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Chacin's strong performance helps Rockies win

The SportsXchange

DENVER -- The Colorado Rockies were hoping for a long outing Sunday from starting pitcher Jhoulys Chacin. He gave them just that in a masterly performance as the Rockies beat the Philadelphia Phillies 5-2 in the rubber game of their series.

Chacin blanked the Phillies for eight innings on three singles before giving up two runs and three hits in the ninth and departing after 8 2/3 innings, the longest outing by a Rockies starter this season and Chacin's longest since he threw a complete game in Denver on April 15, 2011.

Wilin Rosario homered in the second off Cole Hamels, who then silenced the Rockies until they scored two runs in the seventh.

Colorado's Jordan Pacheco got the first run home in the seventh on an infield dribbler, and Nolan Arenado drove in the second with a double. Carlos Gonzalez hit his 20th homer, a two-run shot in the eighth off Justin DeFratus that blew the game open.

Chacin was remarkably efficient, throwing 86 pitches, including 69 strikes. Before Sunday, Rockies starters had gone at least six innings just once in the past five games and twice in the past nine.

The Phillies didn't get a runner to second base until there were two out in the ninth. Jimmy Rollins then doubled over the head of right fielder Michael Cuddyer to spoil Chacin's shutout. Ryan Howard followed with a run-scoring single that ended Chacin's day. He received a standing ovation from the announced crowd of 45,186 as he walked to the dugout.

"I was really pumped up when I finished (the eighth)," Chacin said. "The last time I pitched here in the ninth was 2011. I really wanted to finish the inning. After two outs I (said) 'You have one out left.'"

Chacin said he thought manager Walt Weiss "was going to give me one more hitter." But Weiss went to closer Rex Brothers, who struck out Domonic Brown to end the game and earn his third save.

"I was pulling for a complete game as much as anybody," Weiss said, "but once he got to that situation, the right thing to do was go get Rex to finish that."

The loss sent the Phillies home after a frustrating 3-7 road trip.

"We started the road trip at .500, and we're at four under again," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "We got to stay with them and try to play better and try to score some runs and hopefully get the same kind of pitching that we got today."

Chacin gave up a one-out single in the second to Brown and then retired the next 14 batters before Kevin Frandsen's infield hit, a slow roller that third baseman Nolan Arenado unsuccessfully tried to barehand.

Chacin then got Rollins to ground into a 3-6-3 double play before Howard lined a single to center. But Brown grounded to second, making Chacin the first Rockies pitcher to throw seven innings since Jorge De La Rosa on June 2.

Chacin threw first-pitch strikes to 26 of the 31 batters he faced and got 10 outs on ground balls. He struck out three and didn't walk anyone. He has allowed two home runs all season, including one in 56 2/3 innings at Coors Field.

"He keeps the ball down, and he mixes it up just enough," Hamels said. "You feel like you're on his fastball, but it just moves just enough. His slider is really good. If you're able to have two top-notch pitches, especially in this ballpark, that are going down and none of that going up in the zone, I think you're going to get away (with it)."

Despite a 2-9 record and 4.45 ERA, Hamels was coming off two good starts, and the Phillies have scored just 31 runs while he has been in a game this season. He gave up a leadoff single in the first to Dexter Fowler and Rosario's 11th homer in the second. With one out in that second inning, he walked Arenado before DJ LeMahieu grounded into an inning-ending double play.

That was the first of 14 straight batters Hamels retired before Gonzalez's infield hit to open the two-run seventh. Second baseman Frandsen made a diving back-handed stop of Gonzalez's grounder but was unable to get a throw off.

Michael Cuddyer followed with a double, flaring a ball just over first base to extend his season-high hitting streak to 14 games. Hamels thought his 0-2 pitch to Cuddyer was a strike, but home plate umpire Marvin Hudson ruled otherwise. Cuddyer's bloop double came on Hamel's next pitch.

"You have to make another pitch," he said. "I did and I made the pitch I wanted. Unfortunately he hit it to the right part of the yard. I think that's the hard part, because the game is so close. You're trying to keep the game within reason and battling."

Third baseman Freddy Galvis ranged to his left for Rosario's grounder and threw him out as the runners held.

Manuel, who had yelled at Hudson on a 1-2 pitch to Rosario that the umpire ruled a checked swing, then visited Hamels to settle him down, the four infielders joining the conference. Galvis charged Jordan Pacheco's slow roller, made a barehanded pickup but with no play at home, threw Pacheco out as Gonzalez scored.

"Charlie was trying to talk to me about making the right type of pitch (to Pacheco)," Hamels said, "and I feel like I made the right type of pitch and I think he agreed. And unfortunately, the guy hit it four feet. That's the hard part about baseball."

Notes: RHP Logan Kensing was brought up from Triple-A Colorado Springs and RHP Chris Volstad was optioned there. Kensing went 0-1 with seven saves and a 2.57 ERA in 19 games at Colorado Springs. Volstad began his second stint with the Rockies on Wednesday, and in two games, he allowed six hits and four runs in two innings. Overall, in six games with the Rockies this year, Volstad is 0-0 with a 10.80 ERA... Fowler returned to the lineup for the first time since he was hit with a pitch on the knuckle of his right ring finger Thursday...Phillies C Carlos Ruiz (right hamstring strain) began a rehab assignment Saturday night at Triple-A Lehigh Valley and went 0-for-2 while catching five innings. Sunday, Ruiz caught seven innings and went 1-for-3. He will be with the Phillies at home on Monday. On Tuesday, with Lehigh Valley on the road, Ruiz will continue his rehab with Double-A Reading. ...2B Chase Utley (right oblique strain) is likely to begin a rehab assignment Tuesday with Double-A Reading. He has been on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 21...The Phillies have scored three runs fewer in 38 of 70 games, including 26 of their 39 road games...Phillies LHP John Lannan is scheduled to be activated Monday and start against Washington, his former team, for the first time. He has been on the 15-day disabled list since April 18 with a strained quadriceps tendon in his left knee...During the Rockies' six-run first inning Saturday, they hit for the cycle with four singles, one double, one triple and one homer. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was only the third time in franchise history the Rockies hit for the cycle in the first inning. They also did it in April 1997 against Cincinnati and September 2005 against San Diego.
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