PHILADELPHIA (AP)—These aren’t the same San Diego Padres who nearly lost 100 games last season.
“It was a great comeback win against a very good ballclub,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “We just hung in there and the bullpen did a great job.”
Picked to finish last in the NL West after going 63-99 in 2008, the Padres are off to an 8-3 start. They rallied from six runs down to win for the first time since a 10-9 victory on July 7, 2006 at Washington.
Meanwhile, the Phillies continued their up-and-down ways on a night the World Series champions honored legendary broadcaster Harry Kalas in a moving ceremony before the game. The Hall of Fame announcer died Monday in Washington after collapsing in the broadcast booth before a game against the Nationals. He was 73.
“It was an intense game,” Headley said. “To come back like that and take the lead, then they get something going, to get the guy at the plate was very exciting.”
Brad Lidge pitched out of a bases-loaded jam after giving up three straight singles to start the ninth. But the Phillies couldn’t rally against Bell, who replaced Trevor Hoffman as San Diego’s closer.
Madson had tossed four hitless innings before entering with a 7-5 lead. Headley singled to start the eighth, but Madson retired the next two batters. He then walked Rodriguez on a 3-2 pitch and pinch-hitter Jody Gerut hit an RBI single to get the Padres within a run.
Hairston followed with a two-run double down the left-field line to put San Diego ahead 8-7.
“Scott had a big night, but there were a lot of contributors along the way,” Black said. “It was a real team victory.”
Hamels hardly pitched like the guy who was the NLCS and World Series MVP last fall. He gave up five runs and eight hits in six innings. Young lasted 3 2-3 innings, allowing seven runs and nine hits. He gave up just two runs in 13 innings in his first two starts.
“It doesn’t matter how hard you throw, you have to finish guys off,” Hamels said. “They were hanging in there, waiting for me to make a mistake and when I did, they hit it over the fence.”
With tributes to Kalas displayed throughout Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies quickly jumped ahead 5-0 in the first.
Utley hit a long drive—as Kalas would say—into the second deck in right field to give Philadelphia a 3-0 lead. Kalas’ signature “That ball’s outta here!” call was played over the public address system as the giant Liberty Bell beyond the right-center field stands lit up while Utley circled the bases. The team plans to honor Kalas that way after every Phillies homer this year.
Rodriguez hit a solo homer in the third. Feliz had an RBI single in the bottom half and Ryan Howard doubled in a run in the fourth to extend the lead to 7-1.
But Hairston hit a two-run homer in the fifth and Hundley hit a two-run shot to trim the deficit to 7-5.
Hamels had his opening-day start pushed back because of minor elbow troubles in spring training. There was cause for some concern after he allowed seven runs and 11 hits in 3 2-3 innings of a 10-3 loss at Colorado in his first start last week. This start was only slightly better.
“He definitely improved,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “When he gets better command, he’ll be all right.”
A sellout crowd of 44,984 filled the ballpark and helped celebrate Kalas, the voice of the Phillies since 1971. Fans held signs for the beloved broadcaster and there were several tributes in his honor.
One banner read: “Harry, you’ll never be outta here!” Another said: “Harry the K, you are the man!”
: Kalas’ three sons, Todd, Brad and Kane, threw ceremonial pitches to Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt, John Kruk and Jimmy Rollins. … During the seventh-inning stretch, fans joined along with a video of Kalas singing Frank Sinatra’s “High Hopes.” … Hamels pitched a scoreless first, a rarity for Philadelphia’s starters. The Phillies allowed 14 runs in the first inning over the first eight games. … Hairston’s four RBIs tied a career high. … The last time San Diego overcame a 5-0 first-inning deficit was April 30, 2004, against the New York Mets.