Late Rally Enables Padres to Snap Losing Streaks With Win Over Phillies

Late Rally Enables Padres to Snap Losing Streaks With Win Over Phillies
Matt Waldron of the San Diego Padres pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies in Philadelphia on June 19, 2024. (Matt Slocum/AP Photo)
The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA—Matt Waldron used his knuckleball to strike out six over seven innings, and the San Diego Padres avoided a 10th straight road loss with a late rally off Philadelphia’s bullpen to beat the National League-best Phillies 5–2 on Wednesday.

A day after Philadelphia used four consecutive ninth-inning hits to rally for a 4–3 win, Waldron (5–6) and two relievers helped San Diego snap a five-game skid. The Padres avoided their first 0–6 road trip since 2009. They hadn’t lost 10 straight away games since 2013.

Bryce Harper homered twice for the Phillies, his 27th career multi-homer game and second of the season. His 17 homers are tied with Kyle Schwarber for the team lead.

San Diego’s Robert Suárez worked the ninth for his 18th save.

“We haven’t been able to shake hands as much as we'd like on this road trip,” Padres Manager Mike Shildt said. “They’ve got a good club, clearly, maybe the best one in baseball.”

After another strong start by Ranger Suárez, the Philadelphia bullpen and an error by third baseman Alec Bohm contributed to the game slipping away. Orion Kerkering (2–1) hit a batter, and Tyler Wade singled to put two runners on in the seventh. Luis Arráez singled to right for a 2–1 lead.

Bohm’s one-out fielding error in the eighth helped set up Kyle Higashioka’s bases-clearing triple that put the Padres ahead 5–1.

Ranger Suárez remained stuck on 10 wins but tossed another gem in what has turned into a career season for the 28-year-old left-hander. He struck out four and gave up six hits in six innings, allowing his only run on Jackson Merrill’s homer in the second. Ranger Suárez started 9-1 but has picked up no-decisions in three of his past four starts.

He lowered his earned-run average from 1.77 to 1.75, behind only Atlanta’s Reynaldo López. Ranger Suárez made a start with his wife and two young children in the stands for the first time in his career. His wife was able to obtain a visa and travel from Venezuela.

“I am very excited to go home and see them, hug them, talk with them, play with them,” he said through an interpreter.

Harper knocked a slider from Waldron over the left-center field fence in the third for his first homer since a June 8 shot in London that he celebrated with a soccer-style knee slide. He went deep again in the eighth.

Waldron threw a season-high 48 knuckleballs—out of 104 pitches—to keep the Phillies off-balance. He’s the first Padres starter this season with five straight quality starts. He has a 1.35 ERA over that span, with 24 strikeouts and six walks.

“His pitches were good. They were moving all sorts of ways,” Phillies second baseman Bryson Stott said. “We just didn’t do it this time around.”

Shildt laughed when he said he didn’t want to think about where the Padres (38–40) would be without Waldron.

“I just feel like I’ve faced some of the best teams in the league, so that gives me a little bit of confidence going forward,” Waldron said. “No one’s really expecting it, so what’s there to lose?”

Padres center fielder Jackson Merrill snags a fly ball against the Phillies in Philadelphia on June 19, 2024. (Matt Slocum/AP Photo)
Padres center fielder Jackson Merrill snags a fly ball against the Phillies in Philadelphia on June 19, 2024. (Matt Slocum/AP Photo)

Trainer’s Room

Phillies shortstop Trea Turner got the day off after playing two straight games following his 38-game absence with a strained left hamstring. With the Phillies off Thursday, Manager Rob Thomson wanted to give Turner consecutive days of rest and then “we'll go.
“We'll see how long we can go with him,” Thomson said.

Up Next

The Padres plan to send right-hander Adam Mazur (4–3, 3.86) to the mound Thursday, when they return home for the start of a four-game series against Milwaukee. The Brewers had not named a starter.

The Phillies are set to go with right-hander Taijuan Walker (3–2, 5.33) in the start of a three-game series Friday against visiting Arizona. The Diamondbacks had not named a starter. The Phillies will celebrate the career of 2008 World Series most valuable player Cole Hamels ahead of the game. Hamels will officially retire as a member of the Phillies.

By Dan Gelston