McKenry's HR leads Rockies' attack vs. Phillies
DENVER -- Catcher Michael McKenry broke a fifth-inning tie with a two-run homer and the Rockies added on in a 7-3 win over the Phillies in Thursday's series finale at Coors Field.
McKenry's homer off Phils starter Jerome Williams (3-4) helped the Rockies to their fourth victory in eight games and their second straight split of a four-game series.
"Just trying to get a good pitch to hit," McKenry said. "I felt like throughout the day, they were staying down in the zone. Had a couple walks and was just trying to get a good pitch to hit. Just staying on the baseball and tried to keep it simple."
McKenry was part of a reserve-driven offense that didn't strike out once all game and picked up starter Jorge De La Rosa. The Rockies took a 3-1 lead in the third, but De La Rosa couldn't hold it, and he exited after Ryan Howard's game-tying solo homer in the fifth.
But Christian Bergman (2-0) quelled the Phillies in the fifth, and the bullpen held until the Rockies added insurance runs on RBI singles by Daniel Descalso and Nolan Arenado in the seventh.
"Everyone's doing a good job throwing strikes, getting us out of big situations and picking up starters," said Bergman, part of a Rockies bullpen that has a 1.66 ERA in its last nine games, including 10 2/3 scoreless innings in the last two.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Williams can't hold 'em: The Phillies took a 1-0 lead in the third and tied the game in the fifth, but Williams could not come up with a shutdown inning either time. He allowed three runs in the third and two runs in the fifth to hand the Rockies a 5-3 lead. Williams has a 7.03 ERA this month, which is the sixth-highest ERA in baseball. More >
Historical Jorge: Despite needing 108 pitches to get through just 4 1/3 innings, De La Rosa did etch his name in the Rockies' record book. His strikeout of Freddy Galvis to end the fourth was De La Rosa's fifth of the day, pushing him ahead of Ubaldo Jimenez for the most strikeouts in franchise history (774). De La Rosa has been with Colorado since 2008. More >
Utley, Howard keep hitting: The Phillies lost the game, but look at the big picture. Thursday snapped a streak of seven consecutive games of the Phillies scoring four or more runs, which was their longest since August 2011, when they had a nine-game streak. A big reason is Chase Utley and Howard are producing. Utley went 2-for-4. He is hitting .450 (9-for-20) with four doubles, one triple and three RBIs in his last six games. Howard hit a game-tying homer in the fifth. He has hit nine home runs in his last 28 games.
"We're not swinging as bad as I think people think we are," Howard said. "It's just a matter of the results [haven't been] there." More >
Logan comes through: With two down in the seventh, Howard was up with a runner at second and the Rockies clinging to a two-run lead. Last May 28, Howard parked a three-run homer off Boone Logan in the bottom of the ninth for a 6-3 Phillies victory. This time, though, Logan threw four sliders, three for the swinging strikes.
"I don't have a good history with this team, my whole career, pretty much -- you could take them and the Twins out of my career and that would be just fine," Logan said. "I'm taking it personal, especially against Howard and Utley. They've gotten me pretty good. It's always good to get Utley fooled on that comebacker [for the second out] and strike out Howard."
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Utley raised his batting average to .169, which means he no longer has the lowest batting average in Major League Baseball among 176 qualified hitters. Houston first baseman Chris Carter sits alone in the basement at .161.
In his first start since being recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque, Rockies outfielder Brandon Barnes recorded four hits. Drew Stubbs, who was sent down in Barnes' place, had just six hits this season in 56 plate appearances.
"I think they're all learning themselves is the biggest thing. You've got guys that are starting to figure out how they want to pitch guys. They come in. They're matching up better and better. I think everybody is getting a role, which always helps. They're going out there and doing what they can." -- McKenry, on the Colorado bullpen
"It will be a challenge. We're going up against three good starting pitchers. Then again, we'll have Cole [Hamels] and [Aaron] Harang going also, so there will be some good matchups there. But I think that we're swinging the bats better, so I feel better about it than a month ago when we played them." -- Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg, on opening a three-game series Friday night in Washington
The Rockies challenged a third-inning play in which shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was thrown out at home by Phillies right fielder Jeff Francoeur, by a wide margin. Tulowitzki was trying to score a second run on a Barnes single, which drove in Carlos Gonzalez. The Rockies challenged, but the replay official confirmed the out call, ruling that Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp did not violate the home-plate collision rule because he was "in the act of a legitimate attempt to field the throw."
Phillies: Right-hander Sean O'Sullivan hopes to pick up where he left off in Friday's 7:05 p.m. ET series opener against the Nationals at Nationals Park. O'Sullivan pitched six scoreless innings Sunday against the D-backs, picking up his first big league win since 2011.
Rockies: Kyle Kendrick (1-5, 6.70 ERA) will again look for his first win since Opening Day when the Rockies kick off a four-game series with the Giants on Friday. Kendrick gave up just three runs in his last two starts combined, but was hit with a loss and a no-decision.
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