Instant Replay: Phillies 7, Padres 5 (13 innings)

062613-youngbrown-slideshow-uspw.jpg

Instant Replay: Phillies 7, Padres 5 (13 innings)

BOX SCORE

SAN DIEGO – Two nights after imploding in the ninth inning in one of their worst losses of the season, the Phillies showed a little fight and a lot of excellent bullpen work in rallying for 7-5 win over the San Diego Padres in 13 innings.

The Phillies scored two unearned runs in the top of the 13th on a hit batsman, a walk and a pair of two-out errors.

Padres second baseman Logan Forsythe committed two errors on Ben Revere’s two-out grounder between first and second base. Chase Utley and Domonic Brown were able to score on the play. Though Revere did not get a hit, he worked a tough eight-pitch at-bat against lefty Tommy Layne and put the ball in play. Revere fouled off four pitches in the at-bat.

Cole Hamels’ difficult season continued. For the second game in a row, he squandered an early lead. He was on the hook for his 12th loss before Delmon Young’s game-tying, two-run homer in the eighth.

The Phillies’ bullpen was fabulous in pitching seven scoreless innings.

The Phillies (38-41) ended up winning two of three in the series and trail Atlanta by seven games in the NL East.

Starting pitching report
Hamels allowed seven hits, including four doubles and a home run, and five runs (one unearned) in six innings of work. He walked two (one intentionally) and struck out five.

The left-hander’s season ERA is up to 4.58.

Rookie left-hander Robbie Erlin came up from Triple A for this start, his second in the majors, and held the Phillies to three runs over 6 1/3 innings. One of the runs was unearned. Erlin allowed four hits and three of them came in the first two innings. Erlin joined the Padres from Texas in a deal for Mike Adams at the 2011 trade deadline.

Bullpen report
GM Ruben Amaro Jr. says he wants to take a look at some of his young relievers. J.C. Ramirez is giving Amaro something to see. Ramirez followed up his three-strikeout big-league debut Sunday by getting six outs in this game.

Phillippe Aumont pitched out of trouble in the ninth to send the game to extra innings. He followed with a scoreless 10th.

Jake Diekman, Joe Savery and Jonathan Papelbon all pitched a scoreless inning. Antonio Bastardo did not appear in the game after throwing 30 pitches Tuesday night. Justin De Fratus did not appear in the game. Phils manager Charlie Manuel said he wanted to avoid using De Fratus because of the reliever's recent workload.

Padres lefty Joe Thatcher entered a 5-3 game with the bases loaded in the seventh and retired Utley on one pitch in one of the game’s pivotal at-bats. Thatcher stayed on for the eighth and allowed a two-run hustle double to Brown. Luke Gregerson entered and gave up a game-tying homer Young. Gregerson had allowed just one homer in 33 1/3 innings.

At the plate
Young’s game-tying homer was his first in 43 at-bats and it came on the same day manager Charlie Manuel indicated that it was time for Young to start producing.

The Phils went a stretch of 16 plate appearances without a hit from the second to the seventh inning.

They had just two hits after the eighth inning.

Forsythe doubled twice and scored twice against Hamels. Chris Denorfia belted a two-run homer against Hamels.

In the field
Young misplayed a base hit in the third inning and it resulted in a run.

Padres rightfielder Kyle Blanks dropped a foul pop up that would have ended the top of the seventh. The error gave pinch-hitter Kevin Frandsen life and he singled home a run. Blanks also misplayed Brown’s hit into a double in the eighth.

Minor matters
Third baseman Maikel Franco and pitcher Jesse Biddle, both top prospects playing at Double A, have been selected to play in the Futures Game as part of All-Star festivities on July 14 at Citi Field in New York.

Up next
The Phils travel up the coast to begin a four-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday night. Pitching matchups:

Thursday night -- RH Jonathan Pettibone (3-3, 4.14) vs. RH Zach Greinke (4-2, 3.79)

Friday night -- LH John Lannan (0-2, 5.84) vs. LH Chris Capuano (2-4, 4.09)

Saturday night -- LH Cliff Lee (9-2, 2.53) vs. LH Hyun-Jin Ryu (6-3, 2.96)

Sunday afternoon -- RH Kyle Kendrick (6-4, 3.56) vs. RH Stephen Fife (1-2, 3.25)

Best of MLB: Solo homers power Cubs to win over Giants

Best of MLB: Solo homers power Cubs to win over Giants

CHICAGO -- Kris Bryant, Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist hit solo homers, spot starter Eddie Butler pitched five effective innings and the Chicago Cubs beat the San Francisco Giants 5-1 on Thursday for their third straight win.

Mike Montgomery followed with four scoreless innings and allowed one hit in his first save.

Heyward went deep for the second time in three games and Zobrist added two singles as the Cubs took three of four games in a set with the Giants and finished a homestand at 7-2 (see full recap).

Cruz blast helps Mariners top Nationals
WASHINGTON -- Nelson Cruz greeted reliever Jacob Turner with a go-ahead, three-run homer in the sixth inning, and the Seattle Mariners beat the Washington Nationals 4-2 Thursday to stop a five-game losing streak.

Gio Gonzalez took a 2-0 lead into the sixth, when Jean Segura singled leading off and Guillermo Heredia took a called third strike. That prompted Seattle manager Scott Servais to complain from the dugout, which led to his ejection by plate umpire Adam Hamari.

Robinson Cano singled, and Washington manager Dusty Baker brought in Turner (2-3), despite Cruz having just one hit in 15 at-bats against Gonzalez. Cruz drove a belt-high slider over the fence in left-center for his 12th homer this season and a 3-2 lead. Cruz leads the AL with 40 RBIs.

Cano added an RBI single off Turner in the seventh. Seattle scored multiple runs for the first time since May 18 (see full recap).

Andriese, Rasmus help Rays blank Angels
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Matt Andriese allowed six hits over eight innings, Colby Rasmus drove in four runs and the Tampa Bay Rays salvaged a split of a four-game series with Los Angeles by beating the Angels 4-0 on Thursday.

Andriese (5-1) improved to 4-0 over his last five starts, holding the Angels to 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position. Los Angeles threatened in five innings against the right-hander.

Rasmus had a pair of key two-out hits with the bases loaded: a two-run single in the first and a fifth-inning double that made it 4-0.

Tommy Hunter got three outs to complete a six-hitter (see full recap).

500 plate appearances in, Tommy Joseph an above-average offensive 1B

500 plate appearances in, Tommy Joseph an above-average offensive 1B

BOX SCORE

Tommy Joseph is making the Phillies' situation at first base quite tricky.

Joseph on Thursday continued building on his red-hot month of May by going 2 for 5 with a game-tying homer in the seventh and a walk-off RBI single in the 11th inning of the Phillies' 2-1 win over the Rockies (see Instant Replay).

He's hit .329 in May with six doubles, six homers, 15 RBIs and a .657 slugging percentage. The only first basemen in the majors with a higher slugging percentage this month are Yonder Alonso, Justin Bour and Paul Goldschmidt.

That'll hold off the eye-popping production of Rhys Hoskins for now (see Future Phillies Report).

Extending it further, Joseph has played 148 career games with 499 plate appearances in the majors. That's just a bit less than a full season. He's hit .255 with an .804 OPS, 28 home runs and 23 doubles. He's provided above-average offensive production from first base.

Most Phillies fans know Joseph's story — big-time catching prospect acquired from the Giants in the 2012 Hunter Pence trade, series of concussions, position switch, hot start to 2016 at Triple A, promotion, production.

It was a long, winding road for Joseph, and when he was asked Thursday if he expected to be this solid 500 plate appearances into his major-league career, he brought up health.

"My goals were to be healthy, to be able to play in 162 games and that's all I really want to be able to do," Joseph said. "That's something I haven't been able to do in my career and it's something that I'm looking forward to. I'm looking forward to the challenge to go through the mental challenge and the physical challenge and I'd say that's my No. 1 goal, that's my only goal. Because if I'm able to stay healthy and stay on the field then I'm able to enjoy this great game and getting to share it with my teammates."

As for the May adjustments, Joseph said the standard things about communicating with hitting coach Matt Stairs, working in the cage and staying consistent with his approach. His timing wasn't there in April but it's certainly been there in May.

"There's no telling what clicks in a guy, it's just a matter of making a minor adjustment sometimes, possibly getting better pitches to hit," manager Pete Mackanin said. "There's no telling what it is, but he just looks a lot more comfortable at the plate."

Bullpen bouncing back
It's been completely overshadowed by the Phillies' recent skid but the bullpen has pitched very well of late. The unit that was overworked and criticized in April has combined to allow just two earned runs in its last 22 2/3 innings. On Thursday, six Phillies relievers — Edubray Ramos, Pat Neshek, Joaquin Benoit, Hector Neris, Luis Garcia and Jeanmar Gomez — pitched six scoreless innings.

Neshek made the play of the day, diving and landing on his head to snag a pop-up bunt attempt before turning and firing to first base for the double play.

"I said early on that I think it's one of our strengths," Mackanin said of the bullpen. "And after today you can see why I have a lot of confidence in them."

Neshek, who has pitched in the postseason for four different teams, said Thursday that he thinks this is one of the best bullpens he's ever been around. It's not lip service, either. The unit was terrible in April, there's no getting around that. But some of that really did have to do with the overuse. Setup men were entering in the sixth inning. Opportunities for holds and saves were few and far between. Roles were not defined.

Stuff-wise, repertoire-wise, there is a lot to like about the Phillies' bullpen. Neris, Benoit and Neshek all offer vastly different looks and have track records of success.

While Neshek didn't totally endorse Benoit's comments from a few weeks ago that everything would settle down once the relievers knew specifically which inning they'd pitch, he did say that he too feels most comfortable coming in during a hold opportunity.

"I think my numbers show that I'm best in those situations, coming into a hold opportunity when we're ahead," Neshek said. "We haven't had much of those lately."

The horrendous start to the season for the Phillies' relievers will skew their stats all season long, but it's nice to see that at least one aspect of this team is starting to get into a groove.