Sat, Jun 02, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Villanueva, Lyles shine as Padres win

AP, SAN DIEGO, California

Christian Villanueva heard the name and did not need a translator to explain what it meant.

Villanueva on Thursday night hit his 15th home run to help the San Diego Padres beat the Miami Marlins 8-3 — and his long fly was a significant one.

Villanueva’s homer total before June 1 is the most by a National League rookie since St Louis’ Albert Pujols hit 16 in 2001. His power surge has helped the Padres win three straight and four of their past six games.

Jordan Lyles had the blueprint for success with seven solid innings.

After taking a perfect game into the eighth inning in his previous start at Petco Park, Lyles (2-1) was not as dominant against the Marlins on Thursday.

However, he limited them to two runs and six hits, while walking one and striking out seven in his fifth start after 13 appearances out of the bullpen.

Brad Hand got the last out with the bases loaded for his 17th save after newly acquired Phil Hughes struggled in the ninth.

Derek Dietrich homered off Kirby Yates in the eighth.

Taiwanese Chen Wei-yin (1-3) got just five outs in his shortest stint of the season. He allowed four runs and four hits, and walked two and struck out four.

“It’s baseball,” Chen said through a translator. “Sometimes you have good days, sometimes you have bad days.”

San Diego pulled away with a three-run fifth inning against former Padre Odrisamer Despaigne to build a 7-2 cushion.

The Padres struck early against Chen as they seized a 2-0 lead three batters into the game.

Jose Pirela opened with a single and Villanueva followed with his homer.

Miami tied it at 2-2 in the second thanks to an unlikely offensive source in Chen.

After not collecting an RBI in his first 68 career at-bats, Chen sent a one-out, slow grounder through the middle that scored Brian Anderson and J.T. Riddle. Both had reached on singles.

“Your heart drops when that happens,” Lyles said of Chen’s hit. “That’s the lowest of the lows, but we were able to bounce back and put up five scoreless after that.”

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