Mark Portugal is 35, it's been more than a month since his last victory and two years since his last complete game. So this was not just another win.
Thrusting his fists in the air and giving his catcher a big hug, the Phillies right-hander celebrated the end of two miserable streaks on Tuesday after leading Philadelphia to a 3-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox.
Scott Rolen homered for the Phillies, who earned their second consecutive comeback victory over the Red Sox and their 25th come-from-behind win of the season.
Portugal's comeback was even more impressive.
After winning his first two starts of the season, Portugal (3-2) went six outings without a victory. His last complete game was on June 24, 1996 for Cincinnati, against the Phillies.
"Yeah, it's been a while," said Portugal, who allowed two runs and seven hits while striking out seven and walking none. He threw 109 pitches, 78 of them strikes, for his 13th career complete game.
"He was in complete control of the game," Phillies manager Terry Francona said. "I know this ballpark is small and people can hit a mistake, but he didn't throw any mistakes."
Although his two sons, who live in Rhode Island and just finished school last week, were watching their father pitch for the first time since spring training, Portugal said he wasn't thinking about them during the game.
"I was thinking about my job," he said. "I don't like going out there and getting my ass kicked. I have high expectations for myself and the organization's got high expectations for me."
On the first anniversary of his last victory, Derek Lowe (0-6) allowed three runs on seven hits, two walks and a hit batter in six innings, striking out four.
"Portugal located it good and kept our hitters off balance. Our kid, Derek Lowe, pitched good also," Boston manager Jimy Williams said. "He's pitched good all year and gotten progressively better."
A night after rallying from a five-run deficit to win 9-8 in 10 innings, the Phillies completed the two-game series sweep by coming from two runs down with a three-run sixth inning.
Rolen led off with his 15th homer of the year. Two outs later, Bobby Abreu walked, Kevin Jordan was hit by a pitch and Mark Lewis singled to tie it 2-2.
Desi Relaford followed with a single that scored Jordan, but Lewis was caught rounding second and was thrown out by the cutoff man to end the inning.
The Red Sox went ahead 2-0 in the fifth. Troy O'Leary and John Valentin hit consecutive doubles, Valentin took third on a groundout and scored on a suicide squeeze by Mike Benjamin.
Boston had runners on second and third with one out in the sixth, but Portugal struck out Mo Vaughn and O'Leary to end the threat.
Notes:/b> The Phillies have nine complete games, second in the NL behind Atlanta. ... Abreu threw out Vaughn trying to stretch a single into a double in the second. It was his 11th assist, best among major-league outfielders. ... Abreu extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a second-inning single. ... The Red Sox added pitcher Carlos Reyes to the roster, two days after he was acquired from San Diego in a trade for Jim Leyritz. Reyes pitched two scoreless innings. ... Rico Brogna left the game with inflammation of his right knee. He will be examined Wednesday in Philadelphia.
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