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Phillies 5, Rockies 1

The SportsXchange

DENVER - Before the game Sunday, Rockies manager Jim Tracy said, "We have a very intriguing pitching matchup today" with proven veteran Cole Hamels starting for the Phillies and promising rookie Drew Pomeranz pitching for the Rockies.

The matchup of left-handers was entirely one-sided. Hamels was dominant for the Phillies, who won the rubber game of the series 5-1, and Pomeranz came undone in the fifth inning when Hunter Pence hit a three-run homer that boosted the Phillies lead to 5-0.

Hamels, who improved his record to 11-4 and lowered his ERA to 3.07, gave up six hits with one walk and seven strikeouts in eight innings. He threw 111 pitches, 71 for strikes, and held the Rockies hitless in five at-bats with a runner in scoring position.

The Phillies broke an eight-game losing streak on Sundays, winning for just the fourth time in 16 Sunday games. They also broke a string of five straight series losses, having last won a series June 19-21 when they took two of three from the Rockies in Philadelphia.

The Rockies fell to 3-12 on Sundays -- 9-31 since the beginning of the 2011 season -- and saw their record in rubber games slip to 5-10.

Hamels worked out of trouble of his own making in the first. After Dexter Fowler led off with a single, Hamels fielded Marco Scutaro's bunt but threw wide of first base. Hamels then struck out Carlos Gonzalez and Ramon Hernandez -- they missed badly swinging at changeups -- and got Michael Cuddyer to ground out.

Hamels gave up a leadoff single in the second but retired the next three batters, gave up a leadoff single to Fowler in the third but picked him off and yielded a leadoff single in the fifth but got Josh Rutledge, the next batter, to ground into a double play.

The Rockies broke through in the sixth against Hamels when Scutaro walked with one out and scored when Gonzalez drove a triple to left-center. But Hamels struck out Ramon Hernandez and got Cuddyer to ground out.

Hamels was 0-1 with an 8.38 ERA in two previous starts at Coors Field, where, on April 10, 2009, he allowed 11 hits and seven earned runs, both career-high-tying figures.

The Phillies scored a run in the first when Shane Victorino tripled with one out. Center fielder Fowler made a dive for the ball in right-center, but Victorino, who tripled in the ninth Saturday, ended up with his third extra-base hit of the series.

Pomeranz struck out Pence, but Carlos Ruiz, despite breaking his bat, grounded a run-scoring single into left.

Ruiz led off the fourth with a double off the wall in right-center. He took third on Ty Wigginton's slow grounder to first and scored on Placido Polanco's sacrifice fly.

Pomeranz struck out the Nos. 8 and 9 hitters to start the fifth before Jimmy Rollins singled. He took second on Pomeranz's errant pickoff throw, and Victorino walked. Pence, who at that point was 0-for-10 with five strikeouts in the series, drove Pomeranz's 2-2 curveball into the left field stands for his 17th homer. Pomeranz then got Ruiz to fly out on his 80th and final pitch.

Pomeranz, who made his first career start against the Phillies, gave up five hits, three for extra bases, and five runs, tying his season-high in the latter category. He retired seven straight batters at one point before Ruiz's leadoff double in the fourth. Pence's homer is the third Pomeranz has allowed in 40 1/3 innings this season.

NOTES -- The Phillies plan to activate pitcher Roy Halladay on Tuesday to start at Los Angeles, according to a team official. He threw a 30-pitch bullpen Saturday, two days after working three innings for high Class A Clearwater on a rehab assignment. Halladay has been on the disabled list since May 28 with a strained right lat muscle...With his run-scoring single in the first, Phillies catcher Ruiz raised his average to .470 (31-for-66) in the first and second innings. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that's the highest average in the majors in the first and second for players with a minimum of 40 at-bats in those innings...Jhoulys Chacin, who last pitched for the Rockies on May 1 and has been out with a nerve irritation in a pectoral muscle, will throw a two-inning, 30-pitch simulated game Tuesday. He's expected to throw about 65 pitches total, counting his work in the bullpen before the simulated game...Rockies reliever Mike Ekstrom, who was brought up Friday from Triple-A Colorado Springs, pitched one scoreless inning for the second straight game...Left-handed hitters Chase Utley and Ryan Howard were not in the Phillies lineup against left-hander Drew Pomeranz. Both Utley and Howard missed considerable time with injuries to start the season, and entering Sunday, Utley is 4-for-14 with one RBI and two strikeouts and Howard is 0-for-6 with three strikeouts against left-handers. Howard pinch hit in the eighth against right-hander Rafael Betancourt and hit a hard grounder that turned into an inning-ending double play that went from first base to shortstop to first base.
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