PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Cliff Lee is just performing the way he thinks a starter ought to pitch.
Lee threw eight sharp innings and Freddy Galvis had three hits to lead the Philadelphia Phillies to a 4-2 victory over the San Diego Padres on Wednesday night.
Lee (13-6) allowed two runs and five hits, struck out nine and walked one. It was the second straight eight-inning outing and fourth in the last six starts for Lee, who pounded his glove and skipped toward the dugout after fanning Jedd Gyorko to end the eighth.
“As a starting pitcher, that’s what you should do,” Lee said. “You should try to go as deep in a game as you can. The only way I know how to do that is to throw strikes, don’t walk guys and make them swing their way on base. Those are things I constantly focus on.”
Gyorko and Tommy Medica homered for the Padres, who had won four in a row. Medica’s solo shot in the fifth was his first hit in his major league debut.
“It was pretty awesome,” Medica said. “In my first at-bat, my heart was really racing. But then I settled down and felt a lot better. It was really nice getting my first hit for a homer.”
Jonathon Papelbon pitched a scoreless ninth for his 26th save in 33 chances.
Galvis singled, doubled and homered for Philadelphia, which has won four of five. He also drove in two runs and scored twice.
“I’m just trying to be short to the ball and make a good swing,” Galvis said. “Right now it’s working.”
With the Phillies trailing 2-1, Jimmy Rollins hit his 199th career homer with one out in the sixth. It was Rollins’ first homer since July 20 and sixth of the season for the shortstop who hit 23 homers last year.
The Phillies took the lead in the seventh against Nick Vincent (4-3). Galvis led off with a double, went to third on Lee’s sacrifice and scored on Cesar Hernandez’s weak chopper to first.
That was enough for Lee, who has been riding an improved changeup recently.
“I think I’ve had a better changeup lately and I think that’s helped it out,” he said. “I can throw that pitch in fastball counts. It’s been a really effective pitch for me lately and hopefully it stays that way.”
Padres manager Bud Black noticed Lee’s increased reliance on off-speed pitches.
“He threw more changeups than I’ve seen him throw,” Black said. “Our approach to Lee is to swing the bats. He’s going to throw strikes and you’ve got to take the game to him.”
It just didn’t work out this time against the durable left-hander, who was fourth in the NL with 191 2-3 innings coming into the day.
“I take pride in what I do,” Lee said. “I try to work hard. I try to work hard in the offseason for a long year and I’ll continue to do that until I’m done.”
Padres left-hander Eric Stults pitched six effective innings, allowing two runs and six hits. He remains winless in his last 10 starts, going 0-6 with a 5.40 ERA in the dismal stretch.
Stults was coming off a season-worst performance when he allowed seven runs in 4 2-3 innings last Wednesday against the Giants.
“It was nice to see Stults bounce back,” Black said. “He had a good mix of fastballs and changeups.”
Galvis drove in another run in the eighth with a sacrifice bunt that scored Carlos Ruiz.
NOTES: The matchup between Lee and Stults featured two of the stingiest pitchers in terms of allowing bases on balls. Lee entered third in the NL at 1.5 walks per game, while Stults was eighth at 1.9. . Padres RHP Tyson Ross (3-7, 2.79 ERA) will face RHP Roy Halladay (3-4, 7.19 ERA) in the conclusion of the three-game series Thursday night. . Nate Fulton, a member of the Philadelphia Police Department’s Homeland Security Unit, sang a rousing rendition of “God Bless America” during the seventh-inning stretch. Retired New York Police Officer Sean Martin, representing New York firefighters, police officers and paramedics, Philadelphia police officer Paul Bryant Jr. and Philadelphia fireman Charles Kink received a standing ovation while changing the bases after the third inning.