Phillies explode early, rout Padres

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- Roy Halladay struggled. The Philadelphia Phillies' hitters did not.
Carlos Ruiz went 3-for-3 with three RBIs and the Phillies had their biggest offensive output in over a month Thursday night en route to a 10-5 victory over the San Diego Padres.
Cesar Hernandez also had three hits for the Phillies, who scored six times in the first inning and won for the fifth time in six games.
The Phillies generated 14 hits and achieved their highest run total in the past 32 games. The last time they scored more was Aug. 8 when they beat the Chicago Cubs, 12-1.
They also began the first with five straight hits, something they had not done since Sept. 20, 2012, against the New York Mets.
"Big offensive night," interim manager Ryne Sandberg said. "The top four guys in the lineup -- a lot of action up there. Also, some offense all through the lineup."
The first four hitters in the Phillies' order -- Hernandez, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ruiz --combined for nine hits, six runs and eight RBIs. Ruiz equaled his season high by driving in three.
Ruiz is hitting .389 over his last 20 games, and Sandberg called him "steady" and "the right guy at the right spot."
"He's just really locked in," Sandberg said. "In a lot of ways he was the one who started being hot. The rest of the guys fed off him being hot."
Especially Thursday.
"It was one of those games out of 162 that you just want to turn the page," Padres manager Bud Black said. "The Phillies just beat us."
Halladay pitched 4 1/3 innings and allowed five runs (four earned) and four hits. He struck out six and equaled his season high with five walks. He had also walked five in his previous start against Washington.
It was just the third time in his career he has issued five walks in back-to-back games. Four of the walks came consecutively in the Padres' four-run fifth inning. He had never walked four straight hitters before.
Afterward he said he lost his leg strength in that inning.
"It's frustrating, because I felt good," he said, "and I was really looking forward to pitching today. For the most part we were right where we wanted to be. That fifth inning, my lower half just kind of disappeared for me."
San Diego starter Tyson Ross (3-8) lasted just 2/3 of an inning and was charged with all six of Philadelphia's first-inning runs, on five hits. He struck out two and walked two.
Will Venable led off the top of the first with a home run off Halladay, but the Phillies answered with their six-run inning, highlighted by two-run doubles from Ruiz and Hernandez. Halladay also drew a bases-loaded walk from Ross to force in a run.
Another bases-loaded walk, this one to Rollins in the third by reliever Anthony Bass, made it 7-1.
After Halladay walked those four hitters in the fifth to force in a run, he threw wildly to first after Tommy Medica's RBI infield single, allowing another run to come home. Mark Kotsay then cut the Phillies' lead to 7-5 with a sacrifice fly.
Philadelphia made it 9-5 in the bottom of the fifth on Utley's sacrifice fly and Ruiz's RBI single.
The Phillies added their final run on Darin Ruf's sacrifice fly in the seventh.
NOTES: The start of the game was delayed 55 minutes by rain. ... Phillies OF Domonic Brown, out since Sept. 1 with tendinitis and bursitis in his right Achilles', took batting practice on the field for the first time since Aug. 30 and told reporters he is eager to get back in the lineup. But Sandberg said the team is being cautious with Brown, who made his first All-Star team this season. ... Rollins hit his 199th career homer on Wednesday, ending a string of 161 homerless at-bats. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the second longest drought of his career, eclipsed only by a stretch of 237 at-bats spanning the 2003 and '04 seasons. ... With his next homer, Rollins will become only the 10th player in major league history with 200 homers and 400 stolen bases. ... Former Padres closer Trevor Hoffman, who has served the last three seasons as special assistant to the president and CEO of the Padres, was named the club's upper level pitching coordinator and special assistant to the general manager. ... San Diego 1B Yonder Alonso, out since Aug. 30 with a sore right hand, was cleared to play defense and likely will hit in the cage this weekend in Atlanta, where the Padres play a three-game series.

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