PHILADELPHIA (AP)Brad Miller doubled with one out in the 10th inning to rescue the Phillies’ beleaguered bullpen, giving Philadelphia a 4-3 win over the San Diego Padres on Friday night.
The Phillies blew a 3-0 lead in the ninth inning – their 22nd blown save of the season and eighth in nine games.
”It’s a hard game,” manager Joe Girardi said. ”(The bullpen) will get going. I believe in them and I will stay positive, that’s my nature.”
Jose Alvarado got the final out of the eighth in relief of Zack Wheeler but allowed three of the first four batters to reach in the ninth, including an RBI double by Fernando Tatis Jr. Ranger Suarez (4-2) came in and allowed a two-run double to Jurickson Profar.
”We knew Wheeler was going to be a challenge,” San Diego manager Jayce Tingler said. ”We were hoping to get to the ‘pen and we did. We just didn’t get to the ‘pen early enough.”
Suarez was better in the 10th, retiring all three batters. That set up Miller, who drove a slider from Austin Adams (2-2) deep to right-center with runners on first and second and one out. Miller rounded the bases as if it were a homer, but the ball bounced off the wall. It was good enough to score Andrew McCutchen from second.
”That felt really good,” Miller said.
Wheeler pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings and Didi Gregorius homered in his return to the Philadelphia lineup. Wheeler allowed four hits with nine strikeouts and no walks.
”When you get a performance by Zack Wheeler like that, you have to be able to win that game,” Girardi said.
Tatis, the NL’s starting shortstop in the upcoming All-Star Game, doubled twice for the Padres, who lost for just the third time in their past 14 games.
Gregorius missed the last 50 games with right elbow inflammation and pseudogout. He was solid at shortstop and gave Philadelphia a 3-0 lead with a one-out homer in the fifth, driving a 2-1, 86 mph changeup from Chris Paddack over the wall in right.
Paddack gave up three runs on four hits with five strikeouts and a walk in seven innings.
Wheeler struck out pinch-hitter Wil Myers for the second out in the eighth and then was pulled by Girardi, who was loudly booed.
”I get the frustration, but I take Joe’s back on this,” Wheeler said. ”I understand the fans doing that, but there’s more to it than tonight.”
Wheeler lowered his ERA to 2.05.
”It’s amazing,” Miller said. ”What our guy is doing is Cy Young, MVP, it’s all of it. He’s just on the corners with power stuff; it’s incredible. It’s been really special to watch him pitch every five days.”
The first pitch was just 14 hours after the Padres arrived in Philadelphia following Thursday night’s 5-4 loss at Cincinnati that included a 52-minute rain delay. Tingler said the Padres cut short their normal pregame activities, only doing some light field work and hitting in the cage.
Padres: Tingler said both LHP Blake Snell (illness) and RHP Daniel Lamet (right forearm inflammation) continue to make progress. Snell could start Sunday against Philadelphia while Lament is eyeing a return after the All-Star break.
Phillies: To make room for Gregorius, Philadelphia sent Nick Maton to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Padres RHP Yu Darvish (7-2, 2.44 ERA) is scheduled to face Philadelphia RHP Zach Eflin (2-6, 4.20) as the series continues Saturday night.
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