April has never been Cole Hamels' month.
While it's historically been his worst month in the Majors, it really hasn't been that bad. Hamels has gone 13-11 with a 3.88 ERA in April. He's posted a 3.28 ERA in non-April regular-season games.
But after his Opening Day start against the Braves, when Hamels lasted five innings and allowed five runs on seven hits, including three homers, the 29-year-old lefty is looking for a rebound as he takes on the Royals on Sunday at 1:35 p.m. ET.
"You have to be able to establish the fastball down in the zone and I wasn't able to do that as much as I'd like," Hamels said after taking the loss on Opening Day.
"Most of the pitches that were hit out were fastballs up in the zone. I want to claim that's uncharacteristic, but there are times when you have to be able to make the adjustment and I wasn't able to make the adjustment fast enough."
The Phillies, now 2-3, entered Saturday's game against the Royals with the worst ERA (7.68) in the Majors, having allowed 29 runs in their first four games.
The Royals, with their National League-adapted lineup that pushed Eric Hosmer to the bench and designated hitter Billy Butler to first base on Saturday, are hoping to capitalize.
Kansas City will send James Shields to the mound.
Shields, acquired in the offseason in a trade with the Rays, made a strong first impression on Opening Day.
Shields pitched six innings of one-run ball, striking out six batters and walking none, but he was outshined by White Sox lefty Chris Sale, who led Chicago to a 1-0 win.
The 31-year-old right-hander could be the ace the Royals, off to a 2-3 start, have been looking for.
Phillies: Getting on base and being aggressive
• The Phillies, who entered Saturday's game against the Royals ninth in the Majors with 30 runners left on base, left five more runners on base in the 4-3 win.
"Sooner or later, we will [knock them in]," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.
Manuel was right, as pinch-hitter Kevin Frandsen knocked a two-out bases-clearing double in the bottom of the ninth inning to secure the win on Saturday.
• The Phillies have also been aggressive on the basepaths. Shortstop Jimmy Rollins stole his third base of the season on Saturday. Rollins stole four bases in the entire month of April last season.
The Phillies have yet to be caught stealing.
Royals: An old face returns
Miguel Tejada, at 38 years old and out of the game since August 2011, made his first start for the Royals on Saturday. Tejada got the nod at third base instead of the left-handed-hitting Mike Moustakas and went 1-for-3 with two RBIs. They were Tejada's first RBIs since July 16, 2011.
Tejada, the former American League MVP as a member of the A's in 2002, was signed to a Minor League contract this offseason.
• Phillies right fielder John Mayberry walked two more times Saturday and has four walks to only three strikeouts in nine at-bats this season. Mayberry, who has been playing right in Delmon Young's absence, walked 34 times with 111 strikeouts in 2012.
• Shields, the cousin of former Phillies outfielder Aaron Rowand, dealt the Phillies their only loss in the 2008 World Series.
• Rollins and second baseman Chase Utley have started 961 games together as a double-play combination. They're second among active combinations behind only the Yankees' Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano (1,036 games).
• After blowing the save on Saturday, Royals closer Greg Holland has blown two of his last four save opportunities dating back to last year. For his career, Holland is 21-for-28.
Jason Mastrodonato is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.