Blanks' clutch hits push Padres past Phils

Forrest Lee, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

SAN DIEGO -- Patience and maturity allowed Kyle Blanks to use his bat and his legs to beat the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday night.
Blanks' RBI single with one out in the 10th inning off reliever Justin De Fratus completed the San Diego Padres' comeback in a 4-3 victory over the Phillies at Petco Park.
Blanks lined the game-winner down the left field line after De Fratus loaded the bases with a walk, a hit batter and another walk. An inning earlier, Blanks' two-run single keyed the Padres' rally from a 3-0 deficit.
"(De Fratus is) a guy I really hadn't faced before," said Blanks, who recorded his second career walk-off hit, but the first since August 2009, when he homered to beat the Chicago Cubs. "First-pitch slider in the dirt. I swung (and missed). The second pitch I was just looking to get down early and get something hard in play. I got enough of the ball, and it hugged the line."
Blanks finished with a career-high four hits, two of them coming off Cliff Lee, and three RBIs.
In the ninth, Blanks' hit off closer Jonathan Papelbon with no outs pulled the Padres to within a run. Blanks tied the score when he scored on a passed ball by Carlos Ruiz.
"Kyle got a good jump and with his speed beat the play," Padres manager Bud Black said.
However, it was two earlier singles off Lee that got Blanks' confidence brimming at the plate.
"Quite honestly, the first time I faced (Lee), I didn't really have any success," Blanks said. "I feel like now I might have been a little more prepared. Definitely matured more as a hitter now. I didn't miss those mistakes when he left them over the plate. That's something you really have to take advantage of, particularly with that caliber of pitcher."
Blanks' offensive showing made a winner of Joe Thatcher (3-1), who got the last out in the top of the 10th. De Fratus (2-1) retired just one of the five hitters he faced.
"I got the first guy out," De Fratus said. "I did the hardest part. From there, just bad pitch selection on my part. I just got beat."
Lee worked eight-plus innings, but the Padres prevented him from recording his eighth consecutive winning decision. After Lee gave up a leadoff single to Carlos Quentin and a double to Chase Headley to open the ninth, manager Charlie Manuel lifted the left-hander for Papelbon.
"I don't know what is worst: Getting beat 15-0 or getting beat that way," said Papelbon, who blew his third consecutive save and his fourth in his past five outings. "Either way, it's a loss and it doesn't sit well with me."
Manuel said, "He's in a little funk. Things aren't going his way right now."
Lee was charged with two runs on eight hits. He had seven strikeouts and a walk.
In the eighth inning, Chase Utley hit his eighth home run. He drove a 1-1 pitch from reliever Tommy Layne into the sandbox in right-center, giving the Phillies a 3-0 lead.
Ruiz went 3-for-4 (all singles) with an RBI, while John Mayberry Jr. was 3-for-4 with two runs and two stolen bases.
Eric Stults pitched well but was didn't figure in the decision. Stults allowed two runs on seven hits in seven innings. He struck out four and didn't walk a batter. The Padres have won six of his past seven starts.
Ruiz flared a single to center to score Mayberry with two outs in the second for a 1-0 Phillies lead.
In the fifth, Jimmy Rollins' sacrifice fly scored Mayberry, and Philadelphia extended the advantage to 2-0.
NOTES: The Phillies are 24-7 against the Padres at Petco Park. ... Phillies 1B Ryan Howard didn't play because of a sore knee. Howard was 2-for-2 against Stults with two home runs in his previous at-bats. ... Philadelphia RHP Michael Adams is scheduled to be examined by L.A. orthopedist Neal ElAttrache on Tuesday. The Phillies are worried that Adams might need season-ending surgery on his labrum. Adams went on the disabled list June 22 with tendinitis in his right biceps. ... The Padres continued their shuttle of pitchers from San Diego and Triple-A Tucson to keep fresh arms in their bullpen. Layne was called up from Tucson while the club optioned RHP Miles Mikolas to the minors. Mikolas was called up Sunday.

What to Read Next