Finally, Cole Hamels got a few runs to work with.
The Philadelphia Phillies put some key hits in the right places and the lefty won for the first time in seven starts dating to last September in a 4-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night.
''You just know that you don't have to be as precise,'' Hamels said. ''You can kind of let the ball go a little bit and see what happens.''
Ben Revere's two-run double just inside the foul line in left field in the seventh inning was the go-ahead hit for the Phillies, who have won three of four.
Philadelphia manager Ryne Sandberg left Hamels (1-2) in to sacrifice in the seventh to give the pitcher a shot at ending his winless skid. Besides the bunt that moved up the runners for Revere, Hamels retired his final seven batters in order, finishing with 114 pitches.
''I thought that would be big for him,'' Sandberg said. ''But the fact that he can hit a little bit, that came into play also.''
The Cardinals needed five baserunners to get a run in the third on Matt Holliday's RBI single. Mark Reynolds, who got a spot start in right field, grounded out with the bases loaded to end the inning.
Cardinals starter John Lackey (1-1) didn't help his cause when he struck out attempting to bunt after Jon Jay drew a leadoff walk in the third. Lackey has spent virtually all of his career in the American League.
''Obviously, tonight I didn't get it down,'' Lackey said. ''He threw me a breaking ball, changeup - he kind of showed me a little bit of everything.''
Hamels and Lackey both went seven innings. Hamels had a season-best nine strikeouts and allowed four hits, while the Phillies put just two runners in scoring position before their three-run seventh.
Hamels had been 0-4 with a 3.23 ERA since Sept. 23, receiving four total runs of support while he was in the game. He's 2-2 in seven career starts at Busch Stadium, the other win coming on Aug. 3, 2006, and this was his first victory over the Cardinals since 2007.
''I think personal wins aren't something I really focus on that much,'' Hamels said. ''It's more for the team. You want to set the tone no matter what and I think that's what we were trying to do.''
Ken Giles had two strikeouts in the eighth and Jonathan Papelbon made it 13 strikeouts for Phillies pitchers while earning his fifth save in five tries.
The Cardinals have lost two straight since ace Adam Wainwright tore his left Achilles. The team announced before the game that the two-time 20-game winner will miss the rest of the season, and general manager John Mozeliak was optimistic Wainwright will be ready for spring training.
Cody Asche's infield hit off first baseman Matt Adams' glove began the Phillies seventh, and Revere's opposite-field flare on the chalk in shallow left put Philadelphia up 2-1. Odubel Herrera followed with an RBI single, his third hit of the day.
Phillies: OF Domonic Brown could be close to joining the team after starting the year on the disabled list with tendinitis in his left Achilles. He is scheduled to complete a 20-game rehab assignment Tuesday.
Cardinals: OF Jason Heyward (hamstring) did not start after being removed from Sunday's loss at Milwaukee. He struck out as a pinch hitter in the ninth and is expected to play Tuesday. One reason to sit him Monday: He's a .219 career hitter against Hamels with no RBIs in 32 at-bats. Jhonny Peralta batted second for the 21st time in his career in place of Heyward.
Phillies: Severino Gonzalez makes his major league debut in place of injured Sean O'Sullivan. The right-hander was 1-1 with a 3.57 ERA at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. RHP Hector Neris was optioned to Lehigh Valley.
Cardinals: Michael Wacha (3-0, 1.33 ERA) is 8-1 with a 2.24 ERA in his career at home. He'll be facing the Phillies for the first time and is 4-2 with a 1.52 ERA against NL East foes.
Lackey snared Revere's liner to start a double play in the fifth, and third baseman Matt Carpenter made a diving stop down the line and threw out Herrera.
Link to box score: Philadelphia (8-12) 4 at St. Louis (12-6) 1