San Diego Padres' Alexi Amarista celebrates with teammates after his solo home run during the second inning against the Philadelphia Phillies in a baseball game Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Don Boomer)
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Robbie Erlin pitched six strong innings, Alexi Amarista and Will Venable homered and the San Diego defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 7-3 on Thursday night.
Erlin (4-4), slowed by a sore elbow this season, allowed a run on five hits in his first start since May 17. He struck out four and didn't walk a batter.
Four relievers finished off the Phillies as the Padres took three of four in the series.
With no outs in the eighth, Philadelphia brought the tying run to the plate before Dale Thayer struck out the side. The Phillies scored twice in the ninth.
Kyle Kendrick (9-13) struggled in his five innings. He gave up three runs on six hits, five walks and a hit batter.
Amarista homered in the second, lifting a changeup just into the right-field seats for a 1-0 lead.
Domonic Brown tied it with an RBI single in the fourth. The Padres scored in the bottom half on a sacrifice fly by Amarista.
Seth Smith had an RBI single in the fifth for a 3-1 lead. He drove in Jedd Gyorko, who singled with two outs and moved up when Yasmani Grandal walked, Kendrick's third base on balls in 10 batters.
The Padres extended their lead to 4-1 in the sixth after Cameron Maybin opened with a double and scored on Cory Spangenberg's single.
Phillies: SS Jimmy Rollins, out of the lineup since Sept. 8 with a strained left hamstring, continues to increase his work. Manager Ryne Sandberg said it's possible Rollins will play this weekend at Oakland.
Padres: RHP Joaquin Benoit continues to make progress from the sore right shoulder which has sidelined him since Aug. 26. Manager Bud Black said Benoit could be available on Friday, but not likely in the closer role.
Phillies: RHP David Buchanan (6-7, 3.75 ERA) will face the A's for the first time when going against LHP Jon Lester (15-10, 2.45) on Friday night at Oakland.
Padres: RHP Odrisamer Despaigne (3-7, 3.63), who has lost seven of his last eight decisions, opens a three-game series against the visiting Giants and RHP Tim Hudson (9-11, 3.41).
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