Ninth-inning rally rescues Phillies

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Michael Young was riding a three-week slump. Until recently, it had been a season-long struggle for his teammate, Carlos Ruiz.
Both had a hand in a two-run, ninth-inning rally Wednesday night as the Phillies beat the Colorado Rockies 4-3.
Ruiz doubled home the tying run, then scored the game-winner on Young's single, and the Phillies won for the third in six games under Ryne Sandberg. The interim manager replaced Charlie Manuel, who was fired Friday.
"The guys battled to the end," Sandberg said after the Phillies' ninth walk-off win of the season.
With the Rockies leading 3-2, Erik Kratz led off the ninth with a double off Rafael Betancourt (2-4). Pinch runner Casper Wells moved to third on a grounder by John Mayberry Jr., and Ruiz, pinch-hitting for winning pitcher Jake Diekman, doubled to score Wells.
Young, 0-for-4 to that point in the game and mired in a 9-for-56 (.161) skid, lined Betancourt's first pitch into the left field corner for the game-winner.
It was just the second blown save in 19 opportunities for Betancourt.
"I'll take Raffy with a one-run lead every time," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.
Young did not address reporters after the game. Ruiz, who served a 25-game suspension for using a banned stimulant at the beginning of the season, is now 7-for-17 (.412) on the team's homestand, including a 4-for-4 game, raising his average to .269.
"It was really tough on me after what happened, but no excuses," he said. "I'm just trying to do my best to help the team."
He grounded a 1-1 slider from Betancourt down the left field line to drive in the tying run.
"I was looking for something middle-in," Ruiz said. "I wanted to get the ball out of the infield."
Diekman (1-3) pitched a scoreless inning for the victory.
The Rockies' Nolan Arenado had snapped a 2-2 tie with an RBI single off Philadelphia reliever Justin De Fratus in the eighth.
Wilin Rosario homered for the Rockies, who were seeking to win back-to-back road games for the first time since June 22-23, at Washington. Colorado is 23-42 on the road in all.
Rockies starter Juan Nicasio pitched 5 2/3 innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on seven hits. He struck out three and walked one.
The Phillies' Cliff Lee went seven innings and allowed two runs on nine hits while striking out six. He didn't walk a batter. Since last winning on July 5, he is 0-4 with two no-decisions.
Chase Utley's first-inning homer staked the Phillies to a 1-0 lead, but the Rockies answered with two in the second. Rosario hit his 19th homer of the year and second in as many nights, and Dexter Fowler drove in a run with a two-out single.
The Phillies loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth but settled for a single run, when Young grounded into a double play for the 18th time this season. He is fourth in the National League in that department.
De Fratus hit pinch hitter Charlie Blackmon with a 2-2 pitch to start the eighth, and one out later Michael Cuddyer singled him to third. Arenado then punched an 0-1 pitch through the right side to give the Rockies a 3-2 lead.
NOTES: Rosario, who made his second start of the season at first base, has now hit safely in 12 straight games, while Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki has hit in eight straight. ... Utley's homer was his 16th of the year and his first since Aug. 2, 17 games earlier. ... Diekman has limited left-handed hitters to an .043 average (1-for-23) over his past 14 appearances. ... Philadelphia SS Jimmy Rollins ended an 0-for-18 slump with a seventh-inning double. ... Earlier in the day, the Phillies signed free agent OF Roger Bernadina and optioned INF/OF Michael Martinez to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Bernadina flied out as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning. ... Phillies RHP Roy Halladay, who underwent shoulder surgery in June, will make his third rehab start Sunday, for Double-A Reading. ... RHP Jonathan Pettibone, who made his second rehab start Tuesday for Lehigh Valley, experienced discomfort in his shoulder and will undergo an MRI exam Thursday.

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