Rockies-Phillies Preview

Although Carlos Ruiz has endured his share of adversity this

season, he’s hoping his late-game heroics can spark the

Philadelphia Phillies to a strong finish.

Another date with the Colorado Rockies is likely to help his

cause.

Ruiz and the Phillies hope to build on their dramatic victory

and beat the Rockies for the 19th time in 23 home games Thursday

night when they wrap up a four-game series.

Trailing by one in the ninth inning, Ruiz delivered a

game-tying, pinch-hit RBI double off Rockies closer Rafael

Betancourt, and Michael Young followed with a walk-off single to

give the Phillies (56-70) a 4-3 victory Wednesday.

After serving a 25-game suspension for using a banned stimulant

to open the season and missing nearly a month with a strained

hamstring, Ruiz finally has found his groove at the plate. The

veteran catcher has gone 7 for 12 in his last four games and is

hitting .340 since Aug. 3. He’s also 10 for 22 with two home runs

and seven RBIs in his last seven games against the Rockies.

“Definitely with everything that happened, it was tough for me,”

Ruiz told the team’s official website. “I came back from the

suspension, then I got hurt. It’s not an excuse, but it was hard to

pick it up. There’s nothing I can do about that; it’s in the past,

so I’m going to do my best right now, and hopefully I’ll do

well.”

The Phillies haven’t done well offensively, averaging 2.6 runs

while batting .191 over their last 12 games. However, they have

outscored the Rockies 126-72 while going 18-4 at home against them

since Sept. 13, 2007.

Colorado rookie Chad Bettis (0-2, 5.30 ERA) will have to bounce

back after getting tagged for eight runs – though only two earned

thanks to an error by Troy Tulowitzki – over 2 2-3 innings in an

8-4 loss at Baltimore on Saturday.

The right-hander walked four, giving him 12 over 18 2-3 innings

in his four starts.

“Chad battled,” manager Walt Weiss said. “He just struggled,

threw a lot of pitches, got some bad counts and really had to work

hard.”

Bettis could have his hands full with Chase Utley, who is

hitting .375 in his last 14 games versus the Rockies (59-69).

Teammate John Mayberry is batting .367 in his last nine at home

against them.

The Phillies hope to deal Colorado its fifth loss in six games

by giving the ball to right-hander Kyle Kendrick (10-10, 4.36).

While Kendrick is 3-6 with a 6.38 ERA over his last nine starts,

he showed improvement Saturday when he allowed two runs over six

innings in a 5-0 loss to the Dodgers.

Kendrick wasn’t as effective in his last start versus the

Rockies, matching a season high by allowing seven runs and 10 hits

over 4 1-3 innings before the Phillies rallied for an 8-7 victory

on June 14. He’s 3-2 with a 5.62 ERA in nine career starts against

them.

He’ll attempt to cool off Wilin Rosario, who is batting .353

with four home runs and 15 RBIs during a 12-game hitting

streak.

Teammate Michael Cuddyer has gone 8 for 19 over his last five

games, while Dexter Fowler – 3 for 8 against Kendrick – is hitting

.400 in his last 10 against the Phillies.