16 hits & only 3 runs? Desperate Phils will take it

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16 hits & only 3 runs? Desperate Phils will take it

MINNEAPOLIS – Red-faced and slumping behind a desk, Charlie Manuel looked totally spent after the Phillies’ 3-2 win over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday night (see Instant Replay).

“Had 'em all the way,” he said as soon as reporters entered his office. “Jeez … Are you kidding me.”

The Phillies had 16 hits -- 16 -- but scored just three runs. They left 16 men on base.

Manuel was asked if he could explain how a team could get 16 hits and score just three runs.

“Absolutely not,” he said. “I can’t explain it. We just didn’t knock anybody in.”

Only two of the 16 hits were for extra bases. That’s a big reason the Phils didn’t score more. They also had a runner thrown out at the plate.

“But at least we got guys on base,” Manuel said. “We can always have a chance to knock them in if they’re on base. Usually they’re not on base. Tonight we didn’t knock them in, but we knocked in enough.”

Kevin Frandsen started a decisive rally in the eighth with a double and scored the tying run on a hit by Michael Young. Ben Revere scored the go-ahead run on a ground out by Jimmy Rollins. Revere had four hits.

“That’s the best I’ve seen him play,” Manuel said. “The best he’s hit the ball and run. His speed was a factor.”

Cliff Lee got the win with seven strong innings and Mike Adams, who has struggled lately, set up Jonathan Papelbon’s save with his first clean inning in six appearances.

“I needed that -- big time,” Adams said. “It’s been a while. It felt good. I just tried to get ahead and throw strikes and let them get themselves out. It’s been a while since I had a clean inning.”

The win snapped a five-game losing streak for the Phillies. They are 32-35 heading into Denver on Friday night.

“This is a start,” Adams said. “We’ll see where it takes us.”

Phillies-Rockies 5 things: Jerad Eickhoff looking for consistency vs. Rockies' potent offense

Phillies-Rockies 5 things: Jerad Eickhoff looking for consistency vs. Rockies' potent offense

Phillies (15-26) vs. Rockies (28-17)
Coverage starts at  6:30 p.m. on CSN; streaming live on CSNPhilly.com and the NBC Sports App

The Phillies return home after a disastrous 2-7 road trip to host the NL West-leading Colorado Rockies in a four-game split.

Jerad Eickhoff gets the start for the Phils and is coming off of his best start in a month, but has a tough matchup vs. the Rockies’ potent offense.

Here are five things to know:

1. Like the old Eick
Eickhoff has been the model of consistency for Phillies pitchers since he joined the club in 2015, with 31 quality starts (six or more innings with no more than three earned runs) in 49 career games. But Eickhoff struggled recently, before regaining his form in his last start at Texas.

In his three prior starts — vs. the Dodgers, Cubs and Mariners — Eickhoff averaged just 4.2 innings per start as his ERA ballooned to 4.76. But the righty seemed to regain his form vs. the Rangers in his last start, a six-inning, two-earned-run outing.

Building off of that step will be a tall task, though against an explosive Rockies lineup.

2. Better hitters than Rocky
The hard-hitting Rockies are coming to town.

Colorado boasts one of the league’s best offenses, ranking fourth in runs scored, 10th in home runs and fifth in extra-base hits. Take the Rockies out of the thin air at Coors Field, and the numbers tell a different story, though. On the road, Colorado drops to 12th in runs, 14th in homers and 10th in extra-base hits. Still solid numbers, but nothing that jumps off the page at you. The Phillies (as bad as they are on the road) have more extra-base hits.

The Rockies are led by Mark Reynolds (yes, that Mark Reynolds), with 12 homers and 39 RBI. Shockingly, Reynolds — who has set the all-time single-season strikeout record in a season — is leading the team with a .323 batting average. 

Just about the only thing you don’t have to worry about with the Rockies’ offense is their speed. The Rockies rank dead last in MLB with just 11 steals on the year. 

3. Not the same old Rockies
Despite the dip in numbers on the road, the Rockies are still 15-7 on the road this season, the second-best mark in MLB, behind only the Astros.

What’s different about this year’s team, unlike years past, is the pitching. This year, they’re a middling staff, which is actually a huge improvement for the club. Last season, Rockies pitchers ranked in the bottom five in MLB in almost all categories: 27th in ERA (4.91), 28th in runs allowed (860) and 28th in opponent batting average (.274), just to name a few.

This year, the Rockies have knocked off nearly half a run per game (4.48 ERA) and rank 13th in the entire league with a .250 opponent batting average. With an offense like theirs, a middling pitching staff could be all the Rockies need to earn a postseason bid.

4. Oh, 'Dubel
What’s happened to Odubel Herrera?

After an All-Star 2016 season, Herrera has been one of the Phillies’ biggest disappointments in 2017. Batting just .236 on the year, Herrera is on pace to easily set a career high in strikeouts (168) and career lows in runs (60) and extra-base hits (39). Not a good look for Herrera after signing a five-year deal to be a building block of the future in the offseason. However, there is hope: In his career, Herrera has increased his batting average, runs scored and OPS each month as the season has gone along. 

5. This and that
•Jeff Hoffman will make a spot start for the Rockies on Monday. He’s the Rockies' third-ranked prospect by Baseball America and has a 4.97 ERA with 32 strikeouts and 19 walks in 10 career MLB games. Batters are hitting .282 off him this season.

•Eickhoff’s numbers have risen with Cameron Rupp behind the plate. With Rupp catching, Eickhoff has a 3.53 ERA as opposed to a 3.13 ERA with Carlos Ruiz catching.

•After a red-hot start to the month, Aaron Altherr has cooled off over the last week, hitting just .231 with more strikeouts (five) than RBI (four). 

Best of MLB: Rockies hit 4 HRs, extend franchise-best start in win over Reds

Best of MLB: Rockies hit 4 HRs, extend franchise-best start in win over Reds

CINCINNATI -- Rookie pitcher Kyle Freeland hit one of Colorado's four solo homers off Bronson Arroyo on Sunday, leading the Rockies to a 6-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

The Rockies extended the best start in franchise history by taking two of three from slumping Cincinnati. They have the NL's best record at 28-17.

Freeland (5-2) remained unbeaten on the road, giving up four runs -- three earned -- in 5 2/3 innings. Joey Votto and Scott Schebler homered off him in the sixth. The left-hander is 3-0 in five road starts.

Freeland also doubled and hit his first major league homer off Arroyo (3-4), connecting on a 71 mph pitch for a drive that carried over the wall in right field. Carlos Gonzalez, DJ LeMahieu and Pat Valaika also had solo shots off Arroyo, who has given up 15 homers -- second-most in the NL (see full recap).

Gomes' 5 RBIs help Indians sweep Astros
HOUSTON -- Yan Gomes homered and tied a career high with five RBIs to lead the Cleveland Indians over the Houston Astros 8-6 on Sunday and complete a three-game sweep.

Gomes' third-inning homer off Joe Musgrove (3-4) gave the Indians a 3-1 lead, and Cleveland added three more runs in the fourth. The Indians are 5-1 against Houston this season, dealing the Astros two of their three series losses.

Danny Salazar (3-4) yielded three runs and four hits in 5 2/3 innings with seven strikeouts.

Marwin Gonzalez hit a two-run homer off Zach McAllister on the 13th pitch of an at-bat with two outs and the ninth, and Alex Bregman homered on the next pitch. McAllister then struck out Nori Aoki.

Musgrove allowed a season-high seven runs and matched a high with eight hits. He lasted three-plus innings in his shortest start this season, and his ERA rose from 4.57 to 5.63 (see full recap).

Gardner, Sabathia lead Yanks over Rays, avoid sweep
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Brett Gardner hit his eighth home run, one more than this 2016 total, and CC Sabathia won consecutive starts for the first time in nearly a year to help the New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 Sunday and avoid a three-game sweep.

Rookie Aaron Judge made a full extension diving backhand catch on the right field warning track in the sixth to rob Evan Longoria of a tying extra-base hit, starting a double play that doubled up Corey Dickerson at first.

Didi Gregorius had four hits, including an RBI single, as New York won for just the fourth time in 11 games.

Sabathia (4-2), coming off a win at Kansas City, allowed two runs and four hits in five-plus innings. He had not won back-to-back starts since June 10 against Detroit and six days later at Minnesota.

Tyler Clippard stranded Kevin Kiermaier at third in the seventh when he relieved Chad Green and retired Logan Morrison on a flyout on the 11th pitch of an at-bat. Dellin Betances got four outs -- three on strikeouts -- for his second save (see full recap).

Trout, Cron power Angels past Mets 12-5 to avoid sweep
NEW YORK -- Mike Trout homered, doubled and drove in three runs, C.J. Cron hit a grand slam and the Los Angeles Angels bolted to a big lead in beating the New York Mets 12-5 Sunday.

Aiming to avoid a three-game sweep, the Angels built a 9-0 lead by the third inning. Andrelton Simmons and Jefry Marte also homered for Los Angeles.

Matt Reynolds, Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce hit home runs as the Mets tried to rally.

Cron's long slam highlighted a five-run first, and Trout hit his 14th homer and Marte followed with a home run in the second that chased Tommy Milone (1-2). Trout lined an RBI double off the center field wall in the third.

Jesse Chavez (4-5) pitched into the sixth and left soon after Bruce's three-run drive made it 9-5 (see full recap).