Ruiz leads Phils to 10-5 win over Padres
For just one inning, Roy Halladay couldn't find the strike zone. The way his teammates were hitting in every inning, it didn't matter.
Carlos Ruiz had three hits and three RBIs and rookie Cesar Hernandez reached base four times, scored twice and drove in two runs as the Philadelphia Phillies rode a six-run first inning to a 10-5 victory over the San Diego Padres on Thursday night.
''Big offensive night,'' Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. ''The top four guys in the lineup, there was a lot of action up there with some big hits.''
Halladay was in line for the win for the Phillies but couldn't get through the fifth inning after walking four straight batters and committing a throwing error. In his fourth start since coming off the disabled list on Aug. 25, Halladay gave up five runs - four earned - and four hits, striking out six and walking a season-high five in 4 2-3 innings.
Five Philadelphia relievers held San Diego hitless over the final four innings to lead the Phillies to their fifth victory in their last six games. Justin De Fratus (3-3) was credited with the win after getting out of the fifth-inning jam.
Chase Utley added two RBIs and Freddy Galvis and Kevin Frandsen collected two hits apiece for the Phillies, who took the rubber game of the three-game series in front of 29,986 rain-soaked fans watching two teams already eliminated from playoff contention.
''I just kind of lost my base in the fifth inning,'' Halladay said. ''For the most part, we were right where we wanted to be. Then in that fifth inning, it just kind of disappeared from me.''
Tommy Medica, who homered in his major league debut on Wednesday, led San Diego with two hits, including the infield hit that drove in a run and knocked Halladay out of the game in the fifth.
For Halladay, who's still trying to work his way back following midseason shoulder surgery, it was a frustrating end to a night that started with a lot of promise. The two-time Cy Young Award winner had his start pushed back a day because he had the flu and said it ''felt like Christmas morning'' when he woke up Thursday and knew he was taking the mound.
''I realize I'm coming off surgery,'' Halladay said. ''But I've worked extra hard to get back here and pitch - and not only pitch but be successful. So it's personally frustrating when I'm not able to do what I want to do.''
After a 55-minute rain delay that pushed back the start of the game, Padres outfielder Will Venable belted a leadoff home run to right field on the third pitch he saw from Halladay. The homer was the 22nd of the season for Venable and the ninth leadoff homer of his career, a Padres record.
But that lead was very short-lived as San Diego starter Tyson Ross (3-8) gave up five hits and six earned runs with two walks and two strikeouts in just two-thirds of an inning.
Utley delivered an RBI single and Ruiz drove in two more with a double in the left-centerfield gap before Ross even recorded an out. Ross, who had a 2.16 ERA in nine starts since joining the rotation full-time on July 23, was pulled from the game with two outs in the first after Halladay drew a based-loaded walk.
''It was not his night at all,'' Padres manager Bud Black said. ''The first inning had a check-swing chopper, then he fell behind and started throwing his first ball over the plate. Their hitters just squared up and he couldn't get the one pitch to stop the damage.''
San Diego reliever Anthony Bass gave up a two-run double to Hernandez, who had led off the first with a single. The inning ended when Halladay was easily thrown out at home trying to score from first on Hernandez's double.
''It was one of those games out of 162 that you just want to turn the page,'' Black said. ''The Phillies just beat us.''
NOTES: The Phillies have not lost a series to the Padres since Aug. 24-26, 2007. . With his first-inning walk, Halladay picked up his first RBI since Sept. 11, 2012. . The Phillies matched their season-high for hits in an inning with six in the first. It was the fifth time this season they accomplished the feat. . The Padres announced that Trevor Hoffman has been appointed to the role of upper level pitching coordinator & special assistant to the general manager. The former star closer spent the last three seasons as a special assistant to the president & CEO.