Blackmon’s 2-run HR in 12th lifts Rockies past Phillies 4-3
DENVER (AP) — With one final swing, Charlie Blackmon went from worrying about a game-ending strikeout to celebrating a game-winning home run.
“Honestly, at that point I’m trying not to strike out,” said Blackmon, who was down in the count 1-2 to Juan Nicasio when he connected for his first homer of the season. “I was pretty aggressive on a slider that went out of the zone. Then I took a fastball in the zone. It’s not a great place to be. But I was able to get my act together and calm down and then I got a fastball out over the plate and I was able to put a good swing on it.”
Nicasio (0-1) issued a one-out walk to Tony Wolters but Blackmon then drove his fourth pitch into the visitors’ bullpen beyond the center-field fence for his second career game-ending home run. It was the Rockies’ sixth straight win over the Phillies dating to last season. Blackmon was swarmed by his teammates as he crossed home plate.
“It was great for him, and what a time for it,” said teammate Trevor Story, who also homered earlier. “He’s such a hard worker. He’s in there grinding all the time. Obviously, it was a huge swing for him tonight.”
The Phillies lost shortstop Scott Kingery midway through the fourth after he suffered a strained right hamstring while legging out his inning-ending fielder’s choice. Andrew McCutchen, aboard with a walk, left in the top of the sixth after advancing to second base on Phil Gosselin’s single with what the team later said was inflammation in his left knee.
“(Kingery) will be re-evaluated (Saturday),” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. “It was possible that (McCutchen) could have stayed in the game. I didn’t feel like I wanted to risk anything.”
The Phillies stranded 19 runners in the game, including leaving the bases loaded three times.
“We certainly have the ability to swing the bats with runners in scoring position,” Kapler said. “We didn’t do that tonight.”
The Rockies were down 2-0 and struggling to get their bats going against Vince Velasquez, who had a season-high eight strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings, before Story got them on the board with a 459-foot homer onto the concourse behind the left-field bleachers.
Ian Desmond hit a two-out double — he was initially ruled out but a replay review showed Desmond slid inside second baseman Cesar Hernandez’s tag — and Garrett Hampson followed with a broken-bat RBI double to even the score and chase Velasquez.
Colorado starter German Marquez, coming off his first career shutout last Sunday at San Francisco, labored through five innings. He gave up Rhys Hoskins‘ RBI single in the first and J.T. Realmuto’s sacrifice fly in the fifth.
Marquez said after the game that he was dealing with a painful toothache during his outing. He didn’t inform manager Bud Black about it until shortly before the game, he said, because he wanted to make his start. He managed to get through five innings and has scheduled a visit to the dentist Saturday to take care of the aching molar.
Phillies: SS Jean Segura missed a third straight game with a strained left hamstring. He suffered the injury Tuesday against the New York Mets. Segura leads the Phillies in hits this season with 22. … Kingery, who had started in place of the injured Segura, was replaced in the field by Gosselin. Pinch-runner Aaron Altherr replaced McCutchen.
Rockies: LHP Tyler Anderson, on the 10-day injured list since April 7 with left knee inflammation, is making good progress in his rehab and he could return to the rotation as soon as Monday. Black said no final decision has been made.
Phillies: RHP Aaron Nola (1-0, 7.45 ERA) went four innings and gave up five runs in his last start.
Rockies: RHP Antonio Senzatela (1-0, 1.35 ERA) has no-decisions and a 4.05 ERA in two previous appearances against the Phillies, including one start.