By Chris Murray
For the Chris Murray Report
After an explosive tongue lashing urging the team to play better by manager Charlie Manuel earlier this week after three straight losses to the New York Mets in which they blew leads in the late innings, the Phillies (15-18) came into tonight’s game against the San Diego Padres hoping the manager’s harsh words would light the spark to a victory.
“He was real mad,” said catcher Carlos Ruiz.
Apparently, the manager’s motivational speech was the tonic they needed to get a win for at least one night.
Ruiz and leftfielder John Mayberry Jr. led the charge for the Phillies offense in a 7-3 win over the Padres (11-21) Friday night in front of a sellout crowd at Citizen’s Bank Park. Both Ruiz and Mayberry hit two-run homers and drove in three runs apiece to break a three-game losing streak.
“Charlie’s pep talk kinda really hit home,” Mayberry said. “It’s a sense of urgency and we had to pick it up. I think you kinda saw that today. This could be a big momentum shift for us. Vance (Worley) pitched great. To be able to tack on a few runs at the end was huge as well.”
Worley had a solid, but not necessarily stellar effort in getting a much needed win for the Phillies. In six innings of work, three runs on six hits with nine strikeouts and just two walks.
“There were some good innings, some bad innings and it happens,” Worley said. “I just have to find a way not to have the bad innings.
But perhaps the most telling story from the mound was that the bullpen actually held onto the lead in the late innings, something they haven’t done in their last three games.
The combination of Antonio Bastardo and Chad Qualls allowed just one and zero runs while striking out five over the final three innings of the game. Manuel said Bastardo had better command of his pitches.
“(Bastardo) pitched better tonight,” Manuel said. “He was high with some of his pitches, but at the same time, he threw better. It looked like the ball was getting up on them. They were having a hard hitting the ball hard on him. His problem has been his command, he gets the ball up a lot. When he’s good, he’s down in the strike zone. Also, he’s got some more velocity.”
Bastardo said for him and Qualls it came to making some adjustments and hanging in there.
“I was a little bit inconsistent,” Bastardo said. “But I had to get the ball down. I had to take my ball out of the glove early.”
The Phillies got on the board in their half of the second inning with a two-out, two-run homer by John Mayberry Jr. The Phillies were able to give Mayberry an opportunity because Ruiz reached on an infield when he beat out shortstop Andy Parrino’s throw to first.
San Diego would tie the game in the top of the fourth inning on RBI singles by-3 first baseman Yonder Alonso and Jesus Guzman.
The Phils would untie it in the fifth on a two-run homer by Ruiz to give the Phillies a 4-2 lead. The Padres cut the deficit to 4-3 in the top of the sixth on a solo homer to right by Alonso that hit the Budweiser beer sign.
“I gave up a bomb on a pitch I didn’t think he’d swing at and if he did it wouldn’t be a good pitch to swing at,” Worley said. “He beat me.”
But the Phillies got that run back in their half of the sixth inning with a one-out RBI double by Freddy Galvis that scored Mayberry, who reached on a fielder’s choice.
An RBI singles by Ruiz and Mayberry in the bottom of the seventh helped to put the game away for the Phillies.