By Todd Zolecki and Michael Radano
MLB.com |@ToddZolecki |
PHILADELPHIA -- If only the Phillies could play the Padres more frequently.
They beat San Diego on Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park, 4-3. It is their fifth straight win over the Padres this season and seventh consecutive victory against San Diego in Philadelphia, their longest home winning streak against the Padres since a seven-game streak from July 1976 to May 1977.
The Phillies also are 55-23 (.705) against the Padres since 2004. It is their best winning percentage against any opponent in that span.
Phillies second baseman Darnell Sweeney hit a two-run homer in the second while Freddy Galvis had an RBI double and Adam Morgan notched an RBI single in the fourth. Morgan allowed two unearned runs in six innings to pick up the win.
"I take a lot of pride in that," Morgan said about not walking a batter in 22 2/3 innings in the past four starts. "Being able to control the ball and throwing where you want it is huge to me. I don't try to give up any free bags because that's when stuff starts getting out of hand."
Padres right-hander Colin Rea allowed four runs in five innings in the loss.
"[The Phillies] seem to get the big hit against us, catch the line drives and this game could have been very different," Padres interim manager Pat Murphy said. "[Morgan] had a great plan against us and a couple of the balls we hit hard were caught."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Sweeney goes deep again: Sweeney has had limited playing opportunities since the Phillies acquired him from the Dodgers in the Chase Utley trade, but he has tried to make the most of it. He crushed a two-run home run to left-center field in the second inning to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead. It was his second homer in three starts with the Phillies.
"When you watch this guy take batting practice, the ball doesn't really jump off his bat," Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said. "I think he works on mechanics more than anything from either side of the plate. But he sure hit that ball in Miami [on Aug. 22] a long way, and today he [went] opposite field. He's got pop in his bat." More >
Rea a work in progress: The rookie righty and No. 2 prospect in the Padres' system showed flashes of why he's so highly touted, but also moments that show he has a ways to go. Rea allowed four runs on six hits over five-plus innings of work that included three frames in which he set the Phillies down in order.
"I didn't execute pitches in big situations," said Rea, who fell to 2-2 with a 5.95 ERA. "There was some positives but I'm frustrated because that was a game I feel we should have won." More >
Garcia gets out of jam: Phillies right-hander Luis Garcia had runners on second and third with two outs in the eighth inning, when he struck out pinch-hitter Cory Spangenberg to end the threat and preserve a one-run lead.
Kemp return a mixed bag:Matt Kemp was back in the starting lineup after missing a pair of games. While he helped to manufacture a run in the fourth after he reached on an error, stole second and scored on a single to left, his strikeout with two on and two out in the seventh was a missed opportunity to tie the game.
"He rebounded very nicely. He relies on command and control. He's certainly good in the control department. He needs to command his pitches a little bit better, but he did a number on them again. He pitched very well." -- Mackanin, on Morgan rebounding from a rough start this week against the Mets, when he allowed five runs and four home runs in 3 2/3 innings.
HERRERA'S GREAT CATCH
In the sixth inning, with the Phillies leading 4-2 and Kemp on first, Justin Upton lined a deep fly ball to the left-center field gap. The ball hung up just enough for Herrera to cover sixty-six feet of ground, top out at 20.1 mph according to Statcast™ and make a diving catch for the first out of the inning.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Phillies rookie outfielder Aaron Altherr singled to left field in the fifth inning. It was the first single of his big league career. Of course, before that he had seven extra-base hits. No player in the modern era (since 1900) has started his career with eight extra-base hits.
The Phillies optioned right-hander Nefi Ogando following the game to make room for Alec Asher, who will start Sunday's series finale. Asher will have his contract selected Sunday.
The Padres won an instant replay challenge in the eighth inning. Yonder Alonso was called out on a play at first base, but replay showed Alonso beat the throw from Galvis.
WHAT'S NEXT Padres: The Padres will go to James Shields in the finale of a three-game set at Citizens Bank Park in a 10:35 a.m. PT start on Sunday. Shields has struggled in his last six starts, pitching to a 4.30 ERA with the Padres losing five times in that span.
Phillies: Asher will make his big league debut in Sunday's 1:35 p.m. ET series finale against the Padres. The Phillies acquired him from Texas in July as part of the Cole Hamels trade. He went 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in four starts with Triple-A Lehigh Valley before his promotion.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. Michael Radano is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.