By Chris Murray
For the Sunday Sun and the CM Report
Even though their record at home was just 12-19 coming into Tuesday’s game against a lackluster Colorado Rockies squad, the Phillies were in desperate need of a win desperate need of a win so they could avoid sinking further behind in the National League East, especially after last weekend’s sweep in Toronto.
The injury-riddled Phillies snapped their three-game losing streak and gave the sell-out crowd at Citizen’s Bank a reason to smile again by roughing up the Colorado Rockies in a 7-2 win that came courtesy of the long ball and the strong left arm of starting pitcher Cole Hamels.
Carlos Ruiz made a case for his possible selection to the 2012 All-Star game with a big night against the Rockies. He went 2-for-4 with a homerun and three runs batted in. Ruiz has a career-high nine homeruns. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said Ruiz has been hitting well since spring training.
“From day one, he’s been hitting and he’s kept his swing,” Manuel said. “He got a little whack last week, but he’s worked his way out of it. I’d say he hit the ball pretty good (Tuesday) night. He’s been hitting ever since he reported to camp this year.”
The Phillies also got a big night from John Mayberry Jr. who was also 2-for-4 including a two-run homer that the team up for good. It was the third straight game that Mayberry, batting in the seventh spot, has hit a homerun. He is batting .381 over his last five games and has 11 RBI in his last six games.
“He’s one of those guys that build his confidence and when he’s hitting in a good groove, I’ll see how I can move him,” Manuel said when asked about Mayberry is batting in the lineup. “He’s starting to swing very good.On the road, he started swinging good and he followed it up today.”
Hamels (10-3) had one of his better outings in quite some time after struggling in his last four starts.. He went eight innings, struck out seven and allowed just two earned runs in six hits. After walking Rockies starting pitcher in the second inning, Hamels struck out the next five batters. It was smooth sailing for the Phillies lefty for the rest of the game.
“Being a pitcher that’s the one taboo that you don’t ever want to do and that’s walking the pitcher,” Hamels said after the game. “You definitely have to step up and beardown that’s kind of what had to tell myself is just to bear down more and know that I can throw strikes and get guys out.
“I was able to get it under control and get guys when I needed to.”
After the Rockies had taken a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI single by Tyler Colvin, the Phillies evened the game at a run apiece when Placido Polanco double to left that scored Jimmy Rollins, who walked to open the inning.
For the game, Rollins scored three runs, had a stolen base,was 2-for-2 and reached all four times he was at the plate.
“That was big, he ran real good,” Manuel said. “That’s the best I’ve seen him run in a while and that shows that his legs are strong. When he plays like that, he gives us a lift.”
The Phils upped the margin to 3-1 in the fourth inning on a two-run homer by left fielder John Mayberry Jr. to left field. The Rockies their second run of the game on an RBI single by Chris Nelson that scored first baseman Todd Helton.
The Phillies added another run in the fifth inning on an RBI double by Ruiz that plated Rollins. A ground out by Hunter Pence scored Hamels to give the Phillies a 5-2 lead in the seventh. Later in the inning, Ruiz’s two-run blast to left center put the game away for the Phillies.