Phillies win nightcap 7-4 for DH sweep of Rockies
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Hold on, Phillies fans. The NL wild-card race isn't over yet.
One of baseball's biggest busts at the All-Star break, Philadelphia has won 12 of 16 games to move into playoff contention.
A long shot, but a shot.
Ryan Howard drove in two runs and seven pitchers combined to help the Phillies beat the Colorado Rockies 7-4 on Sunday night and complete a doubleheader sweep.
John Mayberry Jr. hit an RBI single in the ninth inning of the first game to lift the Phillies to a 3-2 win.
The Phillies trailed 4-1 in the second game before scoring two runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings for their fourth straight win. They have forced their way into the NL wild-card race and play their next seven games against cellar dwellers Miami and Houston.
Ty Wigginton hit the tying homer for the Phillies in the sixth and helped move them within six games of a wild-card spot. The Phillies (69-71) would like to hit .500 first.
"I know they're not going to pack it in," manager Charlie Manuel said.
Jonathan Papelbon won the opener and tossed a scoreless ninth for his 32nd save in the second game. He also earned the win Friday night to help the Phillies complete a three-game sweep.
B.J. Rosenberg (1-2) struck out two in a scoreless sixth for the win. Six Phillies relievers tossed one-hit ball over five shutout innings.
Josh Roenicke (4-2) took the loss. The Rockies followed Wilin Rosario's four passed balls in Game 1 with five errors in the nightcap. The Rockies only allowed three earned runs in the second game.
Chris Nelson hit a three-run homer for the Rockies, who have lost five straight games.
"You can't make five errors in a game or you're going to lose," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said.
Howard, who left two runners stranded when he fouled out to end the third, delivered in the fifth. He lined a shot to right that scored two to make it 4-3, but he was thrown out at second for the third out.
If Howard didn't get thrown out, Wigginton doesn't lead off the sixth against Roenicke with his 11th homer of the season to make it 4-4.
Those are the kinds of breaks the Phillies are getting during their sensational second-half turnaround.
"I think we're finally getting some breaks, where I don't think we got a single break the first 80, 90 games of the season," Papelbon said.
Kevin Frandsen put the Phillies ahead with a pinch-hit single in the sixth.
Howard and Chase Utley are healthy after missing the first half with injuries. All-Star catcher Carlos Ruiz is back, too, after missing the last month with a foot injury.
Ruiz returned to pinch hit in the sixth as the familiar sound of "Choooooch" filled the Philadelphia night. He singled, stayed in the game, and had an RBI single in the seventh. Nate Schierholtz added a run-scoring single to make it 7-4.
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