Atkins powers Rockies to win
PHILADELPHIA ” Garrett Atkins hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth inning to help the Colorado Rockies beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-3 on Thursday.
Aaron Cook pitched seven strong innings and Brad Hawpe went 3-for-5 with a solo homer for Colorado, which improved to 7-3 on the road.
Pat Burrell had a two-run single for the Phillies, who fell to 5-10 at home.
Cook (2-3) allowed three runs ” two earned ” and six hits. Ray King and Jose Mesa combined for a scoreless eighth and Brian Fuentes finished for his fourth save, extending his franchise record to 22 straight.
Matt Holliday started the eighth inning with a single off Ryan Franklin (1-2). Atkins then hit a 1-2 pitch off the brick batter’s eye beyond the center-field wall for his third homer, giving Colorado a 5-3 lead. Atkins also had an RBI single in the ninth.
The road-warrior Rockies ” they were 395-628 away from home before this season ” split the four-game series against Philadelphia. Another small crowd of 21,506 turned out at three-year-old Citizens Bank Park, where attendance has steadily declined.
Once the Phillies fell behind, some fans started chanting: “Let’s Go Flyers.” The Flyers trail Buffalo 2-1 in an NHL first-round playoff series. But at least they’ve reached the postseason 11 consecutive years. The Phillies haven’t been to the playoffs since losing the World Series in 1993.
Phillies starter Jon Lieber allowed three runs and nine hits in seven innings and failed to win his first game. He’s 0-4 with a 7.04 ERA.
Lieber finished 17-13 in his first season in Philadelphia, and was one of the league’s best pitchers over the final month when he was 5-1 with a 2.06 ERA.
The Phillies took a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Chase Utley singled and Bobby Abreu doubled. Both scored on Burrell’s liner down the left-field line. Burrell was out trying to stretch the single into a double.
The Rockies cut it to 2-1 when Hawpe led off the second with his sixth homer. A throwing error by shortstop Clint Barmes on Lieber’s grounder allowed David Bell to score, giving the Phillies a 3-1 lead in the fourth.
Miguel Ojeda’s run-scoring double and Barmes’ two-out RBI single tied it at 3 in the fifth.
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