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SAN DIEGO (AP) — When Philadelphia's Kyle Kendrick is effective, his command is spot-on.
His outing against San Diego on Thursday night wasn't one of those instances as the Phillies lost to the Padres 7-3.
Kendrick (9-13) struggled in his five innings. He gave up three runs on six hits, a season-high five walks and a hit batter.
"As most you guys know that is pretty rare for me," Kendrick said about his control. "But I had to battle."
Things went a lot easier for Robbie Erlin and the Padres.
He pitched six strong innings, Alexi Amarista and Will Venable homered as San Diego took three of four in the series.
"I was pretty fortunate to get through with just three runs given up there," Kendrick said. "I had no command. It's tough to pitch that way for me."
Erlin (4-4), slowed by a sore elbow this season, allowed a run and five hits in his first start since May 17. He struck out four and didn't walk a batter.
With no outs in the eighth, Philadelphia brought the tying run to the plate before Dale Thayer struck out the side.
The Phillies scored twice in the ninth.
"We're just looking for some contact," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "We couldn't come up with the clutch hit in this series, or a two-out hit with men on base."
Amarista homered in the second, lifting a changeup just into the right-field seats for a 1-0 lead.
Domonic Brown tied it with an RBI single in the fourth. The Padres scored in the bottom half on a sacrifice fly by Amarista.
Seth Smith had an RBI single in the fifth for a 3-1 lead. He drove in Jedd Gyorko, who singled with two outs and moved up when Yasmani Grandal walked, Kendrick's third one in 10 batters.
"The base on balls came back to haunt Kendrick," Sandberg said. "He was behind hitters, behind in the count, with some walks and hit batsmen. He mostly centered on the plate when he was behind in the count."
The Padres extended their lead to 4-1 in the sixth after Cameron Maybin opened with a double and scored on Cory Spangenberg's single.
Twenty-four hours after Cole Hamels threw a gem to beat the Padres, Kendrick heaved a clunker.
"The mound seemed a little different," Kendrick said. "But obviously Cole had no problem with it last night."
Phillies: SS Jimmy Rollins, out of the lineup since Sept. 8 with a strained left hamstring, continues to increase his work. Manager Ryne Sandberg said it's possible Rollins will play this weekend at Oakland.
Padres: RHP Joaquin Benoit continues to make progress from the sore right shoulder which has sidelined him since Aug. 26. Manager Bud Black said Benoit could be available on Friday, but not likely in the closer role.
Phillies: RHP David Buchanan (6-7, 3.75 ERA) will face the A's for the first time when going against LHP Jon Lester (15-10, 2.45) on Friday night at Oakland.
Padres: RHP Odrisamer Despaigne (3-7, 3.63), who has lost seven of his last eight decisions, opens a three-game series against the visiting Giants and RHP Tim Hudson (9-11, 3.41).
WEST COAST CHOPPERS
Even with Thursday's loss the Phillies enjoyed competing against clubs in the NL West. For the seventh-straight season Philadelphia ends its schedule against NL West foes with a winning record, this year at 17-16.
At 5-foot-6, 152 pounds, Amarista doesn't stand out for his brawn. But Amarista hit his fifth homer of the year on Thursday, which puts him one ahead of Padres slugger, Carlos Quentin. Quentin, at 6-1, 235, looks the part. But with various knee issues this season, Quentin played in only 50 games.
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