Phillies hand Rockies' ace a rare loss
After being demoted to the minor leagues Tuesday, Philadelphia starter Kyle Kendrick said he had something to prove.
The right-hander responded with one of his best outings of the season and, helped by the Phillies' re-emerging offense and led Philadelphia to a 10-2 win over Ubaldo Jimenez and the Colorado Rockies.
''I wanted to show them I belong here,'' Kendrick said. ''I wanted to go out there and do my job. I know myself I belong here. I gotta keep having outings like that.''
Kendrick (6-4) was sent down to Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Tuesday, a day after losing 8-4 to the Cardinals. But with the Phillies' apparent pursuit of Houston's Roy Oswalt stalled, Kendrick was recalled prior to Saturday's game and gave up a run and seven hits in seven innings, striking out three and walked one.
Of his week, Kendrick said, ''It's been kind of crazy, but it's out of my control. Who wants to get sent down? It was frustrating, but stuff happens for a reason.''
Said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel: ''I asked him if he was ticked off and he said, 'Yeah, a little.' I said, 'That's good then.'''
Added Manuel, ''Kendrick moved the ball around and pitched good and did a good job on their left-handed hitters.''
The Phillies offense provided lots of support for Kendrick.
Ryan Howard hit a bases-loaded triple and Jimmy Rollins had a two-run triple in a seven-run third inning and the Phillies handed Jimenez one of the worst losses of his career.
Raul Ibanez homered and Placido Polanco and Jayson Werth had a pair of hits for the Phillies, who have won three straight and appear to be coming out of their recent offensive funk. Both Rollins and Howard had triples in a seven-run third inning.
''That was huge,'' Kendrick said of the third inning.
Jimenez (15-2), the NL All-Star starter who entered with the most wins in the majors, lasted two-plus innings and allowed six runs with six walks, both matching season highs. It was the second-shortest outing of his career. Jimenez also went two-plus innings Aug. 9, 2007, against the Cubs but faced one fewer batter.
''I couldn't locate my fastball in any spot,'' Jimenez said. ''After that first inning, I lost the strike zone. I beat myself and didn't give my team a chance to win.''
It extended the recent struggles for Jimenez, who has a 7.64 ERA in his last six starts. Nearly unhittable in April and May when he posted a 0.78 ERA, Jimenez has a 5.67 ERA in June and July.
The Rockies right-hander fell to 0-3 with a 10.59 ERA in four career starts at Citizens Bank Park.
''He's not a machine,'' Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. ''When you set the bar as high as you get it with him, there's a tendency to expect to see a no-hitter every single time he goes out there. Unfortunately, that's not going to happen.''
Ian Stewart homered for Colorado, which has lost four straight and dropped to 2-7 on its current 11-game road trip.
''We're not playing worth a darn right now,'' Tracy said, ''but there's two months to go and we know how to fix it.''
The Phillies did most of their damage in the third when they scored seven runs and every Philadelphia batter except Greg Dobbs and Kendrick scored.
Rollins led off with a single and Polanco and Ibanez walked to load the bases before Howard cleared the bases with a standup triple just inside the first-base bag. Howard scored on a wild pitch and Jimenez walked the next two batters to end his day.
Since firing hitting coach Milt Thompson on Thursday night, Philadelphia has scored 16 runs on 23 hits in two games. Thompson's firing followed a 2-6 road trip in which Philadelphia hit .239 while averaging 3.4 runs.
Stewart led off the fifth with a homer to deep center, pulling the Rockies to 7-1 and snapping a 34-inning scoreless streak for Phillies pitchers at Citizens Bank Park.
Ibanez hit a two-run homer in the sixth to pad the lead to 9-1.
NOTES: The Phillies said they will recall Recalled LHP J.A. Happ to start Sunday's game and option RHP Vance Worley to Lehigh Valley. ... Howard extended his hitting streak to 10 games. Rockies INF Dexter Fowler was 1 for 32 prior to his sixth-inning double. He stumbled rounding second and was thrown out at third on the play. Colorado RHP Taylor Buchholz made his first appearance since Sept. 9, 2008, pitching the sixth inning and giving up two runs on two hits. Buchholz, playing 15 miles from his hometown of Springfield, Pa., had elbow surgery before to last season. Seth Smith went 1 for 3 off Kendrick with a double and is now 7 for 10 with three doubles and a triple off the right-hander.