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SAN DIEGO (AP) — Philadelphia Phillies manager Pete Mackanin saw the hard-hit grounder to Maikel Franco and contemplated a double play.
Franco thought otherwise, aiming for a triple play.
Good thing Franco followed his instincts because his decision helped the Phillies to a 6-5 victory over the San Diego Padres on Sunday.
Pinch-hitter Tommy Joseph's had a tie-breaking RBI single in the seventh inning but it was in the bottom of the inning that the Phillies made history. The triple play was the first at Petco Park.
"I thought Mikey was going to go from third to first and I'm glad he didn't," Mackanin said. "Big play to that game was the triple play — how about that? The ball took him right toward third which allowed him to be able to do it."
The Padres were gifted two walks to open the seventh. But then pinch-hitter Jabari Blash smoked a grounder to Franco, who stepped on the bag and fired to second baseman Hernandez to erase Rondon, and Hernandez's relay to first beat Blash by a step.
"By the time I picked my head up and saw where he fielded it, I knew there was a chance of turning a triple play," Blash said. "It wasn't the ideal situation."
It was the Phillies' first triple play since doing it against the New York Mets on Aug. 23, 2009.
Rookie shortstop Jose Rondon's throwing error on Cesar Hernandez's grounder leading off the seventh against Brad Hand (3-3) allowed the Phillies' hitter to reach second base safely. Hernandez scored the tie breaking run two outs later on Joseph's single to left.
"That was a huge at-bat," Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff said. "He put a good swing on it."
Eickhoff (7-12) pitched six innings, surrendering five runs and five hits with five strikeouts.
"If you look at the line, it's tough to look at," he said. "But I just tried to keep us in the game the best I could. It was a great team win."
Jeanmar Gomez worked the ninth for his 29th save.
Ryan Schimpf capped the Padres' three-run sixth with a game-tying 326-foot, two-run homer that just stayed fair down the right-field line and. Alex Dickerson had a sacrifice fly earlier in the inning.
"We fought back," Padres manager Andy Green said.
Dickerson's seventh homer of the year in the fourth pulled the Padres to 5-2.
Philadelphia sent nine batters to the plate in the fourth to seize a 5-1 edge as Jarred Cosart got knocked around. Most of the damage came with two outs.
After a double play, Carlos Ruiz, who had three hits, drove in Ryan Howard with a single and scored on Freddy Galvis' double. Eickhoff helped his cause with a run-scoring single and Odubel Herrera capped the inning with an RBI single.
Herrera also had three hits.
San Diego's tied the score 1-1 in the third, thanks to some sloppy Philadelphia defense. Derek Norris opened with a single and Franco then flagged down Rondon's hot grounder at third. However, Franco's errant throw to second went into right field and Norris eventually scored on Jankowski's groundout.
The Phillies took the lead in the first inning as Herrera turned on Cosart's 92-mph fastball for a solo homer, his 12th on the season. That snapped a string of 13 consecutive innings that the Phillies had failed to score with Eickhoff pitching.
"I thought Jarred was better today," Green said. "He gave us a chance."
Phillies: RHP Zach Eflin (3-4, 4.77) gets the nod as the team continues its West Coast swing against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday. Eflin has won but once in his last four starts, which includes two no-decisions. It is Eflin's first outing against the Dodgers, a team he was traded to by the San Diego Padres before he landed with the Phillies.
Padres: RHP Luis Perdomo (5-5,6.67) kicks off the Padres' road trip in Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Perdomo has given up three runs of less in seven of his last nine starts since June 15. He was tagged for a loss in his last outing, working 6 2/3 innings against the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday.
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