SAN DIEGO -- Cameron Rupp homered in his third straight game Friday night at Petco Park, leading the Phillies to a 5-4 win over the Padres in the first game of a three-game series. Rupp hit his 13th homer of the season 427 feet to straightaway center field, and straight into a palm tree, against San Diego starter Christian Friedrich in the fourth inning, before tacking on an RBI double in the sixth.
"He left the pitch up. I didn't miss it," Rupp said. "I was looking to drive the ball up the middle, with the infield back in that situation, with guys in scoring position. He gave me a pitch to hit."
Rupp's offensive efforts backed up yet another solid start from Jeremy Hellickson, who tossed 6 2/3 innings and allowed three runs. The 29-year-old righty struck out just three Padres hitters, but put together a stretch of 13 straight batters retired before pinch-hitter Alexei Ramirez homered in the seventh and ended his outing.
Friedrich threw seven innings for just the second time this season, and pitched well, aside from the two at-bats against Rupp, who was responsible for driving in all the runs he allowed. Friedrich struck out four batters while walking none, and managed four 1-2-3 innings.
"Just two bad mistakes to Rupp," Friedrich said. "Spinning slider [on a 3-2 count on the home run] and curveball just left over the middle of the plate [on the double]. ... The crooked number has usually been my kind of bugaboo, so trying to get rid of those and hopefully get deeper into games."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Rupp stays hot: Rupp's impressive season continues. He entered the night with an .813 OPS, which ranked fourth among 20 qualified catchers. His numbers improved with his homer and double Friday. Rupp has three homers and eight RBIs in three games this month. He also became the first Phillies catcher to homer in three consecutive games since Mike Lieberthal in July 1999.
"I can't tell you how much more fun baseball is when you hit homers and drive runs in and win games," Rupp said. "It's so much more fun. It's always great to see something that you work at, you see the success, especially fairly quick. I'm just trying to stay with it. Stay within myself. It's awesome that I've had the success so far." More >
Everyday, Jose: Rookie shortstop Jose Rondon started the scoring for the Padres in the bottom of the second with an RBI single up the middle, just a half-inning after he made a terrific diving stop and throw across the infield to rob a hit from Rupp. Padres manager Andy Green said that Rondon would be playing on a regular basis over Ramirez after he was recalled on Tuesday.
"It was a great diving play. I thought he's been pretty solid in the field," Green said. "A couple times, I think the last series, where a plus runner [is up], he needs to shallow up a step or two. Couple little gameplan situations that any guy is going to learn when they get to the Major League level. I feel pretty good about the way he's played defense."
Wake up for Wil?:Wil Myers hit his 21st home run of the season Friday, as part of a 3-for-4 night that could signal the end of a 17-game slump for the first baseman. His last home run came on July 15 vs. the Giants. From July 16 through Wednesday's finale with the Brewers, Myers hit just .194 (12-for-62) with three extra-base hits. More >
"The pitch that Rupp hit was a palm ball," -- Phillies manager Pete Mackanin, on Rupp's homer which hit off a palm tree in center field
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Myers' home run during the eighth inning was his 15th of the season at Petco Park. That ties the record for most homers in Petco during a single season along with Justin Upton (2015) and Will Venable (2013).
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The Phillies challenged after Travis Jankowski hit a two-out double to left field in the seventh inning and was called safe at second base. Cesar Hernandez held his tag on Jankowski as he stood up to call time, but Jankowski momentarily removed his right arm from the bag before his foot stepped on it. Hernandez immediately signaled to the Phillies' dugout to review the play. The replay official in New York saw what Hernandez saw and the call was overturned. When Jankowski removed his arm, no other part of his body was on second base.
The Padres challenged a call in the bottom of the ninth inning after Derek Norris was called out at first on the back end of a 6-4-3 double play. Replays showed that while Norris might have been able to beat the throw, he didn't actually make contact with the first-base bag. After a review, officials determined that both runners -- Jabari Blash at second (confirmed) and Norris at first (call stands) -- were out.
WHAT'S NEXT Phillies:Phillies right-hander Jake Thompson makes his big league debut Saturday night against the Padres at Petco Park at 8:40 p.m. ET. He is the No. 70 prospect in baseball, according to MLBPipeline.com. He joined the Phillies in July 2015 as part of the Cole Hamels trade with Texas.
Padres:Paul Clemens starts against Thompson for the Padres, coming off of a start that was cut short by lower-back tightness. Clemens allowed two runs while striking out five Reds batters over 4 1/3 innings and said the injury wouldn't affect his next start or the bullpen sessions leading up to it. First pitch is scheduled for 5:40 p.m. PT.