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Phillies score early and often to avoid sweep by Padres


• Yard work: Howard's home run was his first in 11 games. It's just his fifth home run in August. If the Phillies slugger doesn't go deep again this month, it will be the fewest homers in a month since April of this year when he had just three.

• Goat: San Diego's Tim Stauffer, recalled from the minors to start Sunday, gave up 11 earned runs in four innings to raise his ERA to 21.13 in his second start this season.


• Left out: Phillies third baseman Greg Dobbs was the only starting position player not to get a hit for Philadelphia on Sunday.


• Quotable: "I don't like to say make-or-break series, but this one coming up against the Mets is somewhat on the verge of that." -- Howard

-- ESPN.com news services

Phillies 14, Padres 2

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said it was
a must-win situation. His team delivered that victory in dominating
fashion.


Ryan Howard homered and drove in four runs and the Philadelphia Phillies snapped a four-game losing streak with a 14-2 rout over
the San Diego Padres on Sunday.


Howard, the reigning National League MVP, ended a season-high 11-game homerless drought and finished with three hits and three
runs scored.


"This was definitely a big win, we've got to keep pushing,"
Howard said.


Jayson Werth went 5-for-5 with four RBIs and Chris Coste hit a three-run homer for the Phillies, who moved within three games of
the NL wild card-leading Padres.


The Phillies open another pivotal series on Monday when they
host the NL East-leading New York Mets for four games. The team
will likely get a lift from second baseman Chase Utley, who is
expected to return after missing four weeks with a broken hand.


"I don't like to say make-or-break series, but this one coming
up against the Mets is somewhat on the verge of that," Howard
said.


San Diego, which led the majors in ERA (3.51) coming into the
game, surrendered 14 runs and 17 hits, both season highs. The
Padres had won four in a row to move within two games of Arizona in
the NL West.


Kyle Kendrick (7-3) pitched six strong innings for the victory.
He gave up one run and six hits with a walk and four strikeouts.


"I am surprised at what Kyle has brought to this team," Manuel
said. "I didn't realize his composure would be this good."


John Ennis pitched three innings in his Phillies debut for his
second major league save.


After Saturday's frustrating 4-3 loss to San Diego, Manuel said
that his team "definitely needed to win" on Sunday.


"Yeah, it probably was a must-win game," Werth said. "We'll
be OK. There's still plenty of time left in the season, we just
couldn't afford to get swept in this series."


Werth is hitting .368 (25-for-68) with three homers and 17 RBIs in 23 games since coming off the DL on July 31.


"I haven't played healthy since '04," Werth said. "I'm
finally healthy and getting regular playing time. I just want to
take advantage of that opportunity."


San Diego's Tim Stauffer (0-1), who was called up earlier in the day from Triple-A Portland to make the start, was roughed up for 11
runs and 11 hits in four innings. Stauffer watched his ERA balloon
from 17.18 to 21.13.


"Tim had a tough day," San Diego manager Bud Black said. "It
looked like his stuff was fine, but when he needed to record an
out, he couldn't make the right pitch."


Philadelphia got off to a fast start as Jimmy Rollins and
Tadahito Iguchi opened the game with consecutive singles and Pat Burrell roped a ground-rule double to center. After two strikeouts,
Greg Dobbs walked and Werth stroked a two-out, two-run single.


Stauffer ran into control problems in the second, walking
Kendrick and Burrell, before Howard launched a two-out, three-run
homer to left field. It was Howard's 34th homer and his first since
August 12.


"It felt pretty good," Howard said. "I got a good pitch to
hit and I didn't miss it."


The Phillies broke the game wide open in the fourth as Aaron Rowand and Werth had RBI singles and Coste connected for his
three-run shot -- his fourth of the season -- to make it 11-1.


Howard, Rowand and Werth closed out the scoring in the fifth inning with RBI singles.


Mike Cameron and Geoff Blum each had RBI doubles to account for San Diego's offense.


San Diego finished its road trip 4-2 with a huge four-game home series against NL West-leading Arizona starting on Monday.


"Any time you win two of three on the road, you feel good about yourself," Black said. "But a sweep would have been better."


Game notes
Since Citizens Bank Park opened in 2004, the Phillies are
40-11 in Sunday home games. ... Howard is 4-for-5 with two homers
and six RBIs in his career off Stauffer. ... Werth's five hits were
a career-high and he tied his career-high with four RBIs. ... The
Phillies won the season series 4-3.