SAN DIEGO -- If attempting to swing your way out of an 8 1/2-game deficit in the National League West on April 20 sounds like a herculean task, consider whom the Padres will do their swinging against on Saturday.

After scoring one run in the first two games of this series against the Phillies, that run coming in Friday's 4-1 loss before a crowd of 23,748 at Petco Park, the Padres know that they will get a steady dose of Roy Halladay on Saturday.

To be sure, it's a daunting task for any team, regardless of record. For the Padres, a team that can't seem to buy a break or string together enough hits to quantify as a rally, it probably appears more than daunting -- even if manager Bud Black isn't willing to look past the next day's game.

"You can't think the season in April," Black said after Friday's loss. "No matter if you're in first place or last place."

For the Padres, a team that has a 3-12 record for the first time since 1994, losses like the one against the Phillies (7-7) on Friday are starting to look more the norm than an aberration -- a dearth of hits in critical situations being one of the Padres' most glaring areas of deficiency.

Take Friday's game against Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels, the San Diego native who has tamed the Padres during his time in the National League. After allowing one run in six innings, he's now 7-2 with a 2.22 ERA in 12 career starts against the team he used to root for.

Dig a little deeper, though, and it's not hard to see that the Padres had Hamels (2-1) sufficiently on the ropes, especially in the early innings. San Diego had eight baserunners in the first four innings alone and still didn't score.

"We had some at-bats where we ran deep counts and had good at-bats against him," Black said of Hamels. "He had to work awfully hard. There were a lot of 3-2 counts. We just couldn't get anything together."

• In the first inning, Hamels got two quick outs before Chase Headley and Jesus Guzman singled to center field. But Hamels, in a seven-pitch at-bat, got Nick Hundley out on his front foot on a changeup, and the Padres' catcher grounded out to end the inning.

• The second inning proved to be even more vexing for the Padres, especially after Hamels yielded a one-out double to Andy Parrino followed by a walk to Orlando Hudson. Two batters later -- and after a balk -- Hamels hit Chris Denorfia with a pitch. Hamels escaped trouble by striking out Cameron Maybin.

"I was just fortunate enough to kind of get away with a lot of bad pitches," Hamels said. "But at the same time, I was able to throw some good changeups in there at times where I was getting some ground balls and got some strikeouts."

• Two innings later, Hamels allowed singles to Yonder Alonso and Hudson. A balk allowed Alonso to advance to third base, but he was thrown out at the plate by Hamels after Edinson Volquez failed to push a bunt far enough up the first-base line. Two more baserunners, still no runs.

"I thought we threw a lot of good at-bats out there against him and put ourselves into a good position," Headley said. "He was pretty good when he had to be."

Trailing, 1-0, after Jesus Guzman's RBI groundout in the fifth inning, the Phillies didn't have a run until the seventh, as Padres pitcher Edinson Volquez (0-2) limited them to two hits over the first six innings.

But Volquez allowed a line-drive single to Shane Victorino to begin the seventh and then a broken-bat single to Ty Wigginton. Freddy Galvis dropped down a bunt that turned into a hit when Volquez and Headley had a communication issue over who got the ball.

"I got confused a little," Volquez said. "But it was a good bunt."

That was enough for Black, who went to his bullpen for reliever Andrew Cashner, who allowed a first-pitch single to Brian Schneider on a 99-mph fastball to score a run and tie the game. Two batters later, Juan Pierre slapped a single to right field to score two more runs.

From there, the Phillies' bullpen covered the final three innings as the Padres went quietly and without a hit. Jonathan Papelbon worked a scoreless ninth inning for his fifth save. Comments