By DAN GELSTON, AP Sports Reporter
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Yu Darvish tied the game on base and the heart of the Phillies roster was coming.
With the way Kyle Schwarber and the suddenly silent bats swung, Darvish walked through the order in the sixth inning without a run allowed, a peak performance for the Padres ace.
Darvish escaped a jam and pulled $179 million off offense from Schwarber and Nick Castellanos in a key spot, pitching seven shutout innings to lead the San Diego Padres to a 2-0 win over Philadelphia on Thursday.
The Padres took two of the Phillies’ three and moved 10 games above .500 (24-14). The Padres have won five of six road series this season.
Darvish (4-1) struck out five, didn’t walk, allowed six hits and went on a streak of strong starts. But it was the veteran right-hander’s work in the sixth inning that helped the Padres win the series.
“I asked him how he felt after the sixth and he said he felt fantastic,” Padres interim manager Ryan Christenson said.
Darvish allowed one-out singles to Rhys Hoskins and Alec Bohm who put the runners on the corners with the Padres ahead 2-0. Schwarber, batting .189, retired the swing. Castellanos, the cleanup hitter, dug in a forced out late in the inning.
“I wish the work had been done there,” Schwarber said. “That’s the thing that’s going to sit with you. You have to put the ball in play. You don’t know what can happen from there.
Bryce Harper lobbied for the Phillies to sign Schwarber and they gave the outfielder a four-year, $79 million deal. Castellanos was given a five-year, $100 million contract. It’s $179 million on two sluggers who got chilled as Harper sits with a sore elbow. The Phillies were shut out for the fifth time this season.
Harper missed a fourth straight game due to lingering effects from the platelet-rich plasma injection in his right elbow. The Phillies are hoping Harper can return Friday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“It’s a presence that we miss,” Schwarber said. “But it’s a team. We all want Bryce in the lineup. He’s a must-have MVP. We want it in the composition. When he’s not in line, we have to be able to get him back.
The Padres have won each of Darvish’s last six starts since April 17 and he is 4-0 in that span.
“He had all his work locations. He was in the zone,” Christenson said. “It was just a great game from him.”
Luis Garcia got two outs in the eighth. The Padres decide to bring in left-hander Taylor Rogers to face left-hander Schwarber who backfired when he fielded a single down the middle. But Rogers forced Castellanos into another forced out to end the inning. Rogers worked the ninth for his 15th save.
Every Padres starter has had a hit.
The Padres and Phillies each won 3-0 games in the first two games of the series and this one also had little offense. Robinson Cano fielded an RBI single to the right – and nearly knocked out teammate and base runner Wil Myers – from Kyle Gibson (3-2) and Ha-Seong Kim added a sacrificial fly for a 2-0 lead in the fourth sleeve.
Gibson struck out seven, didn’t walk and allowed eight hits in 5 2/3 innings.
“We had guys struggling for a long time,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. “Everyone struggled a bit. But eventually the numbers come back to what’s on the back of a baseball card. These guys have some good times ahead.”
Harper hasn’t played on the proper court since April 16 and will remain DH upon his return. He’s taken light beatings each of the past two days. OF Mickey Moniak (broken wrist) began a rehab mission during extended spring training in Clearwater, Florida. SS Didi Gregorius (sprained left knee) has no timetable for a comeback.
Harper appeared to find a hat in the stands that a fan was wearing that he liked more than his own Phillies cap. Harper threw his maroon Phillies hat into the stands and the fan turned his back on Harper for the trade. The fan who claimed to have received the hat tweeted that it was autographed by Harper.
With concession prices skyrocketing across sports, the Phillies have scheduled only two $1 hot dog promotions this season. Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania took the message from fans that the team needed more cheap meat and tweeted, “Agreed, no more Dollar Dog Nights. @ Phillies, let’s do this.
The Padres still don’t know when manager Bob Melvin will return after undergoing prostate surgery last week. Melvin had another exam scheduled for Thursday where could he get the OK to go back in the dugout this weekend.
“I didn’t feel a lot of stress in the dugout,” Christenson said.
The Padres end their road trip with three in San Francisco. The Padres send LHP Sean Manaea (2-3, 3.77 ERA) to the mound Friday against Giants RHP Jakob Junis (1-1, 1.74).
The Phillies host the Dodgers for three and send LHP Ranger Suarez (4-1, 3.72) to the mound Friday against LHP Julio Urias (2-3, 3.00).
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