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
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
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
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
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
He’ll attempt to cool off Wilin Rosario, who is batting .353
with four home runs and 15 RBIs during a 12-game hitting
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.