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Martin's 'smooth' effort helps Phillies beat Rockies 5-4

The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- In the estimation of Philadelphia Phillies interim manager Ryne Sandberg, rookie right-hander Ethan Martin had "a smoother performance" Monday night than in his three previous major league starts.

It was also longer and as successful as any of them. Martin (2-2) worked 6 1/3 innings, his most yet, as the Phillies beat the Colorado Rockies 5-4.

John Mayberry Jr. and Carlos Ruiz homered for Philadelphia, which won its second straight under Sandberg, who replaced the fired Charlie Manuel on Friday. The Phillies lost their first two under Sandberg.

It is also the first time the Phillies have won back-to-back games since July 14-19 (sandwiched around the All-Star Game break).

The Rockies dropped their third straight.

"Martin was very good tonight," Sandberg said. "He conserved his energy very well. He was in control. That allowed him to go 6 1/3."

Martin allowed two runs and four hits while striking out six and walking two. He threw 90 pitches, 59 for strikes, and complemented his fastball with a sharp breaking ball, especially early in the game.

"I felt good," he said. "I had command of pretty much all four of my pitches and I was able to pound the (strike) zone."

He also admitted that he tried to slow himself down, something he struggled to do in his earlier starts. And at times, he added, he was able to "go at it, when (he) had the opportunity."

Staked to a 5-0 lead, he departed after surrendering a solo homer to Troy Tulowitzki and an RBI double to Todd Helton in the seventh.

Reliever Luis Garcia allowed a two-run single to Wilin Rosario in the eighth, cutting the gap to 5-4. With two on and one out, Jake Diekman replaced Garcia and struck out Helton. A balk moved the runners up a base, but Diekman fanned Nolan Arenado. The third-strike fastballs to Helton and Arenado clocked at 97 and 99 mph, respectively.

"That was impressive by him, not to let that (balk) get to him," Sandberg said. "He had confidence after Helton, and that continued even after the balk."

Jonathan Papelbon allowed a leadoff single to DJ LeMahieu in the ninth but picked him off first. Papelbon then retired pinch hitter Charlie Culberson on a grounder and struck out Dexter Fowler to earn his 21st save in 27 opportunities.

"I talked to (LeMahieu) before and told him if he got on to pick his spot and steal a base," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "Papelbon made a quick move and got him. ... We thought with Papelbon we would have an opportunity to run."

Rockies starter Jeff Manship (0-3) allowed five runs and six hits in five innings. He struck out four and walked one, but Weiss said his "one big mistake" was the change-up Mayberry hit for a three-run homer in the Phillies' four-run fourth inning -- a pitch, Manship said, "that just wasn't low enough."

Ruiz added a solo shot in the fifth as the Phillies took a 5-0 lead.

"I thought I had pretty good stuff," Manship said. "I felt much calmer out there. It's frustrating because I felt real good going into the fourth inning. I just didn't do my job."

NOTES: The Phillies recalled RHP Tyler Cloyd from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to make the start Tuesday against the Rockies. ... LHP Raul Valdes was optioned to Lehigh Valley to make room for Cloyd on the roster. ... Sandberg said before the game that he has talked with veteran SS Jimmy Rollins about being less "pull happy" and being a top-of-the-order table-setter. "He needs to get on base," Sandberg said of Rollins, who before Monday had hit .219 since July 1. "I don't think him focusing on hitting 15 or 20 home runs is the right approach for him." ... Rollins and 2B Chase Utley started their 1,040th game together, equaling the New York Yankees' Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano for most by an active double-play combination. ... Rosario was back in the starting lineup, and extended his hitting streak to 10 games with his two-run single. He sat Sunday after dealing with hamstring cramps earlier in the week.
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