Papelbon blows another save, Phillies fall in San Diego

 

Closer Jonathan Papelbon blew a fourth consecutive save opportunity Monday night in San Diego, where the Phillies lost to the streaking Padres in extra innings, 4-3.

Cliff Lee pitched well through eight innings, and the Phillies took a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth. But that’s when the trouble started for the visitors.

Lee allowed a lead-off single to Carlos Quentin. Chase Headley followed with a double.

Enter Papelbon, the formerly effective closer.

Kyle Blanks was the first hitter Papelbon faced. Blanks stroked a single to center that scored both Quentin and Headley, making it a 3-2 game.

The suddenly sloppy closer hit the next Padres hitter, Jesus Guzman. Papelbon forced Yasmani Grandal to hit into a double play, but Blanks scored to tie the game when catcher Carlos Ruiz surrendered a passed ball with pinch hitter Mark Kotsay at the plate.

The Phillies (36-41) were unable to score in the top half of the 10th inning. The Padres (39-38) won it when Blanks’ one-out single off Justin DeFratus scored Chris Denorfia.

Chase Utley hit a sole home run to give the Phillies a 3-0 lead in the eighth.

Monday’s was Papelbon’s fourth blown save in his last four tries. He started the season converting his first 13 save opportunites.

Lee allowed two earned runs on eight hits and one walk. He  struck out seven.



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