In this ballpark by the bay about two years ago, Mick Billmeyer stopped Kyle Kendrick after a bullpen session. Kendrick was being shuttled between the bullpen and the rotation, and Billmeyer, then the bullpen coach, worried about his confidence.

“Some guys,” he told Kendrick, “are just late bloomers.”

Kendrick remembered the message, and it is one repeated over and over as the 28-year-old Phillies pitcher achieves excellence. A 6-2 win over the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night served as the latest validation for Kendrick.

“I had a feeling about him,” Billmeyer said before he watched Kendrick toss seven fine innings. Few people did.

Behind Kendrick, the Phillies clinched a series victory at AT&T Park for just the fifth time in 15 tries. On Wednesday, they will attempt their first sweep in San Francisco since 1984. They jumped Tim Lincecum, long a nemesis but dealing with his own demons, in the early innings Tuesday. This is how Charlie Manuel wanted a seven-game western trip to commence.

No one is more reliable for these Phillies than Kendrick. The team is 5-2 in games he starts, and one of those losses was by 1-0. The righthander struck out six, walked none, and scattered six hits. His 2.45 ERA is inches away from cracking the National League’s 10 best.

“He’s been super,” Manuel said.

Kendrick threw 88 pitches and handed it to Mike Adams and Jonathan Papelbon, who secured the victory with flawless relief. A quick lead provided comfort. For the second straight night, the offense and pitching clicked at once. Chase Utley and Ryan Howard homered and figured in every scoring outburst.

The Phillies smoked Lincecum for three runs on five hits before the second inning was finished. They took advantage of a Lincecum weakness: His 7.64 ERA in the first inning since 2012 is the highest for any pitcher in baseball with at least 30 starts.

“The last couple of nights we’ve had better at-bats,” Utley said. “We’ve worked the count a little bit more. We’ve swung at our pitches in the strike zone. We have some hits to show for it.”