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PHILADELPHIA – Aaron Harang outpitched Cliff Lee, Chris Denorfia stole home and the San Diego Padres beat the Philadelphia Phillies for the first time in more than a year, 5-4 on Monday.
Harang (9-2) gave up four runs in six innings to help the Padres avoid a four-game sweep and defeat the Phillies for the first time since June 7, 2010. The Phillies had beaten the Padres 10 straight times, their second-longest streak against them since winning 11 from 2004-06.
Lee (9-7) lasted only four innings, his second-shortest outing of the season. He allowed 10 hits, five runs and made a pickoff blunder that allowed Denorfia to steal home.
His soft toss to first gave Denorfia the opening he needed to bolt from third and give the Padres a 3-1 lead.
Heath Bell pitched the ninth for his 29th save. Domonic Brown opened the ninth with a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice. Ross Gload, who leads the majors with 13 pinch hits, struck out swinging on a 95 mph fastball. Bell retired Jimmy Rollins on a flyout to save it for Harang.
After the Phillies staked Lee to a 1-0 lead, he unraveled in the second. Lee, who had allowed only three runs over 14 innings in his last two starts, gave up four in the inning.
Jesus Guzman led off the inning with a double and scored on Rob Johnson’s tying double. Johnson came around on Denorfia’s single to left. Denorfia advanced to second on the throw home, stole third, then scored when Lee attempted to pick off Jason Bartlett at first. Chase Headley’s RBI double to center made it 4-1 and the Phillies couldn’t recover.
The Phillies held a Christmas in July promotion and fans brought signs that read “Merry Cliff-Mas.” There was little good cheer after Ryan Ludwick’s sacrifice fly made it 5-1.
The Padres, in last place in the NL West, snapped a three-game losing streak. They did it without getting a hit after the fifth inning.
The loss appeared to be just a minor blip for the Phillies. They open a three-game series Tuesday at home with defending World Series champion San Francisco. The Giants eliminated the Phillies in last year’s NL championship series.
“I don’t walk around saying I want revenge on these guys,” Phillies centerfielder Shane Victorino said. “Revenge would be bringing the trophy back to Philly.”
There’s plenty of time for that, and the Phillies should have a familiar, helpful arm in the bullpen to help them chase the championships.
Philadelphia’s highlight came in the seventh when former closer Brad Lidge made his season debut. Lidge had been out with a partially torn rotator cuff. He threw 11 pitches in a scoreless inning of work and received a standing ovation as he left the mound. Lidge will forever be remembered in Philadelphia for going 48 for 48 save opportunities in 2008 when he led the Phillies to the World Series championship.
The Phillies blew two big chances to at least tie the game.
In the eighth, Victorino was stranded on third after a two-out triple. And Ryan Howard was easily thrown out at home on Victorino’s two-out double off the right-field wall in the first.
Brown’s first career triple and Carlos Ruiz’s run-scoring single in the fourth off Harang cut it to 5-3. Raul Ibanez added an RBI single in the sixth.
Denorfia collided with right fielder Ludwick on Brown’s hit and both fielders were down as the ball scooted away. Denorfia’s left shoulder crashed into Ludwick’s head. The team trainer and manager Bruce Bochy both visited their shaken-up outfielders. Ludwick left the game in the sixth. Denorfia moved to right and Will Venable took over in center.
NOTES: Phillies All-Star 3B Placido Polanco (back) said he hoped to play two rehab games for Triple-A Lehigh Valley and return to the lineup Saturday. … Phillies RHP Jose Contreras (mild right forearm strain) is set for a PRP (platelet- rich plasma) injection soon. … RHP Joe Blanton (elbow) is set for an exam on Tuesday. … The Padres finished 4-3 on their road trip. … The Padres stole a base for the 12th straight game.
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