Padres-Phillies: Adrian Gonzalez Homers Twice, Wade LeBlanc Outduels Cole Hamels
Cole Hamels lost his no-hitter, his shutout, and the lead all in one swing by Adrian Gonzalez in the top of the seventh inning.
Gonzalez wasn't done—and neither was Scott Hairston, who followed Gonzalez with a much longer home run, as the back-to-back shots propelled the Padres to a 3-1 victory for a series split in Philadelphia.
It was a classic pitchers' duel at Citizens Bank Park, as Cole Hamels, a San Diego and Rancho Bernardo native, outshined Padres starter Wade LeBlanc early on. But to say LeBlanc settled down after giving up four hits in the first three innings would be an understatement.
The lefty retired the last 14 batters he faced in seven impressive innings, snapping a personal four-game losing streak.
In due respect, entering Monday the Padres had not scored a run in LeBlanc's last 18 innings pitched. But LeBlanc had not been sharp—allowing 14 runs on 22 hits over his last 14 innings for an ERA of 9.00.
Hamels (5-5) gave up three hits and two runs in eight strong innings
All signs were pointing towards the record books for Hamels before the speed bump in the seventh. He made just two mistakes, and the Padres turned them into home runs. Yorvit Torrealba added a single in the tiebreaking inning.
After sending his 12th home run of the season into the flower bed in left field, it didn't take long for Gonzalez to get his 13th.
Gonzalez's' blast—into that exact same flower bed—gave Heath Bell a 3-0 cushion. Philadelphia's lone run came with two outs in the ninth on a Ryan Howard RBI double. But Bell struck out Jayson Werth—reminiscent of yesterday's 6-5 victory—to close the door for his 16th save in 19 chances.
Luke Gregerson threw a perfect eighth inning and joins teammate Mike Adams amongst the league leaders with 14 holds.
The two-time NL champion Phillies (30-26) are 4-11 since Hamels beat Boston on May 21. Despite a star-studded lineup that's missing Jimmy Rollins, they have scored only 29 runs and been shut out five times in those 15 games.
The NL West-leading Padres (34-23) improve to 16-11 on the road and cling to a half-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers (34-24).
The club travels to face the New York Mets (30-27) for a second series in as many weeks. The Mets took two out of three games from the Padres last week. New York's top three starting pitchers, Mike Pelfrey (8-1, 2.39 ERA), Johan Santana (4-2, 2.76), and R.A. Dickey (3-0, 3.20), await the Friars.
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