Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/13/12

The Philadelphia Phillies' week began with a suspension coming off a series loss to a division rival. It continued with a sweep at the hands of another division foe, which led to manager Charlie Manuel calling for a closed-door team meeting.

But if all is well that ends well, the Phillies are feeling a little better about themselves after taking their first series in nearly two weeks. On Sunday, there were positive vibes throughout the home clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park following the Phils' 3-2 win over the San Diego Padres.

Cole Hamels, who was suspended for five days after admitting he plunked Washington Nationals rookie Bryce Harper a week earlier, was his usual, stellar self. Hamels held his hometown Padres to one run on five hits in seven innings.

The Phillies, who have somehow lost nine of 12 games started by Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee this season, have won six straight Hamels starts.

"He's been really bearing down, making good pitches when he has to, using all of his pitches," Manuel said. "He's definitely done a tremendous job for us."

Hamels, who improved to 5-1 with a 2.28 ERA, has been consistently dominant all season. He hasn't allowed more than three runs in any of his seven starts and hasn't allowed more than two since his first start of the season.

There were also encouraging signs from the offense on Sunday, too.

Jimmy Rollins ended a season-long power drought by leading off the bottom of the first inning with his first home run of the season. With his 38th career leadoff homer, Rollins snapped a 135-at-bat homerless drought, the second longest of his career.

"Jimmy's going to get going," Manuel said. "It's just a matter of when."

Meanwhile, two guys who haven't been in the lineup regularly lately helped fuel the offense. Brian Schneider, starting behind the plate in place of Carlos Ruiz, went 2-for-2 with a double, an RBI and a run. Juan Pierre banged out his 12th multi-hit game of the season.

Despite starting only 21 of the Phillies' 35 games, Pierre is tied for second on the team with 33 hits. When asked about the Phillies' sluggish start, the veteran also provided some levity.

"I know a 102-win season good and dandy, but this is real-life baseball, and that doesn't come around too often," Pierre said, referring to the team's franchise-record win total in 2011. "You've got to battle and bust your butt. That's the teams I'm normally on. I hear all the commotion here, and I'm like, 'We ain't that bad, guys. I've been on teams that were a lot worse right now.' But I know people get spoiled. You win 102 games. But this is real-life baseball, and you've just got to scrap and battle, and today's a good start to get something going."

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