Padres 1, Phillies 0
SAN DIEGO (AP)—Chris Young is getting comfortable pitching without much run support.
Young (9-3), who lowered his ERA to a major-league best 1.85, has started all five of the Padres’ 1-0 wins this season. The right-hander has a 2-0 record in the five games.
“In the first few innings you don’t expect it will be a 1-0 game,” Young said. “But as the game progresses, you don’t want certain guys to beat you, especially late in the game.”
Young was nearly matched by his All-Star counterpart, Cole Hamels. The Phillies’ lefty also gave up just two hits in seven innings, but Giles’ third-inning double was the difference.
“I knew that I had to execute,” said Hamels (11-5), who walked one and struck out three. “You think you give up one run and you have a good chance to win.”
Philadelphia, the NL’s top run-scoring team, was blanked for just the second time this season, while San Diego registered its major-league leading 14th shutout.
Young has been one of the majors’ most dominant pitcher. The 6-foot-10 Young has allowed more than two earned runs in just four of his 19 starts.
“You have to respect how tall and long he is,” said Ryan Howard, who battled Young for three full-count walks. “He short arms it, but it gets on you quick.”
Hamels’ take on Young’s fastball: “It’s like he’s throwing an invisiball.”
San Diego got the only run in the third inning on a one-out single by Geoff Blum, who was sacrificed to second by Young. Giles then hit an RBI double down the left-field line.
“I had (Blum) set up,” said Hamels, a San Diego area prep star. “The pitch wasn’t where I wanted it. I hung it up the middle, and it set up Giles.”
Young did not allow a runner to reach third base while striking out six.
Howard battled Young in all three plate appearances for walks. In the three appearances, Howard fouled off numerous balls and forced Young to throw 28 pitches.
“I was trying not to make mistakes to him,” Young said. “I watched a lot of video of the series in L.A. and saw what he did up there, and obviously I didn’t want him to beat me.”
Howard hit three home runs with five RBIs in three games against the Dodgers.
Chase Utley had both of Philadelphia’s hits off Young. He singled with one out in the fourth and stole second base. After a walk to Howard, Young retired Aaron Rowand on a fly out and got Pat Burrell to ground out.
In the sixth, Utley hit a two-out double down the right-field line. Howard followed with his third walk before Rowand flew out to right.
Young raised his home record to 4-1 with an ERA of 0.73 in eight starts.
Hamels’ 129 strikeouts are one behind NL leader Jake Peavy of the Padres. … Young has gotten 12 runs in nine home starts with six runs coming in one game.