Phillies 3, Padres 1

It wasn’t until his 130th and final pitch that the struggling
San Diego Padres finally got to Roy Halladay.

Even so, Will Venable’s RBI single with two outs in the ninth
inning Sunday merely denied the Philadelphia Phillies and their
sensational pitching staff a third shutout during the course of a
four-game sweep.

Halladay tied his career high with 14 strikeouts and the
Phillies beat the Padres 3-1 for their fifth straight win.

Halladay (3-1) took a two-hitter into the ninth before allowing
three singles, including Venable’s run-scoring base hit. Antonio
Bastardo came on with runners on first and third and got
pinch-hitter Nick Hundley to fly out to left on his first pitch for
his first save.

”I felt good,” Halladay said. ”Even at the end I felt good.
It was one of those days where, especially through the middle
innings, there weren’t a lot of high-stress pitches, and I think
that plays a part into it, especially being able to throw more
pitches. If you’re doing it with the bases loaded every inning, it
takes a different toll.”

Halladay’s 130 pitches were the most in the majors this

Halladay was so dominant, mostly with his changeup and
curveball, that San Diego didn’t get a baserunner past first base
until the ninth. He allowed only five singles while walking one.
Halladay, who struck out at least 10 for the 12th time in his
career, fanned six straight at one point. He struck out everyone in
the lineup except pitcher Wade LeBlanc.

Halladay retired 16 in a row until the ninth.

”He’s one of the best in all of baseball,” San Diego manager
Bud Black said. ”He was on today. We got to him but it was a
little bit too late.”

Halladay also struck out 14 on June 2, 2009, against the

Cameron Maybin singled leading off the Padres’ ninth and was
erased at second on Jason Bartlett’s dribbler. Chase Headley’s
single to left-center moved Maybin to third and he scored on
Venable’s hit.

”They were just balls over the middle of the plate,” Halladay
said. ”I think especially Maybin, I thought he went up looking
first-pitch ambush and he got a pitch he could handle. The last one
was more a mistake on my part leaving the ball over the plate. If
you go with something soft there or something down in the zone,
we’re OK.”

Said Headley: ”You certainly don’t want to put yourself in a
position to salvage a game against a guy like him. If he’s not the
No. 1 guy in baseball, he’s close.”

On Thursday night, Roy Oswalt and three relievers combined for a
four-hit, 3-0 win. On Friday night, Cole Hamels held his hometown
Padres to four hits in eight innings in a 2-0 win.

San Diego did manage to score on Saturday night, but lost 4-2 to
Joe Blanton.

Shane Victorino hit an inside-the-park home run leading off the
seventh inning when his drive into the gap in right-center came off
Venable’s glove as his arm hit the ground while trying to make a
diving catch. The ball rolled into center as Victorino rounded the
bases and came in with a headfirst slide. It was the first of his

”I saw the ball go in the gap and I thought Venable had a good
chance to catch the ball,” Victorino said. ”I saw him dive for
the ball. At first I thought he caught it and then I located where
the ball was. The whole time I was running hard and Juan Samuel
kept sending me and I kept going.”

The Phillies have won 11 straight at Petco Park, and 15 of 16,
since the 2008 season.

The Phillies opened the sixth inning with four straight hits to
score two runs before LeBlanc limited the damage. Jimmy Rollins and
Ryan Howard singled, Ben Francisco had an RBI single to left and
John Mayberry Jr. an RBI double to left. After Carlos Ruiz was
intentionally walked to load the bases, Francisco was forced at
home and Halladay hit into an inning-ending double play.

LeBlanc (0-1), called up earlier in the day from Triple-A Tucson
to make the start, allowed three runs and nine hits in eight
innings, walked four and struck out two.

NOTES: Victorino’s inside-the-park HR was the first for the
Phillies since Chase Utley did it on July 9, 2009, against
Cincinnati. It was the first against San Diego since Colorado’s
Garrett Atkins on Sept. 23, 2007. That homer came about when left
fielder Milton Bradley stepped on center fielder Mike Cameron’s
right hand while the two pursued the ball. … The Padres made room
for LeBlanc by optioning reliever Pat Neshek to Triple-A Tucson.
Manager Bud Black said the Padres will likely need to make another
move to bring a reliever back up.