Harper's 8th-inning double breaks tie, Phillies rally past Gomber, Rockies 6-3
DENVER (AP) — Bryce Harper broke an eighth-inning tie with a two-run double, Kyle Schwarber hit a two-run homer and the Philadelphia Phillies rallied to beat the Colorado Rockies 6-3 on Friday night for their fourth straight win.
Alec Bohm added a solo shot and the Phillies reached .500 despite catcher J.T. Realmuto exiting in the seventh with a sprained right pinkie.
“A great win,” said manager Rob Thomson, who indicated Realmuto should only miss one game.
Rockies starter Austin Gomber used a dominant knuckle-curve to retire his first 14 batters and faced the minimum 19 until Bohm's 433-foot solo shot to left field. Three batters later, Schwarber hit a towering 430-foot fly to center on a knuckle-curve to put Philadelphia ahead 3-1.
But then Phillies starter Taijuan Walker put the first two batters on in the bottom of the seventh, the first on his wild pitch after striking out Ryan McMahon. Matt Strahm relieved and gave up Ezequiel Tovar's RBI single and Charlie Blackmon's sacrifice fly to tie it.
C.J. Cron had a sacrifice fly in the sixth off Walker, who allowed three runs and seven hits.
Harper, who fanned in his first two at-bats against Gomber, drilled a 2-0 sweeper off the right-field wall against Justin Lawrence (1-2) with two outs in the eighth for his 300th career double. Harper, who went 2 for 4 as the DH, then stole third and scored on a throwing error.
So much for taking it easy in his eighth game back from Tommy John surgery.
“This might sound bad, but if it blows it blows,” Harper said, pointing to his elbow. “I'm not going to be reckless, but I don't want to go out there and be hesitant.”
Strahm (3-3) got three outs, Seranthony Domínguez worked around a leadoff single in the eighth and Craig Kimbrel struck out the side after allowing a single in the ninth for his fourth save. It was Philadelphia's ninth win in 10 tries against Colorado.
Realmuto's double to left in the fifth was the first hit off Gomber. But Realmuto was thrown out trying to take third after a bad relay throw and was injured on his headfirst slide.
“I jammed it into the bag and then the bag popped up and landed on my finger,” Realmuto said. “It kind of bent it backward.”
Garrett Stubbs pinch-hit for Realmuto in the seventh. Realmuto said he expected to take Saturday off and play Sunday.
After a dismal 7-20 April, the Rockies had won eight of 10 and were coming off a 4-2 trip. But Gomber's dominance faded in the opener of a six-game homestand.
Gomber was charged with three runs and five hits with no walks and six strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings.
“He was outstanding,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “So was the other guy.”
Walker, who threw seven scoreless innings in his previous start at Colorado last May for the New York Mets, said the altitude is good for his splitter.
“It's because no one knows what it will do,” Walker said. “The goal was to keep it down and let it do whatever it does.”
Phillies: Thomson said LHP José Alvarado (elbow inflammation) was feeling better and could start throwing before the end of the trip.
Rockies: RHP Antonio Senzatela is out at least two months with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament. Waiver claim Chase Anderson is expected to start in his place Tuesday against Cincinnati.
FALTER TO FOLLOW
Struggling Phillies LHP Baily Falter (0-6, 5.75 ERA) is skipping a turn and while his next appearance will come Monday at San Francisco, it won't be as a starter. Thomson said the team will use an undetermined opener for Falter.
“Other than his last start, he's had trouble in the first inning,” Thomson said.
Black entered the dugout to meet reporters before the game sporting a Nikola Jokic No. 15 Nuggets jersey. Denver reached the NBA's Western Conference finals with a Game 6 victory in Phoenix on Thursday.
Phillies LHP Ranger Suárez, healed from a left elbow strain, will make his season debut Saturday night against Rockies RHP Ryan Feltner (2-2, 5.08 ERA). Thomson hopes Suárez can throw five innings or 75-80 pitches.
Rockies RHP Antonio Senzatela out at least 2 months with sprained UCL
DENVER (AP) — Colorado Rockies right-hander Antonio Senzatela will miss at least two months with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament.
Senzatela, however, avoided the same fate as fellow starter Germán Márquez, who had season-ending Tommy John surgery on Friday.
“The news is favorable, considering,” Rockies manager Bud Black said Friday before Colorado faced Philadelphia. “In these cases you always sort of expect the worst. But this is actually OK.”
Senzatela was pulled with two outs in the third inning Wednesday at Pittsburgh after experiencing forearm tightness. His velocity had dipped in only his second start since returning after tearing the ACL in his left knee on Aug. 18 at St. Louis.
“During the game I couldn't get loose," Senzatela said. "It was painful every time (I threw)."
Senzatela said he was relieved an MRI showed no tear. Earlier this month, Colorado lost Márquez to a torn UCL.
Black said Senzatela wouldn't pick up a ball for at least three weeks but “should be able to pitch again this year.” Senzatela said he and the team haven't decided whether to try a platelet-rich plasma injection.
The Rockies moved to address Senzatela's absence by claiming right-hander Chase Anderson off waivers from Tampa Bay on Friday. Black said the 35-year-old will likely start on Tuesday against Cincinnati.
Anderson made two relief appearances for Tampa Bay, allowing no runs and two hits over five innings. But he's made 183 career starts and Black said he's built up enough to throw about 75 pitches.
Anderson is 58-50 with a 4.23 ERA in 201 appearances over 10 seasons with Arizona, Milwaukee, Toronto, Philadelphia, Cincinnati and the Rays.
After going a franchise-worst 7-20 in April, the Rockies had won eight of 10 despite the recent rash of rotation injuries. Rookie right-hander Noah Davis is on the 15-day injured list with right elbow inflammation.
Black said Márquez was undergoing elbow reconstruction surgery Friday in Denver.