By Sam Bush
Dinelson Lamet pitched a solid six and Ty France’s tiebreaking single lifted the Padres over the Phillies 5-3, who dropped a game out of the second NL wild card spot..
J.T. Realmuto homered for the Phillies, who lost for the first time since former manager Charlie Manuel returned as hitting coach on Tuesday.
“He had good stuff,” Philadelphia’s Corey Dickerson said about Lamet. “He can get it up there 97, 98 (mph) when he wanted it. Good breaking ball. Mixed it pretty well and he threw it for strikes. Throwing it for strikes really helped him a lot.”
The Phillies had outscored opponents 30-12 while winning their previous four games, and they had batted .337 with 35 hits, seven homers and 25 RBI in the three games since Manuel joined the staff.
But they managed just six hits against Lamet and three Padres relievers.
“It’s a mentality,” Lamet said. “And it’s the work you put in beforehand, understanding where to attack these guys, where can I get a swing and miss and where can I go to avoid damage so they’re not getting their best swing?”
Eric Hosmer had three hits for the Padres, and Josh Naylor tied the game with a two-run double in the fourth.
“We needed that,” Padres manager Andy Green said. “Naylor’s swing was the biggest swing of the day for us.”
Kirby Yates pitched a scoreless ninth for his 34th save in 37 chances.
The Padres went in front with a pair of runs in the fifth off reliever Nick Pivetta(4-5).
Hosmer led off with his third single and scored on France’s one-out single to right field. Luis Urias followed and made it 5-3 with another opposite-field RBI single to right.
San Diego tied the game with three runs in the fourth off Phillies starter Zach Eflin.
Pitching against the club that selected him in the first round of the 2012 draft, Eflin was sailing along with two outs in the fourth and Lamet at the plate. But the pitcher singled up the middle and Manuel Margot followed with an RBI single before Naylor’s two-run double made it 3-all. Both RBI hits came with two strikes.
“You have to fight down to your last strike and your last out every inning, and I thought we did that really well that inning,” Green said.
Said Eflin: “Just horrible two-strike pitches. It’s something that I really need to get on top of.”
The Phils got a pair of runs in the second on Scott Kingery’s RBI double and Eflin’s RBI single. The Phillies went up 3-0 in the third on Realmuto’s 415-foot drive to deep left. It was the 19th homer for the streaking Realmuto, who has homered in four of the last five contests and is batting .522 with four doubles, four homers and nine RBI in his last six games.