Phillies' Lee rides changeup to win over Padres
PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee is 35 now, but there's no rust in his game.
Lee pitched eight strong innings Wednesday night to beat the San Diego Padres 4-2 and earn his 13th victory of the season.
In the process, he showed he is adaptable, in that he threw several changeups -- more, Padres manager Bud Black said, than he has ever seen Lee throw.
And Lee (13-6) showed he is versatile, laying down a sacrifice bunt to set up the go-ahead run in the seventh inning.
"I feel young," Lee said. "Maybe I'm getting gray in the beard, but I still feel young."
Lee, who was making his 50th career start in Citizens Bank Park, allowed two runs on five hits while striking out nine and walking one.
It was the fourth time in six starts he has gone eight innings, a span in which he is 3-1 while fanning 42 and walking six.
"Cliff was outstanding tonight," Phillies interim manager Ryne Sandberg said. "He really went to his changeup tonight."
Sandberg noted that that was because Lee tends to "go with what he feels."
Lee said, "(The changeup) has been really effective pitch for me lately. Hopefully it stays that way."
Freddy Galvis went 3-for-3 with a homer and two RBIs for the Phillies, who won for the fourth time in five games.
Jimmy Rollins also homered for Philadelphia, and Cesar Hernandez drove in the go-ahead run with a seventh-inning infield out.
Rookies Tommy Medica and Jedd Gyorko hit solo homers for the Padres, who saw a four-game winning streak end.
It was the first major league hit for Medica, who was making his debut. Gyorko's homer, his 18th of the year, gave San Diego a 2-1 lead in the sixth.
Rollins tied it in the bottom of the sixth with his sixth homer of the season and the 199th of his career. It was also his first since July 20.
Galvis opened the seventh with a double off reliever Nick Vincent (4-3). John Mayberry Jr. walked, and rather than sending up a pinch hitter, Sandberg let Lee remain in the game to bunt.
"Cliff actually kept himself in the game," Sandberg said, "being able to bunt."
Lee said, "I'm glad Ryno let me stay in there to do that. That was big. ... I made it look like a really good move."
His successful sacrifice advanced the runners to second and third. With the infield in, Hernandez hit a slow roller to Medica at first base. Galvis, running on contact, scored as Medica made the play to first.
Galvis drove in an insurance run with a sacrifice bunt in the eighth.
Jonathan Papelbon pitched a perfect ninth to earn his 26th save in 33 opportunities.
Padres starter Eric Stults, seeking his first victory since beating the San Francisco Giants on July 14, settled for a no-decision. He went six innings and allowed two runs on six hits while striking out five. He didn't walk a batter.
Medica homered off Lee to start the fifth for his first major league hit, and Galvis answered with a solo shot in the bottom of the inning to tie it.
Medica called his homer "pretty awesome."
"In my first at-bat, my heart was really racing," he said, "but then I settled down and felt a lot better. It was really nice getting my first hit for a home run."
NOTES: The Padres made two sparkling defensive plays in the fourth inning. SS Ronny Cedeno dived to his left to snag Kevin Frandsen's grounder, then threw to first from his knees for the out. Later in the inning, 3B Chase Headley made a backhand stop on Darin Ruf's smash down the line before making the throw to first. ... Phillies LHP Joe Savery has limited opponents to .120 hitting (3-for-25) over his past seven appearances. ... Over nine games before Wednesday, Padres pitchers were 6-3 with a 2.96 ERA. ... All four San Diego infielders had at least two hits and one RBI in Tuesday's 8-2 victory over the Phillies. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that's the first time the Padres accomplished that feat since June 30, 2008, at Colorado.