SAN DIEGO — Down by four runs and on the verge of a second straight home loss, the San Diego Padres rediscovered their offense on Wednesday in time to level the National League Championship Series.
Brandon Drury and Josh Bell homered on back-to-back, second-inning pitches to cut the Padres’ deficit in half, and San Diego came up with a five-run fifth inning to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 8-5.
The comeback leaves the series tied 1-1 before the next three games are played in Philadelphia. Game 3 is scheduled for Friday.
The Phillies grabbed a 4-0 lead in the top of the second against Padres starter Blake Snell, but he bounced back with three scoreless innings and emerged as the winner.
Drury and Bell went deep off Phillies starter Aaron Nola (2-1) to put the Padres on the board.
Ha-Seong Kim singled to open the San Diego fifth. One out later, he scored from first when Padres catcher Austin Nola singled to right-center off his brother, making the score 4-3. After Jurickson Profar singled to move Austin Nola to third, Juan Soto doubled into the right field corner to tie the game.
“There was a lot of hard contact on Aaron in the fifth,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. “And he missed on location on a couple key 0-and-2 pitches.”
Aaron Nola struck out Manny Machado before left-hander Brad Hand entered to face left-handed-hitting Jake Cronenworth, who had struck out twice earlier. Cronenworth was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Drury, who hit a two-run single to center. Bell then pulled a base hit past first baseman Rhys Hoskins to make the score 7-4.
It was the Padres’ second five-run inning in their past three postseason games.
“Something we’ve shown here in the postseason, we have the ability to put up a crooked number,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said of the decisive rally. “Just not scratching one across the board, we know if we put together good at-bats, we can put together multiple runs in an inning.”
Machado extended the lead to 8-4 with a leadoff homer against Phillies reliever David Robertson in the seventh. Hoskins countered with a homer off Robert Suarez leading off the eighth.
Snell (2-0) yielded four runs on five hits and a walk while striking out six in five innings.
Nick Martinez followed Snell with two scoreless innings. Suarez worked the eighth, and Josh Hader picked up his fourth save of the postseason, striking out the side in the ninth.
The Phillies took advantage of three San Diego defensive miscues, three opposite-field hits and a broken-bat single to score the game’s first four runs in the second.
“That was not our cleanest inning in the world,” Melvin said. “There was a lot of soft-serve. At one point, it looked like we were never going to get out of it. Blake did a great job keeping making pitches.”
Bryce Harper opened the inning with a soft, line-drive single to center over the leap of shortstop Kim. Nick Castellanos then dropped an opposite-field, bloop single behind first with Harper stopping at second.
Alec Bohm drove in Harper with the game’s first run on an opposite-field single, reaching second when right fielder Soto fired high to third in an unsuccessful attempt to throw out Castellanos.
Matt Vierling then hit a drive to right that Soto lost in the sun. Castellanos scored on the double, but Bohm had to stop at third.
Edmundo Sosa followed with a broken-bat liner to left that fell in front of a tentative Profar, scoring Bohm. Vierling scored when Kyle Schwarber hit a sharp grounder to first baseman Drury, who potentially had a play at home. However, the ball rolled behind Drury, who recovered in time to get the out at first.
“It was a weird, tough-luck inning,” Snell said. “I kept making good pitches and they kept dropping them in on weak contact.”
Snell retired 11 of the last 12 hitters he faced.
Aaron Nola had retired nine straight until facing Kim to open the decisive fifth. He wound up charged with six runs on seven hits and no walks in 4 2/3 innings. Aaron Nola fanned six.
–By Bill Center, Field Level Media