Phillies 5, Rockies 3
DENVER (AP)—Coors Field is one of those places that makes opposing pitchers cringe.
Not Brett Myers. He treats it just like any other ballpark—and it works.
Myers struck out nine to remain unbeaten at Coors Field and Jimmy Rollins had a two-run single in Philadelphia’s four-run second inning, lifting the Phillies to a 5-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Friday.
Myers (9-5) allowed two earned runs and six hits, improving to 3-0 with a 3.66 ERA in three starts at Coors Field, considered one of baseball’s most hitter-friendly parks.
“I don’t think there’s really any explanation for it,” Myers said. “It’s just trying to make pitches, throwing strikes and try to get ahead of hitters the best way you can. I think that’s the only way you’re going to have success in the big leagues no matter what park you’re in.”
It wasn’t entirely easy, thanks to two defensive miscues in the fifth inning.
Reliever Aquilino Lopez started it off by reaching on third baseman David Bell’s fielding error. Cory Sullivan had a bunt single, then both runners advanced when Myers flipped the ball with his glove and was charged with an error. Luis Gonzalez drove in Colorado’s first run with a groundout, then Matt Holliday hit his sixth homer to left, a two-run shot that cut Philadelphia’s lead to 5-3.
But that was all the Rockies could manage off Myers.
The right-hander retired the next five hitters before Phillies manager Charlie Manuel came out for the ball with Holliday due up. Myers tried to convince Manuel to let him get one last out, but he wasn’t going to take any chances after Holliday had three hits, including the homer, off Myers.
“He said ‘I can get this guy’ and I said ‘Not today. You won’t be able to get him today,”’ Manuel said. “Holliday had three hits on him, had been seeing him pretty good, he had 115 pitches—I had all the reasons in the world, at least I told myself I did, to take him out.”
Myers allowed three earned runs or less for the sixth straight start after giving up 13 in 7 1-3 innings in the two previous outings.
Billy Wagner pitched the ninth for his 23rd save and Bell had two hits to end a 2-for-18 slump as Philadelphia won a second straight over Colorado after a three-game losing streak.
The Rockies managed just seven hits and couldn’t overcome rare control problems from Jose Acevedo (2-1) to lose its third straight.
Acevedo got the spot start on three days’ rest after the Rockies traded Shawn Chacon to the Yankees on Thursday. The right-hander had no trouble replacing Jason Jennings in his last start, allowing three runs and five hits in six innings in a win over the Mets on Monday.
Acevedo didn’t make it past the third inning this time, thanks to control issues in the second.
He gave up a leadoff double to Bobby Abreu, then walked three straight for Philadelphia’s first run. Acevedo struck out Todd Pratt and Myers before Rollins lined a two-run single up the middle. Kenny Lofton followed with an RBI single that made it 4-0.
Acevedo threw 44 pitches in the second—24 balls—and pitched one more inning before being replaced by Lopez, who was called up from Triple-A Colorado Springs before the game. Acevedo gave up six hits and four runs with three walks—matching his total the previous 26 2-3 innings.
“He spun off a lot of pitches in the second inning. He lost his command,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said.
He wasn’t the only one. Four Rockies pitchers combined for eight walks, pushing Colorado’s major league-leading total to 413.
“We played with ammo on the mound. We walked way too many,” Hurdle said.
At least Lopez was impressive in his Rockies’ debut.
The right-hander started the season in the Dodgers’ system before signing a minor league deal with Colorado last month. Lopez gave up an RBI double to Chad Utley in the fourth, but just two other hits with six strikeouts and no walks in four innings.
“He made an impression,” Hurdle said.
Rockies 1B Todd Helton missed his fourth straight game with a strained calf, though he could be ready to play this weekend. … Lofton left the game with knee inflammation after his run-scoring single in the second. He was replaced by Endy Chavez. … Philadelphia is 13-4 against the NL West. … The game time temperature of 97 degrees matched the hottest home game in Colorado history. It happened three other times, most recently on June 13, 2003, against the Dodgers.