Defense and Mesa Help Lead Phils To 5-2 Loss

The Phillies were hoping to send themselves on a six-game road trip with a win over the Padres Sunday, but it didn't happen. Instead, a bad defensive play by Marlon Byrd and Jason Michaels led to one Padres run and Jose Mesa failed to hold San Diego down in the tenth, as the Padres rallied for a 5-2 in over the Phillies.

Brian Buchanan's three-run homer off Jose Mesa in the 10th inning gave the San Diego Padres a 5-2 win over the Phillies and a split of their four-game series.

Mesa (5-6) has not blown a save since June 5, converting six straight opportunities, but he hasn't fared too well in non-save situations. On Saturday, Mesa started the ninth inning of the second game of a doubleheader against the Padres with a comfortable 10-3 lead. He was unable to complete the inning, allowing a run and three hits before being pulled.

Sunday, with the game tied, 2-2, Mesa kicked off the 10th by issuing walks to Sean Burroughs and Gary Matthews Jr. Hitless in his previous four at-bats, Buchanan stepped to the plate and failed to sacrifice on the first two pitches. After taking a ball, Buchanan deposited a shot over the left-center field wall for his eighth homerun of the season and a 5-2 San Diego lead. Mesa followed the homer with another walk, prompting manager Larry Bowa to call upon Turk Wendell to avoid further damage.

"He is having problems right now, no question," Bowa said. "He might have to work on the side with (pitching coach) Joe Kerrigan for a couple of days."

Buchanan's blast made a winner of Jay Witasick (3-2), who walked two and struck out three in two scoreless innings. Rod Beck celebrated his 35th birthday by working a perfect 10th inning for his 15th save in as many chances.

Padres starter Oliver Perez turned in an excellent performance, holding the Phillies to two runs and five hits in seven innings while matching his career high with 13 strikeouts.

San Diego took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when Mark Kotsay drew a two-out walk from Philadelphia starter Vicente Padilla, went to second on a balk and scored on a single by Mark Loretta. Loretta went 3-for-5 with two doubles, raising his average to .367 (81-for-221) since May 27.

The Phillies got to Perez in the fourth. With two outs, Pat Burrell belted a 3-1 offering over the wall in left-center to tie the game. Jimmy Rollins singled before Todd Pratt ripped a double to left-center, giving Philadelphia a 2-1 advantage.

Rheal Cormier came on in the seventh for Padilla, who gave up a run and six hits in six innings, and was unable to hold the lead. Loretta hit a fly ball to shallow right-center that center fielder Marlon Byrd tracked down. But right fielder Jason Michaels collided with Byrd, knocking the ball loose and allowing Loretta to take second. Cormier struck out Ryan Klesko, but Burroughs followed with a single up the middle to plate Loretta with the tying run.

The Phillies are off Monday before starting a six-game road trip to Colorado and San Francisco.


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