Rockies 6, Phillies 3
DENVER (AP)—Rodrigo Lopez had a lot weighing on his mind as he waited out a first-inning rain delay. He’d just given up three runs and two homers and was frantically searching for answers.
Lopez found the solution he was looking for. He came out of the rain delay a different pitcher, retiring 13 of 14 batters he faced as the Colorado Rockies beat Philadelphia 6-3 to hand the Phillies loss No. 9,999 in franchise history.
In a batting cage below the stadium, playing light toss with pitching coach Bob Apodaca, he simply made a decision to stop nibbling at the plate.
“I knew I could make adjustments,” said Lopez, who endured a rain delay lasting one hour and 22 minutes. “I just said to myself, ‘Why are you being so careful?’ I attacked the zone.”
Asked what the difference in Lopez was from before the rain delay to after, manager Clint Hurdle simply said, “They didn’t hit him.”
Lopez (5-2) retired the final 10 batters he faced before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the fifth. He struck out four, walked one and allowed five hits.
Hurdle said he lifted Lopez only because he threw a lot of pitches trying to stay warm as the bad weather remained in the area.
“He probably threw enough pitches for the equivalent of eight innings,” Hurdle said.
After the game, the Phillies showed little concern over the impending embarrassing milestone. Philadelphia’s 9,999 losses are the most by any team in any sport. Philadelphia played its first game on May 1, 1883, losing 4-3 to the Providence Grays.
“I’ve learned to shut a lot of things out,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “That’s not annoying to me. That was something I didn’t have nothing to do with.”
Ryan Spilborghs hit a two-run homer and Todd Helton drove in two runs as Colorado won its fifth straight game since a 1-9 road trip. The Rockies’ 14-2 home record since June 2 is the best in the majors.
“I have to take full responsibility,” Moyer said.
Spilborghs’ two-run homer to left in the fifth tied it at 3. It was the fifth of the season for Spilborghs, who also singled in a run in the sixth and finished with three hits.
“With this group of guys, it’s hard to crack the lineup,” said Spilborghs, who was filling in for Willy Taveras in center. “We have great hitters.”
Helton went 3-for-4, including a first-inning RBI double off the right-field wall, to improve his average against Philadelphia to .395, the highest career average versus the Phillies of any active major leaguer.
And to think he’s still fine-tuning his swing.
“There’s always work to be done,” Helton said.
The Phillies scored three runs in the opening frame on a leadoff homer by Rollins and a two-run drive from Howard before the rain interrupted the game.
Howard’s two-run homer to left was his 21st of the season and came as lightning popped and thunder cracked near Coors Field, sending fans scurrying for cover. Chase Utley doubled off the right-field wall just before Howard’s opposite-field homer.
It was the 21st time in Rollins’ career he’s started a game with a home run, and fourth time this season. The homer was also the 100th of Rollins’ career.
Manny Corpas struck out the side in the ninth for his first career save. … Philadelphia right-hander Jon Lieber had successful surgery Friday to reattach a tendon in his right foot. He’ll be in a walking boot for three-to-four weeks. … The Rockies aren’t planning on using left-hander Brian Fuentes again until after the All-Star break thanks to a strained back muscle. … The Rockies hosted the 1998 All-Star game on this date with the AL winning, 13-8.