Phils find stroke in Kendrick's first win of '14
Howard has five-RBI game as offense comes alive after being no-hit
PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg is of the opinion that the best way to leave a no-hit loss behind is to come back the next day and post the exact same lineup.
The theory took a little time to pan out Monday, but once it did, the Phillies had more than enough offense to secure a much-needed win, 9-0, at Citizens Bank Park.
"As far as going in and trying to change the lineup or anything like that, sometimes if a guy is on, a guy is on," said Ryan Howard, one of seven regulars back a day after the Dodgers' Josh Beckett threw a no-hitter at Citizens Bank.
The only change was the insertion of catcher Carlos Ruiz, who had Sunday off.
"We have to continue to go out there and chip away, and we did that today," Howard said, adding that he was glad Sandberg stuck with the lineup.
Kyle Kendrick allowed six hits in 6 2/3 innings to win for the first time since Aug. 6, and Howard went 3-for-4 with his first five-RBI game since Sept. 20, 2012. Howard also homered for the first time since May 8.
Kendrick, mired in a career-worst 10-game losing streak going back to last season, improved to 1-5. More to the point, one day after being no-hit by Beckett in a 6-0 loss, the Phillies had some run support for the right-hander. In five of Kendrick's recent losses, his club was shut out, and it was held to one run on three other occasions.
"You just have to keep going out there and try to keep games close," Kendrick said. "Work deep into the game; sometimes wins and losses are out of your control."
The Phillies starter wasn't perfect on Monday; he allowed a baserunner in each of the seven innings he pitched, including the leadoff man five times, but he was stubbornly effective as he worked his way out of each jam.
"I didn't have my best command," Kendrick said. "I had a lot of guys on early and made some pitches when I had to. Just had to battle and keep us close, and our guys swung well."
"I don't think it should've been a shutout; we just can't get hits with runners on," Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez said. The Rockies are 1-for-27 with runners in scoring position after four straight road games. "We had a couple of opportunities where we should've scored a run. He executed pitches to get out of a jam."
Kendrick, who also saw his bullpen blow three leads in his past 16 starts, left the game for Mike Adams with one on and two out in the seventh. Adams surrendered an infield hit to Michael Cuddyer but struck out Troy Tulowitzki to end the threat.
"Mike came in and made some good pitches [to Tulowitzki] and got out of it," Kendrick said.
"Adams, that was big, real big at the time," Sandberg said. "That was a big spot in the game to put the fire out in that part of the order."
Locked in a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth, Chase Utley, who finished 3-for-4 with his 21st double and three runs scored, came to the plate with two outs. After going hitless in his previous seven at-bats, Utley singled through the left side. The single was the Phillies' first hit of any kind by someone other than Ben Revere in 18 innings.
After Utley's single, Rockies' starter Jhoulys Chacin experienced a bout with wildness as he uncorked the first of three wild pitches in the inning. The initial one proved to be the only one that truly hurt, as Utley reached second on a wild pitch and then scored for a 1-0 lead when Howard singled over the shift into right.
One inning later, the Phillies were able to tack on another run.
Domonic Brown walked to lead off the inning. Carlos Ruiz hit a slow roller through the left side of the infield, and Brown -- taking advantage of a slow-moving Carlos Gonzalez in left -- took off for third. Brown barely beat the throw to put runners on the corners.
After a strikeout, Kendrick had a chance to move Ruiz to second with a sacrifice bunt, but he missed three attempts and struck out. Not moving Ruiz may have actually helped, as Revere hit a chopper to second that Ruiz had to avoid. The moment may have cost Josh Rutledge just enough time to allow Revere to beat the throw to first with a head-first slide in which he knocked the wind out of himself. Brown scored on the play for a 2-0 lead.
Howard added to the lead with a two-run home run in the sixth and a two-run single in the seventh as the Phillies broke out of their offensive doldrums.