My role is to win a game when it is my opportunity. I only get a chance to help my team win one in every five games, and I want to take advantage of that. My teammate, Chad Billingsley, said it is time for us to get going, that it is time for us to start contributing. He certainly did that the other day in the game he pitched.

When I had my start on Monday night, I wanted to do the same. It felt good to get that first win of the season under my belt. I would have liked to have seen it come a little sooner, and I would have liked to have seen myself throwing the ball well. But it is a long year, and I know that I have a lot of work to do.

In the big picture, you don't always expect your season to go as planned. The competition is just too good to think it is ever going to be easy. As we go along, I will keep trying to find ways to be a little bit better. That is the only way I will be able to win.

In my most recent start, success came because I was locating my fastball. Also, my backdoor slider was a little bit better than it has been. I was able to make that pitch a factor. I think now I am getting to a place where my mechanics are more sound. I have been able to repeat things a little bit better. I also have to be aware that I get by with many mistakes, too. But I feel like I have been getting a little bit better since the start of the season.

In my last start, our offense gave me early support, and that helps you relax a bit more on the mound. You know you have a bigger margin for error. I also enjoy pitching in tight games, though. I like those pitchers duels. But if there is any time your club can get a lead against a club, against another good pitcher, you have to take advantage of that. Key hits with runners in scoring position will do that for you.

I am comfortable pitching at home. There is no doubt that Dodger Stadium is a good park to pitch in. But regardless of where you pitch or what the score is or how the numbers turn out, the goal is to go out and win the game. Even though it is a good park for me to pitch in, it is also a good park for the opposing starter. Whether the score is 8-7 or 2-1, as long as we win, I am happy.

Left-hander Ted Lilly was acquired by the Dodgers from the Cubs last season. Over the winter, the veteran agreed to a three-year contract to remain in Los Angeles. On Monday, Lilly -- a two-time All Star who has won as many as 17 games in a season -- tossed seven scoreless innings at home against the Braves to earn his first win of 2011.