Phillies 7, Padres 5
SAN DIEGO (AP)—The Philadelphia Phillies are finishing up a long road trip on a positive note.
Jimmy Rollins hit an inside-the-park homer and Eric Milton won his first start in a month as Philadelphia beat San Diego 7-5 on Wednesday night to stay within striking distance of the first-place Atlanta Braves in the NL East.
Philadelphia remained 4 1/2 games back of the Braves by winning its second straight road game and three of four with four games left on its season-high 13-game road trip.
“Hopefully, this is a turning point for this road trip and things to come,” Rollins said. “We haven’t been able to put some wins together and this would be a great time to do it.”
San Diego, which lost its third straight and fourth in five games, dropped a season-high 5 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers, who won for the 23rd time in 29 games on Wednesday night.
“We aren’t doing ourselves any good,” Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. “We need to win ballgames. There’s still a lot of baseball left, but we have to turn up the volume to get rolling again.”
David Bell hit a two-run homer for the Phillies, who have taken four of five from San Diego this season. Philadelphia has won 16 of 21 games against the NL West.
Milton (12-2) won for the first time since July 4 despite allowing two home runs and pitching only five-plus innings. He allowed five runs on seven hits. The left-hander struck out four and walked two before he was removed after allowing a leadoff double to Brian Buchanan in the sixth.
“It was pretty bad,” Milton said. “You have to talk about the job the team did. I definitely could have been a lot better. The team played great and we got a win.”
“It was a long time coming,” Milton said of his 12th win. “I pitched some good games in between wins, but wasn’t able to get the decision.”
Adam Eaton (6-10) was hit hard in five innings, allowing seven runs—five earned—on eight hits.
“I made some decent pitches, then preceded to make some horrible pitches,” Eaton said.
With the Phillies leading 4-2 in the fourth, Rollins lined a pitch that hit the base of the right-field foul pole and bounced into the Phillies’ bullpen in foul territory. Brian Giles, who was playing far off the line, had a long run to reach the ball. By the time he got to it, the ball had rolled under a bench littered with cups and other trash.
Giles had a tough time picking up the ball, allowing Rollins, who let up slightly when he rounded third base, to score without a throw for a 5-2 lead.
Giles protested to first-base umpire Alfonso Marquez, apparently arguing— to no avail—that the ball hit the padding to the right of the foul pole in foul territory.
“It’s funny because I was coming around second and I see Larry (Bowa) in the dugout and he’s yelling, ‘Send him! Send him!” Rollins said. “I didn’t know where the ball is, but I just took off.”
Eaton walked Milton to lead off the third to help trigger a four-run inning. Rollins followed with a double and Doug Glanville knocked in both runners with a triple into the left center-field gap. Bobby Abreu then doubled into the right-field corner for a 3-0 lead. With one out, Chase Utley singled to right to score Abreu.
Greene and Hernandez homered one batter apart in the third to cut the margin to 4-2.
Bell homered to left field off Eaton with Utley on following a two-out error in the fifth for a 7-2 lead.
Loretta’s two-run double in the fifth cut the Phillies’ lead to 7-4.
After Buchanan led off the sixth with a double, Roberto Hernandez relieved Milton. Hernandez got two outs before allowing an RBI single to Terrance Long to make it 7-5 and a single to Greene. Amaury Telemaco came in with runners at first and second to retire Rich Aurilia on a comebacker to the mound.
Milton had five straight no-decisions, including three games that went to extra innings. Also included in his winless drought was his start July 25 when he carried a no-hitter into the ninth against the Chicago Cubs.
Milton became the first Phillies pitcher to go 12-2 since Steve Carlton was 13-2 in 1980. … Milton has given up an NL-leading 28 home runs. … Greene’s homer was the first hit into the fourth-floor deck of the Western Metal Supply Co. building, which sits beyond the left-field fence. … Utley is 9-for-18 with two homers and eight RBIs against San Diego this season.