Phillies 5, Padres 2
SAN DIEGO (AP)—The Philadelphia Phillies are hoping to turn things around on the West Coast.
Pinch-hitter Chase Utley drove in the go-ahead run in a three-run seventh and Brett Myers pitched six strong innings for his first win in nearly seven weeks, leading the Philadelphia Phillies over the San Diego Padres 5-2 Tuesday night.
The Phillies, on a season-long, 13-game road trip, won for just the second time in eight games. Philadelphia has won 15 of 20 against NL West opponents, including three of four from the Padres.
Myers’ victory was his first in seven weeks since June 17 against Detroit.
“Myers pitched a great game,” Phillies manager Larry Bowa said. “We needed that. It didn’t look like he was going to get a decision. But he needed that, we needed that.”
The Padres dropped 4 1/2 games behind Los Angeles in the NL West, tying a season high for their biggest deficit.
Philadelphia struggled against Brian Lawrence with just three hits through six innings. But in the seventh, he gave up a one-out single to Pat Burrell and walked Mike Lieberthal with two outs before being lifted for Scott Linebrink.
Marlon Byrd greeted Linebrink with a single that scored Burrell to tie it 1-all. Utley then pinch-hit for Myers and blooped a single to right, scoring Lieberthal with Byrd going to third. Brian Giles’ throw to third hit the sliding Byrd and bounced into foul territory, allowing him to score for a 3-1 lead.
Byrd played in his second game since spending nearly six weeks at Triple-A Scranton before being recalled on Saturday.
“It felt good to come through,” Byrd said. “I got the confidence back the last week before I came up. But it’s good for the team. We needed the ‘W’ and hopefully we can turn things around.”
Utley is 7-for-16 with eight RBIs as a pinch-hitter this season. He is even better against the Padres this season, going 7-for-14 with two homers and seven RBIs.
Myers (6-8), who had lost five of his last seven starts with two no-decisions, gave up one run on five hits with four strikeouts.
“Hopefully, this win will get us on a roll,” Myers said. “We hadn’t been playing too well lately. We haven’t really jelled. Guys picked other guys up.”
The Padres have scored only eight runs as they have lost three of their last four games.
“We’ve got to score some runs,” San Diego manager Bruce Bochy said. “We’re too good of an offense to be swinging like this. We should not be sputtering offensively, but we are. Your margin of error is so small.”
Phil Nevin’s RBI single gave the Padres a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning after consecutive infield singles by Mark Loretta and Ryan Klesko helped out by a throwing error by Placido Polanco at second base on Klesko’s hit.
Myers escaped further trouble when he got Giles to hit into a double play and Rollins made a tough backhand stop in the hole at shortstop and threw out Terrence Long.
Lawrence allowed two runs on four hits over 6 2-3 innings. In his last three starts, the right-hander has allowed just four earned runs on 10 hits over 19 2-3 innings.
“A loss at this point of the season is going to be hard to take,” Lawrence said. “To do the things that they have done down there in the bullpen this year, you feel comfortable any time they come in the game. (Linebrink) has done it all year long. He’s going to give up hits every now and then. He’s human.”
Loretta, who came into the game leading the NL in hits with 138, had two singles for his 45th multihit game, tops in the NL.
The Phillies had lost eight of 10 road games. … The only other time San Diego was 4 1/2 games out of first place was July 24 after a loss at Los Angeles. … Lawrence, 28, has not finished with a winning record in his three previous seasons, going 5-5, 12-12 and 10-12. … It was the second straight appearance for Linebrink in which he entered a shutout and gave up the hit that tied the game.