Cahill shaky in loss as offense can't get going

Cahill shaky in loss as offense can't get going

PHILADELPHIA -- Heading into the All-Star break with the worst record in baseball, the Phillies needed any jolt, any indication of better things to come. In Sunday's first-half capping, sweep-avoiding, 7-1 win over the Padres, their bats provided that promise with the club's first six-homer game since Aug. 11, 2004.

Among those who homered for the Phillies were Cameron Rupp and Odubel Herrera, who each hit their sixth homer of the season. Freddy Galvis hit a pair, in the third and seventh innings, while Aaron Altherr knocked his team-leading 14th homer.

"We probably should have probably saved three of those home runs for another day. It shows you what the guys are capable of doing," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said after the home run explosion. The Phillies' previous season high was four homers in a game on June 4.

Despite failing to complete the sweep after a pair of one-run wins to begin the series, San Diego finished their first-half strong with wins in five of their last seven games and 10 of their last 16.

"We're making some strides in a lot of areas," said Padres manager Andy Green. "... We just need, consistently, more competitive at-bats. If we want to be great, it's about laying off pitches outside the strike zone."

Eickhoff's strong outing

They chased quite a few Jerad Eickhoff curveballs on Sunday. In his return from the disabled list, Eickhoff struck out eight over five scoreless innings. Padres right-hander Trevor Cahill also struck out eight in five frames. But he surrendered three home runs -- as many as he had allowed in his eight previous starts this season.

"I feel like I made some good pitches," said Cahill, who was making his second start after missing a month and a half with a shoulder injury. "And [when] I didn't, they hurt me."

"Cahill is pretty tough, he's got a lot of movement on his pitches and he made some mistakes and we capitalized," Mackanin said.

Many firsts: In his 10th game as a Phillie, Nick Williams launched his first career home run, into the flower beds down the left-field line, measured by Statcast™ at 334 feet. Cahill's offering, a first-pitch sinker on the outside corner that Williams powered to left, resulted in the first of the Phillies' six homers on the day.

"The home run to Williams, I thought was a pretty good pitch," Cahill said. "But he's a big, strong, young player. Opposite field on a sinker away is pretty impressive."

Williams got the ball back. He said he will sign a bat for the fan who agreed to return the ball.

Williams' first career homer

Back-to-back jacks: With two outs in the seventh, Altherr and Galvis hit consecutive homers to extend the lead to 7-0. By that time, the Phillies had tallied six homers to the Padres' seven hits. San Diego finished with nine hits.

Phillies go back-to-back

The last Phillies' six-homer game came courtesy of starting pitcher Randy Wolf who hit two homers, Jim Thome who also hit two homers, and a pair of homers from Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley.

Padres: Following the All-Star break, the Padres open a three-game set against the Giants at 7:10 p.m. PT on Friday at Petco Park. Clayton Richard starts the opener of the series, followed by Jhoulys Chacin and Trevor Cahill.

Phillies: The Phillies return from the All-Star break with a six-game roadtrip beginning in Milwaukee at 7:05 p.m. ET. The Phillies will send Nick Pivetta (2-4, 4.73) to the mound to face the Brewers' Zach Davies (10-4, 4.90).

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Ben Harris is reporter for based in Philadelphia.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.