DENVER (AP) — Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard led the way out of the Philadelphia Phillies’ offensive slump.
Rollins homered early, then hit a go-ahead single in the eighth inning that sent the Phillies past the Colorado Rockies 10-9 Sunday.
Rollins finished with three hits as the Phillies averted a series sweep. Ryan Howard added four hits, including a homer and triple while driving in three runs.
“It was good, it was something that was needed,” Rollins said. “All those runs were needed. Every time we come here, they find a way to put up some runs. We’ve played some interesting series. Today, it was needed to get back in the left column.”
Philadelphia had gone four games without an extra-base hit before breaking loose. They had scored a total of only two runs in dropping the first two games to Colorado.
“It was well overdue,” Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. “Just some good at-bats. Howard really broke out in a good way. It was good to see that good contact. Hitting balls to left centerfield is a good thing for him. He broke out in a big way.”
Howard finished a double shy of hitting for the cycle. He actually ended up on second on a seventh inning drive to right field that got past a charging Brandon Barnes but the official scorer ruled the RBI hit a single and an error.
Sandberg questioned the ruling and Howard said he hopes it will be overturned.
“He went for a shoestring catch there, and to me, the ball got by him for a double,” Sandberg said. “He went for the catch. That’s not a guarantee that he knocks that down and makes it a single. He went for the catch on a tough ball, for me.”
Howard hung on to the ball just in case the hit is eventually ruled a double. The last Phillies player to hit for the cycle was David Bell on June 28, 2004, against Montreal.
Rockies star outfielder Carlos Gonzalez exited early because of a sore left knee. He appeared to tweak it running out a high chopper to end the sixth inning. He is listed as day to day with left knee tendinitis by the Rockies but Gonzalez said he’s been dealing with the issue for more than a year off and on and hopes to be back in the lineup on Monday.
“At the moment, it feels bad, but after a while it gets better,” Gonzalez said. “I’m planning to play (Monday). It’s something I have deal with. I just have to be smart about it, and I want to keep playing, so that’s what I’m planning to do.”
Justin Morneau homered and drove in five runs for the Rockies. The teams combined for 30 hits, 15 for extra bases.
Jake Diekman (2-1) got the win despite allowing two runs in 1 1-3 innings. Jonathan Papelbon earned his fifth save in six chances.
Matt Belisle (0-2) gave up Rollins’ single that broke an 8-all tie.
After Rollins put the Phillies ahead in the eighth, Chase Utley added an RBI grounder. Charlie Blackmon homered in the bottom half for Colorado.
Philadelphia missed adding an insurance run in the ninth when Rockies manager Walt Weiss challenged the ruling that Freddy Galvis had beaten out a grounder. The replay showed that second baseman Josh Rutledge’s throw to first arrived an instant before Galvis stepped on the bag.
The Phillies used a three-run seventh inning to go in front 8-6 on sacrifice flies by Utley and Domonic Brown and an RBI single by Howard.
Colorado evened the score in its half of the seventh when Troy Tulowitzki doubled ahead of Morneau’s homer, his second in as many games.
The Rockies went up 4-3 with a three-run third that included Tulowitzki’s run-scoring double, Morneau’s RBI groundout and a tiebreaking RBI single by Nolan Arenado, who extended his hitting streak to a career high 11 games.
Howard hit his fourth homer, a two-run shot off Juan Nicasio in the third.
NOTES: Sandberg won a replay challenge in the sixth when the review showed pinch hitter Corey Dickerson’s foot had slipped off the bag when he was tagged at second. … Rockies OF-INF Michael Cuddyer missed a third consecutive game with a sore left hamstring. Weiss said before the game that while Cuddyer has shown some improvement, his return is still up in the air and the team expects to know in the next day or two whether he’ll need additional recovery time that would require a stay on the disabled list. … Three weeks into the season, Rollins has hit three home runs, already equaling half of his total for all of last season.
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