DENVER -- The calendar says it's still just mid-July. But for the Phillies, who are trying to get back in the NL East race and have little margin for error, the days are dwindling.
So when the Rockies crept within one run in the eighth inning Saturday on a three-run homer by Wilin Rosario with one out, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel took extreme measures.
For the second time this year, Manuel turned to closer Jonathan Papelbon to get the final five outs. It was just the third time Manuel brought Papelbon in to pitch more than one inning this season.
The strategy worked, and the Phillies added two runs in the ninth to beat the Rockies 8-5.
"You appreciate all the saves, but I think the five-out saves are the ones kind of where your team leans on you a little bit more," said Papelbon, who is 19-for-21 in save situations this year.
Rosario hit his 15th homer off Brian Sanches, who came on to face him.
Papelbon had 33 career saves of more than one inning, including two this year -- 1 2/3 innings against the Marlins on June 1 and 1 1/3 innings on June at Minnesota.
Papelbon got Josh Rutledge to ground to third, with first baseman Ryan Howard deftly digging out third baseman Placido Polanco's low throw. Pinch hitter Jason Giambi came up, the winner of a dramatic confrontation with Papelbon two years ago when he was closing for the Red Sox.
On June 23, 2010, Giambi hit a two-run walk-off homer off Papelbon to cap a three-run ninth and give the Rockies an 8-6 win. This time, Papelbon fell behind 2-0 but struck Giambi out on six pitches.
As for that confrontation with Giambi two years ago, Papelbon said, "I don't even remember that. I don't remember the good ones; I don't remember the bad ones, man."
The Phillies scored twice in the ninth off Matt Belisle, who took the mound with a 1.89 ERA in 44 appearances and hadn't allowed two runs in a game since April 29.
Jimmy Rollins led off the ninth with a double and scored on a triple by Shane Victorino. Chase Utley followed with a single, giving Papelbon more breathing room as he retired the side in order in the ninth.
Papelbon struck out Carlos Gonzalez to end the game and showed his delight and his emotion with a little fist pump.
"I think I tend to show emotion more as the game dictates," Papelbon said. "Tonight, was a big win for us."
The winning pitcher was Vance Worley, who had never been on the mound at Coors Field, which didn't seem to faze him. He gave up two runs in 6 2/3 innings, drove in two runs with an opposite-field double with two out in the sixth to give the Phillies a 6-2 lead and struck out Michael Cuddyer with the bases loaded to end the fifth.
"I think that at-bat kind of set the tone for the rest of the game," Worley said. "I think Chooch (catcher Carlos Ruiz) did a good job setting that pitch up. I think he was looking for something offspeed, and we ran it right back over."
Namely, a sinker, the same pitch Worley thought he threw for strike three with the count 1-2 only to have home plate umpire Paul Emmel rule otherwise .
Rockies starter Jeremy Guthrie, meanwhile, has struggled at Coors Field in his first season with Colorado. With a ruinous first inning, that pattern continued. He gave up a one-out double to Victorino, followed by Utley's run-scoring single. After walking Howard on four pitches, Guthrie fell behind Ruiz 3-1, and he drove the next pitch over the fence in center.
It was Ruiz's 14th homer this season and the 19th Guthrie has allowed in 88 innings.
"It came down to one pitch, really, 3-1," Guthrie said. "The Utley pitch wasn't a mistake. It was where I was trying to go -- fastball away, 1-0 count, off the plate a little bit. He did a nice job to punch in Victorino.
"The Victorino pitch was where I was trying to throw it. A fastball up in the zone -- 0-2, tried to elevate it, got it at his letters but he did a nice job. The walk is not what I was trying to do."
Trailing by two runs, the Rockies had a baserunning gaffe in the fourth, "a brain cramp" manager Jim Tracy called it, after Tyler Colvin led off and reached base on interference by Ruiz. Jordan Pacheco hit a fly ball to center field. Victorino caught the from medium depth and doubled up Colvin, who was nearly at second base when the ball was caught and jogged back to first, speeding up too late when he saw first baseman Howard getting ready to catch the ball.
"I just got too far off," Colvin said. "I felt like I could get back there, and obviously I got too far off there and he made a good throw."
The Rockies had scored twice in the fourth with Dexter Fowler's single bringing home Rutledge, who had walked and been sacrificed to second, and Fowler scoring on Gonzalez's double.
Worley gave himself some breathing room in the sixth. Adam Ottavino began that inning with two strikeouts but gave up a single to Juan Pierre, who went 3-for-3 with a walk, and intentionally walked Mike Fontenot to get to Worley.
The double was the second of his career and left him 12-for-72 lifetime and 2-for-23 this season, his hitless streak having ended at 21 at-bats with an infield single in the second. On that hit, the ball deflected from Guthrie to second baseman Marco Scutaro, who was unable to get the ball out of his glove, as Worley went tumbling over first base.
"I don't mind hitting here," Worley said. "I don't enjoy pitching here. It's funky. It's hard to breathe, and you really have to make sure you get on top of the ball and direct it. Otherwise, it's not going to do anything."
As for his double, Worley said the 0-2 fastball from Ottavino "was up and away and rather than try to do too much with it, I just went with the pitch."
Joking about his first hit of the season, Worley said, "I think I had to fall on my face to really figure out how to hit. Even that wasn't anything special, just me running for my life.
"(First baseman) Cuddyer said, 'I'm not even going to hold you on. I know you're not going to steal.' I said, 'Thank-you, I appreciate that, but just don't back-pick me."
There was no chance of catcher Rosario trying to pick off Worley. Rollins grounded to Cuddyer to end the inning, and Worley, who is 5-5, went back to work in what became a 107-pitch start and just his second win in eight starts since May 11.
NOTES -- After Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay threw about 30 pitches, all fastballs and cutters as he typically does in his bullpen sessions during the season, Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said he expected Halladay to start Tuesday at Los Angeles. Halladay said, "I felt good," but because he hadn't yet spoken with general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., didn't want to say more. Dubee said, "I see much better length, much better extension, much better ease at getting to his far side, which would be away to a righty or in to a lefty -- which is generally the toughest one to throw." Halladay, who threw 61 pitches Thursday in a rehab start for high Class A Clearwater, last pitched for the Phillies on May 27 and has been sidelined with a strained muscle in his back. He will be on a pitch limit against the Dodgers, but Dubee declined to be specific...Manuel said with the Rockies starting left-hander Drew Pomeranz that Utley and Howard likely wouldn't start Sunday. ..Rockies shortstop Rutledge went 2-for-2 with two RBI in his major league debut. He's just the second player in franchise history to go 2-for-2 or better with at least two RBI in his first major league game. Derrick Gibson went 4-for-4 with two RBI in his major league debut Sept. 9, 1998...Rockies manager Jim Tracy said infielder Jonathan Herrera's shoulder soreness had subsided to the point where he could be used at second base Saturday night, but not on the left side of the infield, and could hit. Herrera pinch-hit in the fifth and singled and then left the game...Rockies first baseman Todd Helton (right hip inflammation) was feeling better after getting an anti-inflammatory injection Friday. Helton hopes he'll be ready when he's eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list July 24...In the absence of Helton, Tracy has been playing Cuddyer, whose primary position is right field, at first base and Tyler Colvin in right field. Tracy said this alignment gives him the equivalent of three center fielders in spacious Coors Field...Phillies infielder-outfielder Laynce Nix (left calf strain) was scheduled to play five innings at first base Saturday night for Clearwater in his third game on a rehab assignment.