SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Padres might have the worst record in the National League, but they weren’t the worst team on the field Sunday afternoon.
Not by a long shot.
That distinction belonged to the Phillies, who looked flat for most of the game and played horrendously in a 9-3 loss at Petco Park.
The defeat provided a fitting end to a six-game road trip in which the Phillies lost four times, were shut out twice and scored just 15 runs in total.
They were on their way to being shut out again Sunday before scoring three times in the eighth. The Padres made two errors in the inning.
Freddy Galvis, who spent a dozen years in the Phillies organization before being traded to the Padres in December, came back to haunt his old club with a third-inning grand slam against Jake Arrieta in the loss. Galvis has 10 hits and nine RBIs against his old team in six games this season.
The defeat knocked the Phillies back into a first-place tie in the NL East with victorious Atlanta.
The Phillies lost two of three to a rugged Arizona team in Phoenix then rolled into San Diego looking to do some damage against three rookie starting pitchers.
Jacob Nix pitched six shutout innings and held the Phils to four hits in 2-0 loss to the Padres on Friday night.
The Phillies won Saturday night’s game behind Aaron Nola then came back Sunday and did nothing against lefty Joey Lucchesi, another San Diego rookie. Lucchesi held the Phillies to two hits over six shutouts inning.
Arrieta began the trip with eight shutout innings against Arizona in a game the Phillies kicked away and lost, 3-2, in 14 innings.
He was a different guy in this one. He allowed eight hits, two walks and five runs in five innings.
Arrieta struggled from the get-go, allowing a pair of hits and a run in the first inning. It took a freakish bounce off the backstop and an unusual rundown play for Arrieta to get out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the second inning.
In the third inning, everything went bad for Arrieta. He allowed a pair of hits to lead off the inning, but the second one should not have happened. Eric Hosmer hit a tapper halfway between home plate and the mound. Arrieta could have made a play on the ball — in fact, it was his play — but catcher Jorge Alfaro, who has made similar plays very well this season, converged on the ball at the same time as Arrieta and no one was able to make a play.
After the infield hit by Hosmer, Arrieta retired two batters and walked Austin Hedges on four pitches to load the bases and bring Galvis to the plate. Galvis entered the game hitting .235 so Arrieta likely felt good about his chances facing the Padres’ shortstop.
Galvis, however, has always had sneaky power and he does look to drive the ball. Sometimes that mindset gets him in trouble, but it didn’t this time. He drove a 2-2 sinker over the centerfield wall for the first grand slam of his career. Galvis’ slam was no cheapie. He hit it 406 feet to capitalize on the misplayed ball earlier in the inning.
That wasn’t the only miscue the Phillies made. Rhys Hoskins and Asdrubal Cabrera failed to make plays on balls that were ruled hits and Maikel Franco made a base-running blunder then topped it off with a throwing error that resulted in Travis Jankowski scoring from third base in the seventh. Jankowski walked, stole two bases, giving him four on the day, and scored on the error. It was that kind of day. The Phils made another error to fuel three San Diego runs in the ninth. For the day, the Padres stole six bases.
Things don’t get easier for the Phillies, who are 65-52. They are off on Monday and host Boston, the best team in the majors, in a two-game series on Tuesday and Wednesday. After that, it’s five against the Mets, three against the Nationals, three against the Blue Jays, three more against the Nationals and three against the Cubs.