Phillies hold off Rockies 8-5
DENVER -- Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario crushed an eighth-inning, three-run homer. But it was an unlikely source whose hit crushed the Rockies.
Phillies pitcher Vance Worley, who entered the game 0-for-21, beat out an infield single in his first at-bat, then delivered a two-run double in the sixth that proved just enough to send the Rockies to an 8-5 loss at Coors Field in front of 34,151 Saturday night.
Worley (5-5), who also held the Rockies to two runs on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings, came up after an intentional walk to Mike Fontenot put runners at first and second with two outs. Worley swung late but just in time to line Adam Ottavino's 0-2 pitch into the right-field corner to give the Phillies a 6-2 lead.
"As you look back on it, it was somewhat of a killer, especially when you look at the dramatics on the ball that Wilin Rosario hit," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said.
The Phillies (38-51) and Rockies (34-52) will conclude their series on Sunday afternoon.
Down four runs, the Rockies began a rally when Phillies pitcher Jake Diekman hit Tyler Colvin and walked Jordan Pacheco with one out in the eighth. Rosario greeted Phillies reliever Brian Sanches with a tape-measure shot to center. Rosario's 15 home runs lead Major League rookies.
"It was another opportunity," said Rosario, still beaming from the birth Thursday of his first child, a 7-pound, 19-inch boy named Will. "He tried to make a good pitch and I caught it on the good part of the bat."
The homer left the difference at 6-5, but Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon forced Josh Rutledge to ground out and struck out Jason Giambi. The Phillies extended the lead in the ninth when Jimmy Rollins doubled and Shane Victorino tripled off Matt Belisle. Chase Utley added an RBI single off Rex Brothers.
The Phillies took a 4-0 first-inning lead against Rockies starter Jeremy Guthrie. Victorino and Utley doubled to account for one run, and after Ryan Howard walked, Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz swatted a three-run shot, his 14th.
At least Guthrie (3-9) regrouped, which constitutes a major step forward. He went 4 2/3 innings before reaching the Rockies' tighter pitch limit and didn't give up any more runs. Guthrie came into the game with a 9.44 home ERA. The half-decent outing dropped that number to 9.31, and other factors were just as key to the Rockies' falling to 19-26 at Coors.
"The first inning, his pitches weren't finishing, the ball was up in the strike zone and he was getting behind in the count," Tracy said. "He did a good job correcting that."
Guthrie, who had not started at Coors since giving up seven runs and 11 hits in 3 1/3 innings of a loss to the Athletics on June 12, was happy to have a few smooth innings.
"I got the longest scoreless streak of my career at Coors, so there are a lot of positives to build on -- a career low in runs allowed in a start as well," said Guthrie, who finished the first half with two solid road starts. "You've got to take what you can."
Worley struck out just two but one was huge -- Michael Cuddyer with the bases loaded to end the fifth.
Rutledge walked to open the Rockies' third, advanced on Guthrie's sacrifice bunt and scored on Dexter Fowler's single. Carlos Gonzalez then doubled for his team-high 59th RBI.
A potential rally ended quickly in the fourth. Colvin was awarded first on an interference call against Ruiz. But Pacheco lined to center. Colvin went toward second, then turned his back and jogged back toward first, only to be surprised when Victorino's throw beat him to the bag.
"Brain cramp," Tracy said.
Colvin said, "I was feeling I could get back, but I was too far off and he made a good throw."
In the fifth, Jonathan Herrera singled with one out, and with two outs, Marco Scutaro doubled and Gonzalez was walked intentionally. Cuddyer took two early strikes but ran the count to 3-2 before whiffing on a Worley fastball. That memory trumps that of the double.
"The strikeout was more important for me," Worley said. "I guess after it was all said and done there were more runs scored, but at the time, that was more [important]."
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