The Phillies blew a late scoring opportunity in a tie game, and the bullpen then blew the game, as the host Colorado Rockies brought the Phils’ 6-game winning streak to an end last night with a 6-5 win at frosty cold Coors Field.
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The hosts jumped on Phillies starter Aaron Harang early, scoring 3x in the bottom of the first. It would be the only damage they would inflict on the increasingly reliable righthander.
The damage came with two outs, when Wilin Rosario delivered a 2-run triple and scored on a single by Nick Hundley. The Phillies got right back into it with a pair in the 2nd and a solo run in the 3rd.
In the top of the 2nd, Maikel Franco doubled for the first of his three hits on the night. He scored when Chase Utley followed with a double of his own. After a sacrifice bunt, Carlos Ruiz then doubled home Utley, and the Phils had sliced the deficit to 3-2. In the top of the 3rd, Franco singled home Grady Sizemore to tie it up at 3-3.
The two teams remained tied through 6 innings, and both starters were finished. Harang allowed the 3 runs, but none were earned runs. He struck out 7 and walked 3 while allowing just 3 hits. Rockies’ starter Chad Bettis allowed 8 hits, but walked none while striking out 5 batters.
In the bottom of the 7th, the Rockies put two on the board against Jake Diekman to re-take the lead when Troy Tulowitzki dropped a 2-run bloop double just in front of the charging Sizemore at the right field foul line.
The Phils got those two runs right back in the top of the 8th against Rockies’ reliever Boone Logan. Again it was Franco doing the damage. The rookie 3rd baseman singled back through the middle on a first-pitch fastball, scoring Freddy Galvis and Jeff Francoeur with the runs that made it a 5-5 game.
For the bottom of the 8th, skipper Ryne Sandberg went to Justin De Fratus instead of his regular 8th inning man Ken Giles. At first, it appeared the move would work out, as De Fratus retired the first two batters. But then Hundley drove a homerun over the left centerfield wall, and the Rockies had a 6-5 lead.
John Axford came on to close it out in the top of the 9th, and he pretty much mowed through the Phils for a 1-2-3 inning that earned him a 5th Save on the season. Having split the first two games of this 4-game series, the Phils will send Severino Gonzalez out to the hill tonight, in place of injured starter Chad Billingsley. It will be 24-year old rookie Eddie Butler on the mound for Colorado.