Holliday jump-starts offense in victory
Rockies move into tie with Phils for second in Wild Card race
PHILADELPHIA -- Rockies left fielder Matt Holliday stung two balls during the Rockies' 12-0 defeat of the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday night before 31,541.
One of those was notable for conventional reasons. It sailed into the left-field stands for his 30th homer of the season, a three-run shot in the third inning. It was his third homer in three games against the Phils and fifth in four games overall as the Rockies kept pace in the National League Wild Card race.
The other went into the trivia books.
Holliday's line drive with two runners on in the first inning was caught by third baseman Greg Dobbs, who began the 30th triple play in Phillies history, and third turned against the Rockies in their 15 seasons. But the way Holliday is hitting the ball, he couldn't help but think he was simply robbed of a hit.
"I hit it hard, too," he said. "It was unfortunate. I would have liked to have had that be a hit, too, but it doesn't always work out."
The hitting of Holliday, Todd Helton, who went 3-for-4 with a three-run double, and Cory Sullivan, who went 3-for-4 with a homer, led the Rockies to the most lopsided road shutout and biggest road victory margin in their history. It also moved them into a tie with the Phillies and Dodgers, who beat the Padres on Wednesday, in the NL Wild Card standings. They now sit 2 1/2 games back of San Diego.
The Rockies have guaranteed a split of the four-game set with the Phils, which ends on Thursday night.
The triple play was part of an odd beginning. Sullivan singled when Phils center fielder Aaron Rowand and left fielder Pat Burrell couldn't decide who would field the fly ball, and Troy Tulowitzki reached on a rare, for him, bunt single. Then came the triple play.
"There's nothing we can do about it," he said. "It was a weird play. But fold up your tent and leave? It's not that big a deal."
Holliday is 6-for-11 with eight RBIs in this series.
"He's started over the weekend and he's answering some challenges," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "He's our 'three guy' [in the batting order]. We're playing some big games and he's getting big hits. Everybody feeds off everybody. He's throwing a lot of energy out there and he's throwing a lot of emotion out there."
The Holliday homer wasn't the worst thing that happened to Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick (8-4). Fourth-inning leadoff man Garrett Atkins lined a single off the outside of Kendrick's knee. Kendrick left with assistance. After X-rays, the Phillies announced that Kendrick had a contusion, not a broken bone.
Despite the victory margin, the Rockies needed pitching.
Season-ending injuries to original rotation members Aaron Cook, Rodrigo Lopez and Jason Hirsh and the fact that replacement starter Elmer Dessens is slowed by a hamstring strain meant the Rockies needed a makeshift plan for Wednesday. Reliever Denny Bautista and recent pickup Mark Redman made it work.
The Phils loaded the bases in the first on two walks and a hit, but Bautista struck out Ryan Howard, and forced popups from Rowand and Dobbs. Bautista also overcame Jayson Werth's leadoff single in the second.
Then Redman (1-4) held the Phils to two hits and struck out four in five innings. Juan Morillo and Josh Newman, a left-hander making his Major League debut, added a perfect inning apiece.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.