PHILADELPHIA -- In a game that wasn't the prettiest contest, featuring fielding and mental errors for both sides, the Phillies prevailed, 7-6, to sweep the series from the Rockies -- their first sweep since taking three from the Braves in the first week of July.César Hernández missed an easy tag
PHILADELPHIA -- In a game that wasn't the prettiest contest, featuring fielding and mental errors for both sides, the Phillies prevailed, 7-6, to sweep the series from the Rockies -- their first sweep since taking three from the Braves in the first week of July.
César Hernández missed an easy tag of Charlie Blackmon at second that led to a Rockies run in the third. Odúbel Herrera dropped a routine popup on the first play of the game and later broke his bat in frustration over a called strike three. Severino González balked runners into scoring position.
But those were overshadowed by a rare multi-error game from the Rockies' Gold Glove third baseman, Nolan Arenado, Ryan Raburn struggling to field a ground ball then still trying to get the lead runner and a dubious throwing error-wild pitch combo from Tyler Chatwood, who surrendered six runs (four earned) over four-plus innings. Chatwood had allowed eight earned runs in his previous nine road starts, entering Sunday with a 1.30 ERA on the road but exiting with it up to 1.82.
"I think because it was one of the hottest days we played on this year, I think that had a lot to do with it," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "You've got to give credit to the guys that kept hustling throughout. I'm sure there's a lot of weight loss by both teams."
Upper-back tightness, the repeat of an injury that landed him on the disabled list earlier this season, limited Chatwood to throwing to one side of the plate, inside to right-handed hitters, outside to lefties. Chatwood had allowed eight earned runs in nine previous starts on the road this season, entering with a 1.30 road ERA but exiting with it up to 1.82.
"It spasmed in the first and it stayed tight," said Chatwood, who added that the pain has generally been manageable. "I tried to pitch through it. I know we were short in the bullpen. But obviously, that wasn't the smartest thing to do."
The Rockies lost for the ninth time in 11 games, and sloppy play negated a two-homer day from Blackmon, who set a club record with five home runs in a three-game series.
"Objectively, you're looking at the game saying, 'We didn't do this well.' … Then we battle back and at the end of the game you lose by a run," said Blackmon, who improved his career-high home run total to 20. "That really hurts, because looking back there are a lot of missed opportunities over the last three and a half hours that could've helped us win."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Big Jim: Typically relegated to pinch-hitting duties, Jimmy Paredes got the start in left field and made the most of it. By the fifth inning, he was a triple away from the cycle. He followed an RBI single in the second with a solo homer in the fourth, before doubling home Herrera in the fifth. It was Paredes' first three-hit game since June 26 of last year, with the Orioles, and only his third multi-hit game since joining the Phillies.
"It's good," Paredes said. "You try to help your team to win and do the best you can. That's all. I was ready for my chances. They gave me my chance and I did the best I can." More >
Blackmon is on fire: As the Rockies continue to struggle, Blackmon is thriving at the plate. He doubled and scored in the third before tying the game at 3 with a solo homer off Gonzalez. He then reached a career-high 20 homers with his seventh-inning leadoff shot off David Hernandez.
"It was fun to watch," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "A guy gets in the zone like that, it's pretty amazing." More >
Morgan leaves early: Morgan's day was cut short by a Nick Hundley line drive that hit him on the left forearm. Hundley's liner left the bat at 86 mph and forced Morgan out after three innings. Gonzalez replaced Morgan and immediately balked the two inherited runners into scoring position, though only David Dahl scored, leaving Morgan with two runs allowed over three-plus innings.
Morgan exited with what the Phillies called a left forearm contusion, and X-rays came back negative on his forearm. Morgan was lucky it hit him where it did.
"It kind of gets dangerous around the elbow area," he said "But it got me pretty much in the meat of the forearm."
With the off-day Monday, Mackanin will "mull it over and see where he's at" before deciding if Morgan will make his next scheduled start. More >
Road magic disappears: Chatwood had a chance to pretty up an ugly game after Blackmon's first home run, but he walked Cameron Rupp to begin the fifth and gave up a single to Herrera. Head athletic trainer Keith Dugger and the coaching staff then visited the mound to check on his back, and Chatwood was declared fine after a warmup pitch. But a Freddy Galvis RBI single and an RBI double from Paredes chased Chatwood. More >
"It's certainly not clicking. But guys never quit, no matter what the circumstances or the odds are. That's what we've been doing but coming up on the short end." -- Rockies manager Walt Weiss, on a road trip that has seen the Rockies go 1-4, while having a late chance in three of the losses
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
It didn't take long for the first review on Sunday's sweltering series finale. Herrera dropped a popup, allowing Blackmon to reach first to lead off the game. With the next batter, DJ LeMahieu, at the plate, Blackmon broke for second. He appeared to have gotten in under Hernandez's tag and was ruled safe. But the Phillies challenged, and the call was overturned. Mackanin is 20-for-34 (59 percent) on challenges this season.
Blackmon earned a measure of payback when he gave a foot and then took it away to slip into second with a third-inning double. It took a 2-minute, 9-second replay review to overturn the out call.
Rockies: The Rockies return to Coors Field, where they must improve upon a 28-29 record, and send lefty Jorge De La Rosa (7-7, 5.25 ERA) to the mound against Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer (12-7, 2.80 ERA) on Monday at 6:40 p.m. MT.
Phillies: The Phils have a rare off-day Monday before hosting the Dodgers for three games beginning Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. ET. Just last week, Los Angeles took two of three from the Phillies at Dodger Stadium. Vince Velasquez (8-4, 3.94 ERA) opens the series in a rematch against Kenta Maeda (11-7, 3.31 ERA).
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Evan Webeck is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia.
Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and** like his Facebook page**.