By Todd Zolecki and Michael Radano
MLB.com |@ToddZolecki |
PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies rookie Aaron Nola looks like the real deal.
He allowed two hits, one run, two walks and struck out six in seven innings on Friday night in a 7-1 victory over the Padres at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies' first-round pick in the 2014 MLB Draft improved to 5-1 with a 3.26 ERA in eight big league starts.
"I'll take five pitchers just like him," Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said.
The Phillies scored a pair of runs in the fourth inning, thanks to a hit batter and a wild pitch. The Padres scored their only run in the top of the fourth, but even when Nola left the game they could not get anything going against the Phillies' bullpen.
"Seven innings, we're a run back so credit to the Phillies," Padres manager Pat Murphy said. "They have our number right now. We have a chance to win the series and that's what we intend to do. We had a blip there in the eighth, but we'll be ready tomorrow."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Upton's shot ends no-hit bid: Locked in a scoreless and hitless game after three innings, Padres left fielder Justin Upton homered to give the Padres a 1-0 lead with one out in the fourth inning. Upton hit a 3-0 offering from Nola over the 387 sign in left-center field for his team-high 23rd home run of the season.
Nola deals: Nola continues to live up to the hype, pitching well in seven innings against the Padres. This start followed eight scoreless innings on Sunday against the Marlins at Marlins Park.
"I feel a little bit more comfortable now," Nola said. "I know I can pitch here. But my main goal is to pitch to win and to try and keep the guys in the best position every single time I go out." More >
Kennedy lets one get away: Padres starter Ian Kennedy worked out of a first inning bases loaded jam after he surrendered three walks and a fielder's choice, as third baseman Yangervis Solarte made an unassisted double play on a line drive to third. Kennedy almost got out of a similar situation in the fourth, but with two outs, one run in and the bases loaded facing Nola, he uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Ryan Howard to rumble home for the second run of the inning.
"Got saved in the first by that line drive double-play and that was awesome," Kennedy said. "[The wild pitch] was a slider down and away. I wasn't going to throw a cookie in there and it got away." More >
Rupp stays hot: Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp provided plenty of insurance when he hit a three-run home run to left field in a five-run eighth inning. Rupp is hitting .333 (20-for-60) with three doubles, six homers and 17 RBIs and a 1.080 OPS in 17 games from July 26 through Friday.
"I guess it's when Aaron pitches, apparently," Rupp said. "I am just getting good pitches to hit, being aggressive when the ball is in the zone and good things are happening."
"When they gave the ball in the eighth, I thought they were joking at first. Rod [Nichols] told me I was in the game, I'm like, 'OK, sure.' He's like, 'No, you're in the game.' I was like, 'Oh, boy.'" -- Phillies right-hander Jerome Williams, who just moved from the rotation to the bullpen. He pitched the final two innings to earn the second save of his career.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Phillies rookie Aaron Altherr tripled to right field in the eighth inning to score a run to give the Phillies a 3-1 lead. It was the seventh hit of Altherr's career, and his seventh extra-base hit (two homers, four doubles and a triple). He is the only Phillies rookie since 1900 to begin his career with seven extra-base hits. He also is the first rookie in the big leagues to begin his career with seven extra-base hits since Carlos Gonzalez did it in 2008 as a member of the Oakland A's. More >
Jeff Francoeur's pinch-hit double scored a run in the eighth inning. He leads baseball with 11 pinch-hit RBIs. He is hitting .478 (11-for-23) with three doubles, one home run and 11 RBIs as a pinch-hitter.
WHAT'S NEXT Padres: Padres rookie Colin Rea will be making his fourth career start at 4:05 p.m. PT on Saturday and will look to last longer than his last outing in which he allowed four earned runs in as many innings of work. It will also mark his first start away from Petco Park.
Phillies: Phillies rookie left-hander Adam Morgan takes the mound at 7:05 p.m. ET on Saturday and hopes to rebound from a rough start earlier this week against the Mets. He allowed seven hits, five runs and four home runs in just 3 2/3 innings in a 16-7 loss.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. Michael Radano is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.