Phillies 7, Rockies 2
Strong pitching. Clutch hitting. Solid defense.
For one game, the Philadelphia Phillies looked like the team that has won five straight NL East titles.
Cole Hamels threw eight sharp innings, John Mayberry Jr. and Carlos Ruiz hit two-run homers and the Phillies beat the slumping Colorado Rockies 7-2 on Tuesday night.
The last-place Phillies started a 10-game homestand with just their fourth win in 16 games. They have fallen 5 1/2 games in the standings in that span, and are eight behind division-leading Washington.
''It was a solid team effort,'' Hamels said. ''We were able to battle, get runs. That's what it really takes.''
The Rockies are 1-11 since June 4.
Hamels (10-3) allowed two runs and six hits, striking out seven. He improved to 7-2 following a Phillies' loss with his best outing since tossing eight scoreless innings against Washington on May 23. The lefty had a 6.07 ERA in his previous four starts.
''I know what I'm capable of doing and I wasn't showing that the last couple games,'' Hamels said. ''It's a long season and we have to minimize the bumps in the road.''
Rockies starter Josh Outman (0-3) gave up four runs and five hits in 4 1-3 innings.
''Outman didn't do a bad job,'' Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. ''He was efficient in the strike zone. He just made a mistake with two outs.''
Mayberry connected for the third straight game, driving one out to left to put Philadelphia up 3-1 in the fourth. Mayberry has hit four of his six homers this season in the last five games.
''He's one of these hitters that builds his confidence,'' Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. ''He's starting to swing very good.''
Ruiz ripped a double to left to score Jimmy Rollins for a 4-1 lead in the fifth. He lined a homer just over the wall in left to make it 7-2 in the seventh. Ruiz tied a career-high with his ninth homer. He is hitting .358, which was third-best in the NL coming in.
''This was a very important game for us,'' Ruiz said. ''Definitely we put it together. We didn't try to do too much.''
Hamels struck out five straight batters at one point and retired 13 in a row before walking Todd Helton with two outs in the sixth. Jordan Pacheco followed with a single and Chris Nelson's single to left-center scored Helton to cut it to 4-2. Center fielder Shane Victorino nailed Nelson at second trying to stretch the hit into a double.
The Rockies took a 1-0 lead in the first on Tyler Colvin's RBI single.
Placido Polanco's RBI double down the left-field line tied it at 1 in the third.
Colorado was missing its best hitter, Carlos Gonzalez, for the second straight game. Gonzalez sat out because of a strained left knee. He is hitting .335 with 17 homers and 51 RBIs. Tracy said he's day to day.
Rollins was 2 for 2 with two walks and three runs, raising his average to .261. He hadn't been above .260 since April 19.
''When he gets on, it adds life to our game,'' Manuel said.
Notes: Phillies INF Freddy Galvis was suspended 50 games for testing positive for a banned substance. Galvis is on the DL with a back injury and it's likely he will be on it for the duration of his suspension. ... Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said RHP Roy Halladay is ''symptom-free in his throwing program.'' Halladay is rehabbing a lat strain. ... Amaro also said 2B Chase Utley and 1B Ryan Howard are progressing, but OF Laynce Nix (calf) suffered a setback and will have an MRI. ... Phillies reliever David Herndon had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow Tuesday. ... Tracy said Jeremy Guthrie will be moved to the bullpen and the team will go with an unconventional four-man rotation with each starter being limited to 75 pitches. Guthrie is 3-6 with a 7.02 ERA in 11 starts. ... Joe Blanton (6-6, 4.93) faces Alex White (2-5, 5,56) Wednesday night in the middle game of the series. ... The Phillies had their 252nd consecutive sellout, including postseason play.
Rob Maaddi can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/RobMaaddi