Utley’s slam, 6 RBIs help sink Rockies
The blurry-eyed Philadelphia Phillies didn’t mind that they wouldn’t get a lot of shuteye after making their one-night stopover in Denver so worthwhile.
Chase Utley drove in six runs and hit a grand slam to cap a nine-run seventh inning Thursday night as the Phillies overcame a four-run deficit to beat the Colorado Rockies 12-11 in a makeup of a May rainout.
”I imagine a lot of guys have driven in a lot of runs here,” Utley said. ”There is a lot of room for hits and the ball carries well here.”
The Phillies stopped off in Denver on their way home from a successful West Coast trip while the Rockies were retreating in the middle of a six-game swing through California.
”We needed that win really bad,” said Colorado slugger Carlos Gonzalez, who homered to become just the 13th player since 1952 to collect extra-base hits in 10 straight games.
Gonzalez said it boggles the mind that Colorado could get 20 hits and still lose.
Utley’s six RBIs tied a career high and came after Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth also went deep during the big inning in which the Phillies collected nine hits and may have buried the Rockies’ playoff hopes.
Antonio Bastardo (1-0) benefited from the Phillies’ big inning, getting the win despite allowing a run and four hits in one inning of relief, and Brad Lidge got the last three outs for his 19th save in 24 chances but not before giving up a run to make it interesting.
The teams combined for 35 hits, nine for extra bases, and used 14 pitchers.
”You expect this at this ballpark,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. ”The ball comes alive here.”
The Rockies trail Philadelphia by 6 1/2 games in the NL wild card chase, a deficit that has ballooned from 3 1/2 games since Monday night. They trail first-place San Diego by 7 1/2 games in the NL West.
Gonzalez continued his power surge with his 31st homer and Chris Iannetta and Dexter Fowler also took Joe Blanton deep as the Rockies built a seemingly safe 7-3 lead heading into the seventh.
Unable to solve starter Jhoulys Chacin (one earned run in 5 1-3 innings), the Phillies had no problem rattling the Rockies’ beleaguered bullpen.
Matt Belisle allowed hits to all three batters he faced in the seventh, including Utley’s RBI single and Howard’s two-run homer, his 25th.
Manny Delcarmen (0-1), acquired from Boston earlier in the week, gave up four earned runs on four hits while getting just one out in his NL debut.
”Not the way I wanted my first day to go, but I want to get the ball and get back out there,” said Delcarmen, who allowed Werth’s 19th homer on a bad changeup that tied it at 7 and a tiebreaking RBI single by pinch-hitter Ben Francisco.
And rookie Matt Reynolds gave up Utley’s fourth career grand slam, which put the Phillies ahead 12-7 and chased many of the 30,179 fans to the exits early.
”It was 3-and-1 and obviously you want to challenge him but never enough that he can put that good of wood on it,” Reynolds said.
The Rockies, who left 14 runners on base, blew leads of 4-0, 6-2 and 7-3, and their manager was ejected. They didn’t go down without a fight, however, getting three runs in the seventh off Chad Durbin to make it 12-10.
The Rockies loaded the bases with two outs off righty Jose Contreras in the eighth but rookie Eric Young Jr. grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the threat.
In the ninth, they put runners at first and third with no outs but all they could get was a groundball from Troy Tulowitzki that scored Fowler before Clint Barmes struck out and Ryan Spilborghs grounded into a force at third.
With his long shot over the power alley in right-center, Gonzalez became the 13th player in major league history to get extra-base hits in 10 straight games, according to STATS LLC. He’s the first to do it since Johnny Damon in 2009 for the New York Yankees.
Gonzalez has emerged as the NL’s batting leader with a .332 average.
”I’m not trying to think about batting titles or anything,” Gonzalez said. ”I’m just trying to do my job every single night.”
The Phillies didn’t get a hit until Werth’s single with two outs in the fourth.
Seth Smith’s RBI single in the fifth made it 6-2 and chased Blanton, who allowed six runs, four earned, on 10 hits in 4 1-3 innings.
Rockies manager Jim Tracy was ejected by home plate umpire Paul Emmel an inning later when pinch-hitter Mike Sweeney was hit on his right hand on a 1-2 pitch with the bases loaded and was awarded first base with the run coming across to make it 6-3.
”I thought he swung at the pitch,” Tracy explained after his second ejection of the season – both against Philadelphia.
NOTES: The other time Utley had six RBIs also came against Colorado, on May 26, 2008. … Colorado RHP Aaron Cook, who’s been sidelined by a toe injury, will pitch Friday night against the Padres.