Kyle Phillips and the San Diego Padres trailed 8-0 early. With nothing to lose, they almost won.
The Padres cut the deficit to two and had the tying and winning runs on base in the final two innings before falling to the Milwaukee Brewers 8-6 on Tuesday night.
"It was a great comeback," Padres manager Bud Black said. "When you spot them eight runs and you get the tying run to the plate, actually the go-ahead run, with the guy leading your team in homers, it's a hell of a comeback by the guys."
John Axford recorded his seventh save after Will Venable's two-out, run-scoring single cut it to 8-6. Jason Bartlett followed with a hit to put runners on the corners before Ryan Ludwick grounded out to end it.
Ludwick has a team-high four homers, but is in an 0-for-21 skid. Still, the Padres believe their efforts were something to build on after the majors' worst hitting team at .219 had 13 hits, a season high.
"Luck is just not going our way at this point," Phillips said. "With the tying run on first and anything that's hit into the gap, Bartlett's most likely going to score, if there's any chance at all he scores, he's coming around."
Milwaukee jumped on Richard (1-4) in the second with five straight singles, including a run-scoring hit by Corey Hart, his first RBI of the season, and two RBIs by Lucroy before both were thrown out in an awkward 7-5-4-6-4 run down.
The baserunning gaffe hardly slowed Milwaukee.
The Brewers scored three runs in the third on Ryan Braun's run-scoring single and Casey McGehee's two-run hit. Braun, the NL's player of the month for April, had been 3 for 33 before his hit gave him his first RBI in May.
Richard was chased in the fourth after an error, an RBI double by Lucroy and Rickie Weeks' run-scoring single gave Milwaukee an 8-0 lead.
"You try and learn in this game when things that you can't control happen, you try and not worry about them," Richard said. "They did a good job of putting the ball in play. Unfortunately for us today, it found the holes all the time."
Black said Richard's short performance wasn't that bad.
"He threw the ball better than the line will indicate," Black said.
Marcum (4-1) allowed a leadoff single to start the game to Venable, then retired the next 14 batters until Phillips' bloop double started the sixth.
San Diego scored later in the inning on Barlett's single, and Marcum failed to get an out in the seventh after five straight hits.
Phillips drove in two runs with his single and Alberto Gonzalez followed with a single that made it 8-4, chasing Marcum. Reliever Marco Estrada followed with a double play, but a wild pitch allowed Phillips to score to set up the save situation. Kameron Loe got out of a two-on, two-out jam in the eighth unscathed and Axford came through at the end.
"They didn't quit. They kept going," Black said. "We got the same amount of hits as they did, just fell two runs short. The guys showed a lot of heart."
NOTES: Richard, C Nick Hundley and RHP Tim Stauffer spent time earlier Tuesday visiting with patients at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Milwaukee as part of Athletes for Hope. ... Richard has lost each of his last four starts. ... Phillips had his first career hit in the National League after playing in five games with Toronto in 2009. ... The Padres turned four double plays.
Colin Fly can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/cfly