SAN DIEGO -- The Phillies have a chance to sweep, after defeating the Padres, 4-2, Saturday night at Petco Park.
Adam Morgan earned his third win of the season, going six innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits, with one walk and four strikeouts. The Phillies got on the board early, with Chase Utley and Odubel Herrera scoring in the first inning. Herrera knocked in the Phillies' third run with a ground-ball single to right field. The Phillies are 15-5 since the All-Star break and no longer have MLB's worst record, after their victory and a Marlins loss.
"Maybe we want to end up in last place to get that Draft pick. We screwed it up," Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin joked. "It's just fun to watch these guys. They're all having a good time, and they're all aggressive. They're all pulling for each other. It's contagious."
Tyson Ross is 8-9 on the season. He pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on five hits, while walking one and striking out eight. The Padres have lost five straight.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Herrera plays big early: Herrera had two hits, two RBIs, two stolen bases, one outfield assist and made a couple of heads-up baserunning plays, helping him score a run -- all in the first four innings. The Phillies' Rule 5 Draft pick has been on fire, hitting .350 (48-for-137) with 10 doubles, one triple, four home runs, 16 RBIs and a .901 OPS in 45 games since June 5. More >
"He plays like his hair is on fire," Mackanin said. "He's getting more aware. He's still going to make some aggressive mistakes, but boy, he's fun to watch play."
Morgan throws a solid six: Morgan had been inconsistent in his first seven starts this season, but he retired the first nine batters Saturday before allowing his only earned run in the fifth. It was the fourth time this season Morgan pitched six or more innings, and the fifth time he allowed two or fewer runs.
"The second time through the lineup I tried to be too fine," Morgan said. "I'm excited for these next five days to work on that."
Rocky Ross: Ross once again was shaky early. In the first inning, he allowed a double to Utley, who later scored on Herrera's RBI single. With Ryan Howard at the plate, Ross threw a wild pitch, which scored Herrera to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead. More >
D-No does work: In the eighth inning, catcher Derek Norris prevented the Phillies from doing more damage with two solid defensive plays. With help from Yonder Alonso, Norris was able to get Cesar Hernandez out at the plate. During the next at-bat, Norris caught Herrera stealing second. Norris leads National League catchers in throwing out would-be basestealers with 28.
"The first half was subpar to put it lightly. I still love playing the game, so as far as an edge I always feel like I have a chip on my shoulder." -- Utley, who went 2-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored in his second game since returning from the disabled list after hitting .179 in his first 65 games More >
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Ross' double in the fifth inning earned him a cycle for the season. Ross is only the second Padres pitcher with a season cycle. Tim Lollar did it three times.
WHAT'S NEXT Phillies: After playing second base and hitting leadoff Friday and Saturday, Utley is expected to be on the bench in Sunday's series finale against the Padres at Petco Park at 4:10 p.m. ET. Mackanin is trying to find ways to play both Utley and Hernandez, with the front office hoping they can trade Utley to a contender before the Aug. 31 waiver Trade Deadline. Jerome Williams gets the start for the Phillies.
Padres:Andrew Cashner (4-11, 4.08 ERA) will take the mound for the Padres in the finale of a three-game series. Cashner will start against the Phillies for the third time in his career. He is 2-0 with a 1.08 ERA in his previous two starts against Philadelphia.
Beth Maiman is an associate reporter for MLB.com.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.