PHILADELPHIA (AP) — John Mayberry Jr. and Carlos Ruiz each homered to lead Philadelphia past the Colorado Rockies 5-4 Monday night, giving the Phillies and interim manager Ryne Sandberg two straight wins for the first time since the All-Star break.
Ethan Martin (2-2) tossed two-hit ball and struck out six over 6 1-3 innings for the win.
Mayberry hit a three-run shot in the fourth to help the Phillies win again under their new manager. Sandberg took over Friday when Charlie Manuel, the winningest manager in club history, was fired.
Jonathan Papelbon tossed a scoreless ninth for his first 21st save, and first since July 11.
Troy Tulowitzki hit a solo shot for the Rockies. Jeff Manship (0-3) allowed five runs in five innings.
With the underachieving Phillies well out of the playoff picture, Sandberg shook up his lineup and batted Ruiz second. Ruiz responded with just his third homer of the season, a solo shot in the fifth that made it 5-0. He hit second just one other time over his eight-year career.
Sandberg also called out Jimmy Rollins before the game and said he would consider dropping the slumping shortstop from his usual leadoff spot. Sandberg wants Rollins to adjust his approach, to focus more on using his speed and contact skills to try for more groundballs and liners instead of swinging for the fences.
“I have great conversations with him, and the constant communication of what is expected and needed from him,” Sandberg said. “Is it going to happen overnight? No. But as we go forward and we have 39 games left, I talked to the guys on the first day, and told them that these games were, for them, on being evaluated, ending on a good note and making adjustments that need to be made. Now is a good time to try something.”
Sandberg will try just about anything new to shake the Phillies out of their doldrums — and prove he deserves a shot at the full time job next season, and beyond.
His offensively challenged team finally packed some punch after a woeful weekend against the Los Angeles Dodgers that included two shutout losses.
Mayberry’s ninth homer of the season made it 4-0 and gave the Phillies more runs scored than they had in Sandberg’s first three games.
Clearly, the problems went far deeper than Manuel. That includes the bullpen.
Martin was solid in just his fourth career start and left with a 5-2 lead. Justin De Fratus bailed him out with a strikeout of Charlie Blackmon with two runners on to end to the seventh.
Luis Garcia ran into trouble in the eighth and was chased after Wilin Rosario’s two-run single extended his hitting streak to 10 games and made it 5-4. Jake Diekman entered with runners on first and second and two outs, then balked. But he fanned Nolan Arenado on a 99 mph fastball to end the threat.
Papelbon took it from there and was successful in his first save opportunity since Aug. 1.
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