Rockies drop another to Phillies, 7-2
The Colorado Rockies starters don't have to wait as long to pitch if they have a bad outing.
Josh Outman was roughed up in a 7-2 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday night. He will be back out there in four days, however, because manager Jim Tracy plans to go with an unconventional four-man rotation for the foreseeable future.
''They're trying to give us a better chance to win and compete day in and day out,'' Outman said. ''They're trying to get the bullpen on a better schedule. This is what they think is going to work, so I mean I'm on board. It's not like I'm losing starts or anything I just have to go out and attack hitters.''
Outman (0-3) gave up four runs and five hits in 4 1-3 innings.
''Outman didn't do a bad job,'' Tracy said. ''He was efficient in the strike zone. He just made a mistake with two outs.''
Tracy made the decision to shorten the rotation after moving Jeremy Guthrie to the bullpen. Guthrie, the team's opening day starter, is 3-6 with a 7.02 ERA in 11 starts. Starters will now be limited to 75 pitches.
''They're taking steps to improve the team,'' said Jeff Francis, who will pitch Thursday night. ''We're not doing our job well enough. We've got to pitch better and they're trying to help us.''
The Rockies are 1-11 since June 4.
For one game, the 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 to help the last-place Phillies start a 10-game homestand with just their fourth win in 16 games.
''It was a solid team effort,'' Hamels said. ''We were able to battle, get runs. That's what it really takes.''
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.''
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.
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.
Notes: The Rockies are 2-12 in their last 14 games at Citizens Bank Park and have lost 21 of 25 overall to Philadelphia. ... Joe Blanton (6-6, 4.93) faces Alex White (2-5, 5.56) Wednesday night in the middle game of the series.
Rob Maaddi can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/RobMaaddi