Phillies and fans stay optimistic in 4-3 opening day loss

Pete Mackanin, Aaron Harang, Erik Kratz
Philadelphia Phillies manager Pete Mackanin, center, speaks with starting pitcher Aaron Harang, right, and catcher Erik Kratz (28) in the third inning of play against the Miami Marlins during a baseball game in Miami, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Joe Skipper)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Alexi Amarista’s safety squeeze in the seventh scored the go-ahead run and the San Diego Padres beat the Phillies 4-3 Monday to spoil Philadelphia’s home opener.

Wil Myers hit a solo homer for the Padres, who benefited from a strange double play and two video reviews going their way.

Kevin Quackenbush (1-0) struck out the only batter he faced to earn the win after starter Andrew Cashner allowed three runs in five-plus innings. Fernando Rodney tossed the ninth for his first save for the Padres.

Philadelphia’s Aaron Nola (0-2) allowed four runs and six hits, striking out a career-best nine in seven innings.

Derek Norris hit a one-out double off Nola in the seventh and advanced on Alexei Ramirez’s infield single. Third baseman Maikel Franco made an outstanding diving grab but his throw pulled first baseman Darin Ruf off the bag. The play was initially ruled an out, but the Padres challenged and won. Amarista then executed a perfect sacrifice to score Norris, who broke for home after the ball was bunted toward Nola.

The Phillies overcame a 3-0 deficit to tie it on a weird sacrifice fly in the sixth. They chased Cashner with three straight singles by Cesar Hernandez, Odubel Herrera and Franco. Left-hander Brad Hand entered and Ruf pinch-hit for former NL MVP Ryan Howard.

Ruf lofted a shallow fly that was immediately ruled an infield fly. The ball drifted over shortstop Ramirez’s head and landed untouched in left field. Ramirez picked it up and threw to third base for a force out with Hernandez scoring the tying run.

The Phillies challenged the out at third, but it was confirmed on replay. Ruf was out once third-base umpire Will Little signaled for the infield fly.

Nola retired the first six batters on just 16 pitches before Ramirez led off the third inning with a single. Jon Jay’s two-run double gave the Padres a 2-0 lead.

Myers connected to left leading off the fourth for a 3-0 lead.

Hernandez hit a triple and scored on Herrera’s single for Philadelphia’s first run. Peter Bourjos followed Cameron Rupp’s double with a one-out RBI double to cut it to 3-2 in the fifth.

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