Philadelphia (3-6) at Colorado (6-3)

  • Game info: 9:05 pm EDT Fri Apr 14, 2006
  • TV: CN8, FSRM
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Philadelphia Phillies hope to continue their recovery from a dismal start as they open a three-game series on Friday against the Colorado Rockies.

A three-homer, five-run first inning helped the Phillies (3-6) notch their second straight win over the Atlanta Braves on Thursday, 7-6.

Philadelphia also beat Atlanta 7-5 on Wednesday after opening the season 1-6, a stretch during which it scored more than three runs just twice.

Jimmy Rollins led off Thursday’s game with a homer, Bobby Abreu soon followed with a two-run shot and Chase Utley hit the first of his two homers as part of Philadelphia’s explosive first inning.

“It feels good to win two in a row,” Rollins said. “That’s something new around here. That’s just the beginning.”

Rollins went 2-for-5 to increase his batting average to .395, and has hit safely in 44 of his last 45 games. But it was Utley’s hitting Thursday that made the biggest impact.

Utley was batting .200 with no home runs and three RBIs before Thursday’s 2-for-4, four-RBI output. He hit 28 homers and drove in 105 runs in his first full season in 2005.

“He’s been trying a little bit too hard,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “He gets in a little funk, but he’ll bust it and come out of it. He’s fine. I don’t worry about him.”

Philadelphia is expected to send right-hander Ryan Madson to the mound to face the Rockies’ Zach Day.

Madson pitched well in his only start this season despite not getting a victory, allowing three runs—one earned—and five hits in six innings of a 6-3 victory over Los Angeles on Sunday.

He’s had no decisions with a 3.38 ERA in five career games—all relief appearances—against Colorado.

Day, who is 1-2 with a 4.93 ERA against the Phillies, also had a solid performance in his only start this season and did get a win. He gave up four runs—three earned—and four hits over seven innings in a 12-4 victory at San Diego on Saturday.

He’s hoping Brad Hawpe continues his recent tear for the Rockies (6-3), who have won five of six.

Hawpe homered for the fourth straight game on Thursday as Colorado held on to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-3, closing the three-game series with back-to-back wins.

A third-year outfielder, Hawpe is batting .382 after going 6-for-11 with seven RBIs in Colorado’s three games with Arizona.

He fell a single shy of hitting for the cycle in Tuesday’s series opener. He’d also come close to a cycle in Sunday’s 10-4 win over the Padres, falling a double short while going 3-for-5 with three RBIs.

Colorado has lost the last four games against the Phillies.

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Starting Pitchers

R. Madson OAK vs. Z. Day MIN
11-9 Record 2-5
5.69 ERA 6.75
99 K 19
50 BB 21
1.68 WHIP 1.80