Padres pound Phillies to secure win for Erlin

Lefty makes first start since May; Amarista, Venable belt homers

Padres pound Phillies to secure win for Erlin

SAN DIEGO -- Robbie Erlin made his first Major League start in four months and a day on Thursday night, and he didn't just feel energized after the Padres topped the Phillies, 7-3.

As it turns out, Erlin felt something else altogether.

"Fresh and rested," he joked.

Erlin, who had his season halted by a long disabled list stint, allowed one run in six innings as the Padres took three of four games from the Phillies (70-83).

Erlin, the crafty left-hander, allowed five hits with no walks and four strikeouts. He got eight ground-ball outs and looked very much like the pitcher the Padres (71-81) were excited about in Spring Training -- and also April and part of May, before he was felled by left elbow soreness that caused him to miss 75 games.

"This was more like what we saw in April and May," said Padres manager Bud Black. "His arm is good … his elbow is fine. Tonight, he threw with conviction."

Erlin (4-4) got the start in place of Tyson Ross, who has a sore right arm and might not pitch again this season. That hasn't been determined, but Black indicated there's a very good chance that Erlin will get another start.

That all sounds simply wonderful to Erlin, who is embracing being healthy and getting another chance to start in the big leagues after working his way back through Minor League rehab stints to get to this point.

"I kept looking forward," he said.

He gave up a few "loud" outs along the way, as Darin Ruf lined out to left fielder Seth Smith in the sixth inning and Maikel Franco hit a sharp grounder to Alexi Amarista at shortstop to end Erlin's outing.

"Defense," Erlin said, smiling. "I was trying to keep the ball down. But again, it was the defense. It was outstanding. It felt good to be back out there again."

Erlin was backed by plenty of offense, as Amarista hit his second home run of the series and drove in two runs. Will Venable broke the game open with a three-run home run in the eighth inning.

"Coming up with the clutch hit or a two-out hit with men on base, the Padres got some of those and they minimized us in those situations," said Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg.

Jedd Gyorko had a single in the fifth inning to extend his career-best hitting streak to nine games while teammate Yasmani Grandal reached base four times -- twice on walks and twice on hits.

The Phillies got an RBI single from Domonic Brown in the fourth inning and then scored two runs in the ninth inning off Tim Stauffer. But by then it was too late.

Philadelphia pitcher Kyle Kendrick (9-13) allowed three runs on six hits in five innings with five walks and two strikeouts.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.