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Jankowski, Padres spoil debut of Phils rookie

August 7, 2016

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres didn't give Phillies starter Jake Thompson much of a warm welcome in his Major League debut. San Diego's first three batters reached safely to start the game, and four batters later Christian Bethancourt broke open the scoring with a bases-clearing double, with the Padres going

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres didn't give Phillies starter Jake Thompson much of a warm welcome in his Major League debut. San Diego's first three batters reached safely to start the game, and four batters later Christian Bethancourt broke open the scoring with a bases-clearing double, with the Padres going on to win, 9-7.
The Padres totaled 14 hits, with leadoff hitter Travis Jankowski continuing to serve as the team's spark plug, with three hits and a career-high four runs.
"He's been outstanding," said Padres manager Andy Green. "Loving what he's doing, loving the quality at-bats, loving him shooting balls to left field. The walk in the last at-bat [in the eighth inning] when he recovered from being down, I think 1-2 in the count, to come back, walk, steal a base and then have enough feel on the [Yangervis] Solarte play to come flying across the plate to score. We needed that run."
Thompson, the No. 69 prospect in baseball according to, allowed four runs in the first inning and two more in the fifth, when Jankowski and Wil Myers led off with back-to-back doubles. He was taken out after 4 1/3 innings and struck out one batter while walking two and hitting one.
"He's 22 years old," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "You can't judge him on this outing."
San Diego starter Paul Clemens also threw 4 1/3 innings despite allowing just two earned runs. Green pulled Clemens after he got his first out in the fifth inning, just a half-inning after Clemens grounded into an inning-ending double play on a failed bunt attempt.
Travis on a tear: Jankowski went 3-for-4 with a walk Saturday night and scored four of the team's nine runs. The 25-year-old extended his career-high hitting streak to six games after doubling in the fifth inning, and is hitting .522 (12-for-23) over that period. With his three-hit performance, Jankowski has multi-hit efforts in half of those six games.
"Just a lot of anticipation and a lot of prep work before the game," Jankowski said. "…Just making the most of every opportunity and maybe trying to catch the opposition sleeping a little bit and just making the most of it."

He'll get another shot: The best thing that can be said about Thompson's debut is that he will get plenty of opportunities to prove himself the rest of the season. He appeared to rush himself in the first inning as the Padres took a 4-0 lead. He settled down after that, retiring nine of 11 batters at one point. But there is no question he has room to improve after allowing six runs in just 4 1/3 innings.
"I wasn't nervous," Thompson said. "I was kind of amped up, instead of being nervous. Especially in that first inning, I just wasn't able to spin the ball for strikes or be able to get fastballs down in the zone." More >
Big Piece delivers: Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard has been relegated to bench duty since Tommy Joseph's emergence this season. But Howard quietly has been putting up some pretty solid numbers. He homered in the second and doubled in the fourth and is hitting .310 (18-for-58) with four doubles, six home runs, 10 RBIs and a .690 slugging percentage in 22 games since June 23.

Forgettable fourth: The Padres committed an error and allowed two runs in the top of the fourth inning, and the bottom half wasn't much better after Bethancourt started things off with a ground-rule double. During the next at-bat, Bethancourt was thrown out at third trying to advance on an Alexei Ramirez ground ball to César Hernández at short. Then, Clemens got jammed inside on a bunt attempt, and slammed his bat down in frustration instead of running to first, allowing the Phillies to turn an inning-ending double play.
"To me, throwing a bat, not running to first base after a bunt -- it's not going to happen," Green said about the play that led him to pull Clemens in the fifth inning. More >

"He's making too many mental mistakes. We've got to keep working with him and talking to him about it. He's got so much talent. We have to corral it and figure out a way to get him on track. That's the one thing he's missing right now. He needs to be a little smarter on the bases, and all around baseball. He could be a helluva player." -- Mackanin, on Cesar Hernandez getting caught stealing third in the seventh inning. Hernandez has made 13 outs on the bases this season
The Padres struggled to simply put on their uniforms Saturday, with Clemens and Buddy Baumann -- who relieved Clemens in the fifth inning -- experiencing wardrobe malfunctions. Clemens had to wear a No. 91 jersey in the top of the fourth inning that read Player on the back, after accidentally getting pine tar on his original jersey.

"Before he went up to hit, he put more pine tar on his bat than a lot of guys use in a year, and managed to get that all over his uniform," Green said. "So when he walked out there, I saw him walk out and I saw it all over his uniform. I let the umpiring crew know that it was there and that if he wanted us to change it right away, we would." More >
When he stepped to the plate to hit in the bottom of the fourth inning, he was back with a normal No. 47 Clemens jersey. Baumann's jersey was perfectly normal when he toed the rubber in the fifth, but it appeared that the 28-year-old was wearing his stirrups backwards. Rookie mistake.

Phillies: Phillies right-hander Jerad Eickhoff (6-12, 3.68 ERA) pitches the series finale against the Padres on Sunday at 4:40 p.m. ET at Petco Park. This is the second time Eickhoff will face the Padres. He threw seven scoreless innings against them in April at Citizens Bank Park.
Padres: The Padres send Jarred Cosart to the mound in their series finale with the Phillies on Sunday afternoon at 1:40 p.m. PT. Cosart struggled with his command to the tune of six walks in his last start, thanks in part to a blister on his thumb that forced him out of the game after 3 1/3 innings.
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Carlos Collazo is a reporter for based in San Diego. Follow him on Twitter @CarlosACollazo.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.