SAN DIEGO — It seems like when the Phillies do lose, it’s because they’re not in sync. The pitching isn’t in sync with the hitting. The hitting isn’t in sync with the pitching. The defense isn’t in sync with either the hitting or the pitching. You get the idea.

Initially, it looked like Thursday — which culminated in a 6-2 Phillies win — was going to be one of those nights. Starter Ranger Suárez was putting up a performance as good as he’s had all month — or maybe all season — throwing 7⅓ innings of seven-hit, two-run ball. But the Phillies had a tough opponent in Padres starter Joe Musgrove, and for the first four innings, things definitely looked bleak.

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Entering Thursday’s game, Musgrove had the lowest ERA in baseball, at 1.59. He hadn’t lost a game all season. He held the Phillies hitless until the fifth inning, and when Didi Gregorius roped a single down the right-field line, fans breathed a collective sigh of relief. The Phillies wouldn’t be no-hit.

To the delight of everyone watching from home, things got much better from there. Gregorius stole second base and Odúbel Herrera drove him home to tie the game. Then, in the sixth, the sleeping giant that was the Phillies offense abruptly woke up. Kyle Schwarber hit a two-run home run that just barely got over the center-field wall to give the Phillies a 3-1 lead. J.T. Realmuto followed later in the inning with a three-run homer to give the Phillies a 6-1 lead. It was Realmuto’s first home run since May 26.

We’ve seen the Phillies offense beat up bad pitching this season (see: Nationals, Washington) but to see them struggle, adjust, and promptly hand one of the best pitchers in the league a season-worst loss felt like a breakthrough of sorts, especially for a lineup that has looked lost over the past few days.

By the end of his night, Musgrove had allowed six earned runs through six innings with two home runs. It was the first time this season that he had allowed more than two earned runs in a game and the first time this season that he had allowed more than one home run in a game.

“I think we hit some balls hard, but the guy’s a good pitcher,” Schwarber said. “He’s got good stuff. He’s got four or five pitches, two really plus breaking balls, and I think we were able to capitalize on some mistakes. We threw some good at-bats together, and that’s how you’re going to beat guys like that. And we did a really good job of just keeping the same attitude, nothing really affecting us through the game. I’ve seen him for quite a while running back to his Pittsburgh days.

“It’s good stuff, and it’s always been good stuff. Not shocked at the year he’s having. It was obviously really nice to go out there and beat him.”

This series is a pivotal one for the Phillies. After a first half of June in which they’ve played mostly below-.500 teams, their schedule is about to get tougher. After this four-game set in San Diego, they play the reigning World Series champion Atlanta Braves and the St. Louis Cardinals, who are well above .500. Thursday was a statement win, but, of course, a series win would make an even bigger statement.

Great outing for Suárez

Suárez has said a few times that he tries to go nine innings in each of his outings. It’s more of a mindset for him than something that actually is feasible, but he certainly got close Thursday night. Suárez pitched as deep as he’s pitched all season, going 7⅓ innings. His command was much better than it has been in previous outings; entering Thursday’s game, Suárez had walked 29 batters in 65 innings, and seven in his last 10 innings. On Thursday, he allowed only two walks and finished at 94 pitches.

“He was great,” said interim manager Rob Thomson. “I think it was his longest start of the year. His control and command was really good. And, so you can see, when he throws strikes with his fastball and can pinpoint his fastball, the other stuff just plays up. And that’s what he did tonight.”

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Domínguez cleans up another mess, and Brad Hand gets the ninth

Suárez pitched into the eighth inning but allowed two hits to start the inning. Seranthony Domínguez entered the game with runners on second and third and one out and promptly cleaned up the mess he’d inherited. He induced a flyout, a groundout (which scored one run, that Suárez was charged with), and struck out Eric Hosmer to end the inning.

Left-handed reliever Brad Hand came in for an unexciting ninth inning, in which he induced a groundout, a flyout, and a groundout to end the game.

Eflin to make his start on Saturday

Thomson said that right-hander Zach Eflin, who has a bruised right knee, felt good after shagging balls, throwing, and doing some agility work on Thursday. He’ll be good to make his start Saturday at home against Atlanta.