PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Roy Halladay threw his first pitch with the sun blazing, the thermometer reading 94 degrees, and 45,000 people waving giveaway fans to keep cool. Last time out, the sapping rays contributed to Halladay’s shortest stint of the season.
This time, Halladay had enough to beat the heat — and San Diego.
Halladay bounced back from his abbreviated stint to strike out eight in eight innings and lead the Philadelphia Phillies to a 5-3 win over the San Diego Padres on Sunday.
Halladay (12-4) had trouble pitching in the heat and humidity in his last start at Chicago and left after four-plus innings. It was 94 degrees for the first pitch Sunday, and he labored through the first five innings. He allowed three runs and eight hits, and didn’t get the side in order until the sixth.
But he finished with a flourish, retiring the last 10 batters.
“A lot of people had questions after what happened in Chicago,” first baseman Ryan Howard said. “He went out and he showed everybody.”
Halladay joined teammate Cole Hamels and Atlanta’s Jair Jurrjens as the National League’s 12-game winners. He said he had a stomach bug in the days leading to his outing, and was otherwise “over it.”
“I haven’t had a problem with that in the past,” Halladay said. “It just snuck up and got me. I wasn’t worried about it happening again.”
Halladay is a main reason why the Phillies (64-36) are a season-high 28 games over .500.
The Phillies have won nine straight series and will go for a four-game sweep on Monday.
Raul Ibanez and Carlos Ruiz each had two RBIs to lead the Phillies to their fifth straight win.
Halladay, who threw 116 pitches, fought off his poor outing and a slow start to this one and continued to pound away at the Padres.
Manager Charlie Manuel could tell Halladay was determined to go deep into the game and prove what happened against the Cubs was nothing but a one-start aberration. He closed in on 100 pitches through five, then relied more on his curve and breezed through San Diego’s lineup over the final three.
“It was a little frustrating because we had a chance to get him out earlier in the game,” Padres third baseman Chase Headley said. “He’s not a guy you’re not going to put up eight runs against, but we had a chance.”
Halladay gave up a pair of runs in the fourth that cut Philadelphia’s lead to 5-3. That’s the way it stayed the rest of the game because Halladay only got better the deeper he went. He fanned Kyle Phillips to end the fifth and didn’t allow another runner.
“He could smell the finish line,” Manuel said.
Antonio Bastardo worked a scoreless ninth for his eighth save and helped Philadelphia beat the Padres for a 10th straight time.
On the day senior adviser Pat Gillick went into the Baseball Hall of Fame, Philadelphia continued its push for a fifth straight NL East title.
Shane Victorino’s RBI single and Ibanez’s run-scoring double off Tim Stauffer (6-7) in the first made it 2-1. Ruiz added a two-RBI double in third for a 5-1 lead at the same time Gillick was giving his speech in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Stauffer allowed five runs and eight runs in 5 2-3 innings.
The Phillies nearly extended their lead in the seventh when Ibanez hit a shot to the 398-foot spot in center. Chris Denorfia, in the game after Cameron Maybin left with a left hip flexor strain, sprinted with his back to home place. He twisted his body at the last second and extended his arm over the short wall to rob Ibanez. Ibanez had a bitter look on his face as he rounded first.
Phillies fans recognized Denorfia’s great catch with a nice ovation. Some fans even stood.
Fans can afford to be polite to the opposition this year the way the Phillies are rolling. It’s just not enough for the Phillies.
“We’ve done a lot of things right, but I know every time you go out, even as a pitcher, you feel like there’s room for improvement,” Halladay said.
Notes: Phillies RHP Roy Oswalt (back) is set to make a rehab start Wednesday at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He said he felt good after a Sunday morning bullpen session. He hasn’t pitched for the Phillies since the end of June. … Phillies 3B Placido Polanco (back) fielders grounders and could be close to starting a rehab assignment. … The Phillies have won each of Halladay’s last nine starts at home. Halladay is 6-0 over that span. … Ruiz has a 10-game hitting streak.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)