Franco leads Eickhoff, Phillies past Padres
PHILADELPHIA (AP) The Padres weren't hitting Jerad Eickhoff's curveball, so the Phillies right-hander just kept throwing it.
Eickhoff struck out nine in seven scoreless innings and Maikel Franco homered, doubled and drove in both runs to lead the Philadelphia Phillies to a 2-1 victory over San Diego Padres on Wednesday night.
Philadelphia has won four of five after opening the season with four straight losses.
Eickhoff (1-1), acquired at the trade deadline last season as part of the deal that sent ace lefty Cole Hamels to Texas, gave up four hits and walked none. He did it while displaying the power and finesse he showed at the end of last season when he fanned 10 in each of his final two starts.
''(Eickhoff) was in total command,'' Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. ''I can't say enough good things. Nothing but superlatives.''
Eickhoff used a knee-buckling curveball and a mid-90s fastball to stifle Padres batters. His curve was working so well that he used it to strike out the first seven hitters.
''When I can find that curveball, I'm going to go to it until the hitters tell me otherwise,'' he said. ''I was able to go to that when I needed to.''
Brett Wallace had an RBI single with two outs in the ninth off Jeanmar Gomez, who held on for his fourth save in as many chances. The Padres ended their scoreless streak at 20 innings and avoided being shut out for the fifth time in nine games.
''We had opportunities to score,'' San Diego manager Andy Green said. ''We've got to focus on our hitting and not be concerned about the pitcher.''
Franco connected off Colin Rea (0-1) in the first for his second homer of the season. He hit an RBI double in the third.
''Franco hit a couple of lasers,'' Mackanin said.
Rea, making his eighth big league start, also went seven innings. He gave up one earned run on five hits and two walks, striking out five.
The Padres threatened against David Hernandez in the eighth. Alexi Amarista singled and moved to second when he was hit in the back by first baseman Ryan Howard's throw on a grounder by Jon Jay. A walk to Cory Spangenberg loaded the bases with one out, but Hernandez struck out Matt Kemp and Wil Myers.
Hernandez pumped his fist and hopped off the mound after getting the final strike to escape.
The run off Gomez snapped the Phillies' bullpen scoreless innings streak at 12 1/3 innings. Philadelphia relievers began the season by giving up 15 earned runs in their first 10 2/3.
Jay went 0 for 4 to snap his eight-game hitting streak.
The Padres committed three more errors on Wednesday to up their season total to nine in as many games. Spangenberg threw a ball away in the third, allowing Herrera to advance to second after a single for what would become the game-winning run. It was the second baseman's third error in two nights.
Adam Rosales and Amarista committed back-to-back errors in the fourth, with Rosales dropping a routine popup at third and Amarista mishandling a routine grounder at short.
''There was a little bit of sloppy baseball,'' Green said. ''We've got to be better in all facets.''
Eickhoff's outing lowered Philadelphia's starters' ERA to 2.50.
''It's been very impressive,'' Mackanin said. ''I don't see any reason why we won't pitch well if these guys stay healthy.''
Padres: LF Melvin Upton Jr. appeared to get spiked while sliding back to second on a pickoff attempt following his fourth-inning double. Upton stayed down for a bit but shook it off and appeared fine the rest of the game.
Phillies: OF Darin Ruf (shoulder) didn't appear for the second straight game after injuring his shoulder making a diving play in the outfield on Monday. Ruf is day to day.
The teams wrap up the four-game series on Thursday afternoon when Phillies RHP Vince Velasquez (1-0, 0.00) opposes Drew Pomeranz (1-0, 3.60). Velasquez allowed three hits in six scoreless innings, striking out nine and walking three, to earn the victory in a 1-0 win at the Mets on Saturday.