1 1/2 games ahead of San Francisco in the wild card race and two games behind Atlanta in the NL East.

San Diego's lead over San Francisco in the NL West dropped to five games.

The Padres have lost four straight games for the first time this season and were swept for just the second time. The Padres, who led the majors in fielding percentage (.989) coming in, committed a season-high four errors.

"This is no time to panic," San Diego's Chase Headley said. "You only have to look at the Phillies. Coming in they had lost six of eight and were swept at home by Houston. Then, they turn it around and come out here and sweep us. We're capable of getting this turned around just like the Phillies did."

If the Phillies do return in October, they've got to like their chances. They won their seventh straight game at Petco Park, where they're 18-4 since it opened in 2004.

"You can't beat the weather here," said Hamels, who attended Rancho Bernardo High.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel also wouldn't mind a trip back to San Diego.

"I'd like to see 'em. I'd like to see anybody in October," he said. "They've got a good chance of getting there. They've played good all year. They hit a bump in the road here, but we've got some baseball left. They're going to be all right."

Mike Sweeney, starting in place of slumping Ryan Howard against left-hander Clayton Richard, hit a two-run homer, his first for the Phillies since being acquired from Seattle on Aug. 4. Jayson Werth added a solo shot.

Hamels (8-10) prevailed over Richard (12-6) in a duel of lefties to win for the first time since July 11 against Cincinnati. He had gone 0-3 despite a 2.83 ERA in his previous eight starts.

Hamels retired his final 16 batters after allowing Adrian Gonzalez's single with two outs in the third. He struck out six and walked none. Ryan Madson finished the combined five-hitter as several thousand Phillies fans stood and cheered.

"Truly, I'm just happy to win," Hamels said. "This team's tough. I was trying to get the game in our favor."

Hamels allowed consecutive singles with two outs in the first before retiring Headley on a popup to second. He allowed a single in the second and another in the third before keeping the Padres off the bases the rest of the way.

Hamels said it didn't seem that long since he'd had a winning decision. "No, I've been able to go out game after game and put together good innings," he said. "It was just a matter of time."

Hamels "was really good," San Diego's Yorvit Torrealba said. "He was mixing all his pitches really well."

San Diego had only three runs on 18 hits this series. Philly scored 11 runs on 17 hits.

"We have to swing the bats, and we will," manager Bud Black said. "We've shown that we can, especially in the second half. We'll be all right."

Gonzalez had three hits for San Diego.

Two of Philadelphia's runs were unearned. Carlos Ruiz singled with one out in the third and advanced on Richard's errant pickoff throw. He took third on Hamels' groundout and scored on Jimmy Rollins' single.

In the eighth, Ruiz hit a leadoff single and was safe at second on Richard's throwing error after he fielded Hamels' bunt. Right fielder Ryan Ludwick made a nice diving catch of Rollins' fly. But when Ludwick attempted to double Hamels off first, his throw was wide and bounced into the Padres' dugout for another error, allowing Ruiz to score.

In between, Sweeney lined a pitch over the left-field wall with two outs in the seventh. It was seventh overall.

Werth hit a solo homer off Luis Perdomo with one out in the ninth, his 18th.

Richard allowed four runs, two earned, on four hits in 7 2/3 innings. He struck out five and walked one.

Game notes
Philadelphia is 14-2 against the NL West. ... Howard is batting .121 (4 for 33) with one RBI since returning from the disabled list on Aug. 21. However, he's a career .360 hitter against San Diego, with nine homers and 45 RBIs. ... The Padres hadn't lost four straight games since Aug. 13-16, 2009.