Kevin Kouzmanoff’s homer lifts Padres over Phillies 4-3
PHILADELPHIA (AP)—The Philadelphia Phillies bullpen coughed up another lead. Then, things really boiled over in the clubhouse after the game.
Kevin Kouzmanoff hit a go-ahead homer off Brett Myers in the ninth inning, one of two Myers allowed in the inning, and the San Diego Padres beat Philadelphia 4-3 on Saturday night to hand the slumping Phillies their fourth straight loss.
After the game, Myers got into a shouting match with a reporter and had to be restrained by teammate Pat Burrell.
When Myers was asked about the two home runs, he said they were really “just pop ups.”
A reporter from the Philadelphia Inquirer questioned whether Myers really thought they were pop ups, and Myers got angry.
“You’re not even a beat reporter, you’re a fill-in, you don’t know anything about baseball,” said Myers, who then called the reporter “retarded.”
The Inquirer reporter asked if Myers could spell retarded, and Myers stood up. Burrell then restrained Myers, and Myers refused to speak any further.
Philadelphia has lost six of seven overall to fall four games behind the wild-card leading Padres and seven back of the New York Mets in the NL East.
San Diego closer Trevor Hoffman, who blew save opportunities against the Mets on Tuesday and Thursday, gave up an RBI single to Ryan Howard in the ninth before striking out Aaron Rowand to end it. Hoffman picked up his 33rd save in 38 opportunities.
Heath Bell (6-4) struck out two in a perfect inning of work, and Milton Bradley, Mike Cameron and Terrmel Sledge also homered for San Diego, giving the Padres eight home runs in the first two games of the series.
“This park is conducive to home runs and we’ve been able to capitalize on that,” Cameron said. “We got guys that can swing the bats and we’re showing it here.”
Padres manager Bud Black said, “Four runs on four solos, you don’t see that everyday. But we have the ability to hit home runs.”
Burrell went deep for Philadelphia, which dropped to 1-4 on a pivotal 10-game homestand.
Kouzmanoff drove a 2-0 pitch from Myers (2-5) into the right-field seats for his 14th homer of the season. Sledge added an insurance run with a solo drive— his seventh of the season and first career pinch-hit shot.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel lifted starter Kyle Lohse after he issued a two-out walk in the seventh, having thrown just 84 pitches. J.C. Romero surrendered a single but escaped the jam when he got Brian Giles to pop out.
“I liked Romero there and we had our bullpen set up,” Manuel said.
Lohse gave up four hits and one run in 6 2-3 innings. He struck out four and walked two.
“Obviously, I’d like to stay in there but that’s not my call,” Lohse said. “I know Charlie’s trying to stop anything before it starts.”
Bradley made the struggling Phillies bullpen pay in the eighth. He crushed a 441-foot home run into the second deck off Tom Gordon to tie it at 2.
Bradley was met with jeers from the Phillies fans, but he fired right back, yelling to the crowd. The ordeal went on long enough that plate umpire Laz Diaz motioned for Bradley to get in the dugout.
Bradley irked the crowd on Friday night as he homered twice and drove in six runs. After his second home run, Bradley bowed to the fans in left field.
“I’m just having fun,” Bradley said. “They’re telling me I’m no good, I’m telling them I am that good. It feels good to come through and help this team win.
“I’m not trying to entice the crowd. I’m just living in the moment. This has the atmosphere of a playoff game and I love that. I’m at my best in situations like that.”
Cameron cut it to 2-1 in the sixth inning with a leadoff homer—his 17th— into the seats in left-center field.
There was some fallout from Friday’s altercation between Philadelphia’s Carlos Ruiz and San Diego’s Marcus Giles. Giles was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left knee sprain which occurred when Ruiz barreled into the infielder trying to break up a double play. Giles, who called the play “dirty,” confronted Ruiz immediately. Both benches cleared, but no punches were thrown.
Reliever Doug Brocail drilled Ruiz in the left hip with a pitch Saturday. Diaz walked with Ruiz down to first base and then proceeded to warn both benches.
Manuel held a closed-door meeting with his team before the game. A pressure situation that mounts as the losses continue to pile up.
“We definitely need to win (Sunday),” Manuel said.
Burrell became the third Phillies player to hit 20 homers in seven straight seasons, joining Mike Schmidt (1974-87) and Bobby Abreu (1999-2005). … Padres infielder Craig Stansberry singled in his major league debut in the seventh inning. Stansberry replaced Marcus Giles on the roster.