PHILADELPHIA (AP) — After spending the first half of the season waiting for Chase Utley and Ryan Howard to return from injuries, the Philadelphia Phillies are back to where they were without the two stars.
Nate Schierholtz hit an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Phillies to a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Friday night.
The five-time defending NL East champion Phillies are within four games of .500 for the first time since they were 36-40 on June 26, the night before Utley came back. They're 22-14 since trading outfielders Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino at the trade deadline.
"That's kind of the way it goes," manager Charlie Manuel said. "I guess we have to keep at them."
Utley missed the first 76 games because of a chronic condition in both knees. Howard sat out the first 84 games recovering from surgery on his Achilles.
"If I had my way, we never would've been under .500," Manuel said.
Jimmy Rollins walked off Will Harris (1-1) to start the bottom of the ninth. Rollins advanced to second on Juan Pierre's sacrifice. After Utley was intentionally walked, both runners advanced on a wild pitch. Schierholtz then hit a sharp grounder to right field past a drawn-in infield.
"I knew I had to put it in play," Schierholtz said. "It's exciting. It's nice to get a big hit and help the team win."
Pinch-hitter Laynce Nix hit a tying, two-run double in the seventh, and the Phillies won for the 10th time in 14 games.
Jonathan Papelbon (4-6) tossed a scoreless ninth to earn the win.
Cliff Lee didn't get much run support again and failed to win his third straight start. He allowed two runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings, striking out seven.
The Phillies have scored three runs or fewer in 15 of Lee's 25 starts.
"Hopefully we can continue and finish this year out strong," Lee said.
Rockies starter Jeff Francis struck out seven in 5 2-3 scoreless innings. He gave up six hits to lower his ERA to 5.38.
"Regardless of their season, that's a pretty good team over there," Francis said.
Down 2-0, the Phillies rallied in the seventh off a trio of relievers. Pinch-hitter Pete Orr led off with an infield single against Carlos Torres. Two outs later, Pierre hit a single. Matt Reynolds entered and walked Utley to load the bases. Josh Roenicke came in and allowed the double to Nix to tie it at 2.
If you owe under $729k you may qualify for 3.05% APR Govt Refi Plans.