PHILADELPHIA (AP) Colorado manager Bud Black said recently that Tyler Chatwood has the stuff to be one of the best pitchers in the National League.
Chatwood made a convincing argument Wednesday night.
Chatwood allowed just one hit in seven scoreless innings and struck out a season-high eight batters, helping the Rockies beat the Philadelphia Phillies 7-2 to win their fourth straight game and their major league-best 18th on the road.
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”I thought he had really good stuff all the way through to his last pitch,” Black said. ”His pitches were running in on righties and tailing away from lefties. He’s got good stuff man.”
Chatwood befuddled the Phillies, allowing only a two-out single by Andrew Knapp in the fifth inning. It was the third time Chatwood (4-6) earned a win in his career while allowing just one hit. He threw 112 pitches, the most since 2011 when he was with the Los Angeles Angels.
The Rockies pounded starter Jeremy Hellickson (5-2) for seven runs in the third. Colorado hit for the cycle in the inning – a triple by Ian Desmond, a double by Trevor Story and singles by Charlie Blackmon, DJ LeMahieu and Nolan Arenado surrounded Carlos Gonzalez’s fourth homer of the season.
It was the second homer in four games for Gonzalez after going 19 games without one.
”I’ve had slow starts before,” said Gonzalez, who finished the game with three hits and is now 20 for 51 (.392) in his last 13 games. ”But I keep telling myself that I’m a good player and I’ve been in worse situations before. It’s just nice to get my bat going again to help this club.”
Blackmon drove in a pair of runs, increasing his major league-leading RBI total to 42. He has 15 RBIs in his last 11 games.
All 10 Colorado batters who stepped to the plate – including Chatwood and pinch hitter Pat Valaika – had at least one hit. The Rockies have outscored the Phillies 23-5 in the first three games of the four-game series.
The Phillies lost their fifth straight game, matching their longest losing streak of the season. They have now dropped 20 of 24 and have the worst record in baseball at 15-29.
The Phillies offense, which has only eight runs during this five-game skid, was blanked until the eighth inning when Michael Saunders snapped an 0-for-15 slump with a two-run home run, his fifth of the season, off reliever Mike Dunn.
”We only had three hits again,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. ”The team is scuffling. We’re not playing well. (Chatwood) is effectively wild and that helps him, but I don’t know if he was that good or we were that bad.”
Rockies: Story was back in the lineup after missing the last 13 games with a left shoulder strain. Story was activated Tuesday but did not play in the Rockies 8-2 win. He was back at shortstop and batted seventh.
Phillies: Howie Kendrick, who has been on the DL since April 15 with an oblique strain, began a four-game rehab assignment Wednesday with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Kendrick will play left field, third base and first base while there and may become a utility guy when he gets back to the Phillies now that Aaron Altherr has solidified a regular spot in the Phillies outfield.
SENDING A MESSAGE
Mackanin sat usual starting 3B Mikael Franco and C Cameron Rupp for the second straight game. It was the first time this season both players sat consecutive games. Franco is hitting just .221, and Rupp has struggled defensively lately with a couple costly errors and garnered public criticism from pitching coach Bob McClure about the way he calls a game.
THREE AND OUT
After throwing three scoreless innings in relief, Phillies LHP Adam Morgan was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. A corresponding roster move will be announced by the team Thursday.
Rockies: LHP Tyler Anderson (3-4, 6.00) has been really good for Colorado in his last three starts (2-1, 3.06) but has struggled on the road this season in five outings (2-2, 6.66).
Phillies: RHP Vince Velasquez (2-4, 5.98) looks to rebound following a shaky start in his last game where he allowed five earned runs in just 5 1/3 innings. Velazquez has only thrown seven innings in a game four times in 32 career starts for the Phillies.
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