Padres play small ball to top Marlins

Padres play small ball to top Marlins

SAN DIEGO --The Padres had eight hits and Craig Kimbrel earned his 28th save as the Padres beat the Marlins, 3-1, Saturday night on RBIs from Yonder Alonso (sacrifice fly in the first), Will Venable (second-inning single) and Melvin Upton Jr. (pinch-hit RBI single in the seventh).

Ian Kennedy looked strong until the seventh inning, when he gave up a home run to Derek Dietrich. After the homer, J.T. Realmuto tripled and Kennedy was pulled. Kennedy went six-plus innings, allowing seven hits, one run and striking out seven.

David Phelps pitched six innings, allowing six hits and two runs, bringing his record to 4-7. The Marlins have dropped their last two games against the Padres in this four-game series.

"Every time I go out, I'm giving up runs early and putting us in a hole," Phelps said. "We lost our best power bat [injured Giancarlo Stanton]. So we're not exactly a team that's built to score a lot of runs quick and come from behind fast. I'm really doing us a disservice early in games, giving up runs. When you look at the games that we've won lately, our guys are going out and giving us a chance to score first. I'm not doing that right now."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Speed and strength: With Realmuto as the tying runner on third in the seventh, the Marlins brought in Casey McGehee to pinch-hit. McGehee hit a ball to center field, but Venable sprinted in for the catch to get the second out. He also had a nice throw to the infield, which forced Realmuto to stay at third base. More >

Maurer gets out of a jam

Could have been four: Petco Park burst with excitement in the first inning with the bases loaded, when Alonso hit a ball to center field just feet away from home run territory. The play resulted in a sacrifice fly to bring in Matt Kemp and give the Padres their first run of the game.

Alonso's sacrifice fly

Kennedy helps on offense: Kennedy didn't just help his team from the mound on Saturday. He hit a two-out double to right-center field in the second inning. The next batter, Venable, hit an RBI single to bring in Kennedy and give the Padres a 2-0 lead.

Venable's RBI single

Dietrich goes deep: The Marlins had gone 14 consecutive innings without a run before Dietrich homered off Kennedy to lead off the seventh inning. It was the left-handed-hitting infielder's fifth homer and seventh RBI of the season. The drive closed Miami's gap to 2-1. To Dietrich, Petco Park holds some special memories. Dietrich had his first MLB hit in San Diego, a single in his MLB debut on May 8, 2013. More >

"He's a confident hitter," Marlins manager Dan Jennings said. "His versatility is going to be the key for him, being able to go over and play some third, some second, some first, left field. He's showing the reason we made the trade to get him over here. He's got a good bat. It's a pretty aggressive swing. He's got natural leverage in his swing. He's able to get the ball in the air."

QUOTABLE
"Not being in rhythm from the start of the season was kind of weird for me, to come off the DL, then pitch a couple times and was not very good with my command. And I feel like the last month here or six, seven starts here I have been able to command my fastball. It has made it a lot easier on myself." -- Kennedy on continuing to pitch well in recent starts

Kennedy's winning start

"I didn't have great stuff today, but I felt I was commanding the ball decently. I don't know. I'm just tired of losing." -- Phelps on losing his fourth straight decision

Phelps holds Padres to two runs

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
With the Dodgers last year, Dee Gordon paced the Majors with 12 triples. Now with the Marlins, Gordon is on the DL with a dislocated left thumb. He has four triples this year, but that isn't tops on his team. Realmuto, who opened the season at Triple-A New Orleans, tripled in the seventh inning, giving him five on the season.

Realmuto's triple

WHAT'S NEXT
Marlins: In Sunday's series finale, at 4:10 p.m. ET, Mat Latos (4-6, 4.48) pitches what might be his final start with the Marlins. The right-hander is a candidate to be dealt before Friday's Trade Deadline.

Padres: The Padres conclude their 10-game homestand Sunday against the Marlins, before heading to New York to face the Mets. On the mound for San Diego will be Odrisamer Despaigne. Despaigne is 3-7 with a 4.98 ERA this season.

Watch every out-of-market regular season game live on MLB.TV.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Listen to his podcast. Beth Maiman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.