Colon stymies Phillies as Dom Brown sits again

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Colon stymies Phillies as Dom Brown sits again

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Bartolo Colon might look more like a Wing Bowl contestant than a major-league pitcher, but he had no trouble with the Phillies Friday night.

In fact, you could say he gobbled them up.

Colon, the rotund 41-year-old right-hander, pitched eight innings of one-run ball in leading the New York Mets to a 5-4 win over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park (see Instant Replay).

With the victory, Colon became just the third Dominican-born pitcher to reach 200 wins, joining Hall of Famer Juan Marichal (243) and future Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez (219).

Colon served a suspension for testing positive for PEDs in 2012.

The Mets have won 11 of their last 13 games in Philadelphia, dating to last season.

Colon left with a 5-1 lead after eight innings and the Mets’ bullpen nearly coughed up the lead. The Phillies rallied for three runs in the bottom of the ninth. Jenrry Mejia stopped the rally by striking out pinch-hitter Reid Brignac looking at a third strike as the tying run stood on third base.

Grady Sizemore provided the big hit in the ninth, a hard-hit, two-run double off the right-field wall with no outs.

Mets rightfielder Curtis Granderson then made a diving catch on Carlos Ruiz’s sinking liner to save a run. If that ball dropped in, the Phils might have had their second late win in as many nights.

Sizemore’s double was his only hit of the night. He is 28 for 85 (.329) with seven doubles and one home run in 23 games with the Phillies. He has been the Phillies’ starter in left field eight of the last nine games as Domonic Brown’s playing time has shrunk.

Brown, hitting .228 in 107 games, struck out as a pinch-hitter in Friday night’s game. He has been out of the starting lineup nine straight games, though three of those non-starts came over the weekend in Washington when he was being treated for a tonsil infection.

Asked about his health before Friday night’s game, Brown said: “I’m 100 percent. Have been for four days.” Brown was terse and he did not sound happy.

Manager Ryne Sandberg clearly likes what he’s seen of Sizemore. The Phillies swept Houston in the previous three games and Sizemore was right back in left field Friday night.

“Well, you don’t want to mess with something that’s going good, either,” Sandberg said before the game. “Domonic will get another day of batting practice under his belt.

“We'll give (Sizemore) a number of at-bats and see what he looks like for the future. He's part of a lineup that has won three straight, so that's a part of it also."

Phillies starter A.J. Burnett continued his second-half slide. He was tagged for 11 hits and five runs in six innings. His ERA in five starts since the All-Star break is a plump 6.66.

Two of Burnett’s last three starts have been losses to the Mets. In those two starts, he has pitched 11 innings and given up 19 hits and 12 earned runs.

Sandberg said Burnett was falling behind in too many counts and elevating too many pitches.

Burnett, who is 6-12 with a 4.29 ERA in 25 starts, agreed.

“That’s how it’s been the past four starts,” he said. “It’s time to get better. I’m pretty sure they didn’t bring me over here to be like this all year — inconsistent.”

Burnett allowed six hits and four runs in the fourth inning. He was still upset about that after the game. Had he limited the damage in that inning, the Phils’ rally in the ninth might have gone further.

Colon scattered six hits, walked none and struck out six in beating the Phils for the second time in his last three starts. He allowed just one run in 7 2/3 innings against the Phillies on July 28.

So in his last 15 2/3 innings against the Phils, Colon has given up just two runs.

“He has movement on his fastball — cuts it and sinks it,” Sandberg said. “And he changes speeds on his fastball. I think it’s been really hard for our hitters to gauge his fastball. It’s anywhere from 88 to 92 (mph).”

Colon actually hit 94 on the stadium radar gun in the eighth inning.

“He does a good job changing speed with his fastball,” Cody Asche said. “And I think he’s good at reading the hitter, too -- kind of like being a step ahead. I think that’s why he’s survived so long in this game and done so well. He’s tough.”

Phillies held to 3 hits again, pounded by Rockies in return home

Phillies held to 3 hits again, pounded by Rockies in return home

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The loudest noise made by the Phillies' offense on Monday night was the thud — clearly audible above the small crowd — that Odubel Herrera created when he smashed his batting helmet on the dirt infield after grounding out to third base to end the seventh inning.

Herrera's frustration spoke for an entire team. The Phillies were hammered, 8-1, by the Colorado Rockies (see Instant Replay). They were out-hit, 13-3. The loss was the Phils' 18th in the last 22 games and they have been outscored 126-89 over that span.

The loss left the Phils at 15-27 for the season, matching their worst 42-game start since 2000 when they finished 65-97 in front of tiny crowds at Veterans Stadium in Terry Francona's last season as skipper.

Over the last two games, both losses, the Phils have just six hits.

"Three hits today, three hits yesterday," manager Pete Mackanin said. "You're not going to win a lot of games getting three hits."

Aaron Altherr had two of the Phillies' hits, both doubles against Colorado rookie Jeff Hoffman, who was very impressive with seven walk-free innings and seven strikeouts.

Herrera went hitless in three at-bats and is hitting just .200 in the month of May and .232 overall — not what the front office expected when it signed him to a five-year, $30.5 million contract extension in the offseason.

"It's very frustrating because I feel like I am being selective and waiting for my pitch, but when I make contact things don't happen," Herrera said. "I feel like I'm swinging the bat well, but I'm just missing."

Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff gave up nine hits, seven of which were singles, and four runs over six innings. Four of the hits that Eickhoff allowed came in the third inning when the Rockies scored three times. Two of the runs scored on a flare double and the other on a groundball through a drawn-in infield.

"I executed a lot of good pitches," Eickhoff said. "I got a lot of the contact I wanted. The ball just didn't land in the gloves."

Eickhoff did not walk a batter. He struck out four.

Despite being 0-5 with a 4.70 ERA in nine starts, the right-hander believes he has made strides his last two outings. He gave up three runs (two earned) over six innings in his previous outing at Texas. Prior to that start, he worked on fixing a mechanical flaw in his delivery.

"These past two have been night-and-day different," he said. "I felt great today and in Texas and I'm going to keep that positivity going."

Finding other things to be positive about with this team is becoming difficult.

This Phillies team was not expected to contend; it is still in a rebuild. But things weren't supposed to be this bad, either.

"I'll tell you what, I'm getting frustrated, too," general manager Matt Klentak said before the game. "This team is better … there is more talent on this team than we've shown in terms of our record.

"We'll pull out of it. We will. That's what talented players will do. I'm not going to tell the fans they shouldn't be frustrated. We've gone through a tough stretch.

"But I'm not ready to call it regression. I think there's been a lack of consistency on our team in general, with some players more than others. There's been a lack of consistency, but especially for young players, two months is a relatively small sample size to categorize it as regression."

At 29-17, the Rockies have the best record in the National League. They have 16 road wins, which is one more than the Phillies have overall. The Rockies are in town for three more days. This ugly start could get even uglier.

Best of MLB: Twins pound out 21 hits, storm back to beat Orioles

Best of MLB: Twins pound out 21 hits, storm back to beat Orioles

BALTIMORE -- Max Kepler homered and drove in four runs, Miguel Sano and Jorge Polanco each had a career-high four hits and the Minnesota Twins roared back to beat the Baltimore Orioles 14-7 Monday night.

Minnesota trailed 5-0 in the second inning and 6-2 entering the fifth before cranking up the offense against Ubaldo Jimenez and an ineffective Baltimore bullpen.

A two-run double by Kepler helped the Twins knot the score in the fifth, Minnesota sent 11 batters to the plate in a six-run sixth and Sano added a two-run homer in the ninth.

Joe Mauer had three hits, two RBIs and scored twice for the Twins, who reached season highs in runs and hits (21).

Adam Jones hit a three-run drive in the second inning off Kyle Gibson (1-4) for Baltimore (see full recap).

Peacock, Astros 1-hit Tigers
HOUSTON -- Brad Peacock and three relievers combined for a one-hitter and Jose Altuve provided the offense with an RBI double to lead the Houston Astros to 1-0 win over the Detroit Tigers on Monday night.

Peacock was solid moving out of the bullpen to make a spot start for injured ace Dallas Keuchel. In his first start since September, Peacock allowed the lone hit and struck out eight in 4 1/3 innings. He was lifted after walking Tyler Collins with one out in the fifth inning.

Chris Devenski (3-2) took over and pitched 2 2/3 innings for the win before Will Harris pitched a scoreless eighth. Ken Giles struck out two in the ninth for his 12th save to allow the Astros to bounce back after being swept by the Indians over the weekend.

Detroit's only hit was a single by Mikie Mahtook with one out in the third on a night the Tigers tied a season high by striking out 14 times. The team's only baserunner after Collins was Victor Martinez, who was plunked with one out in the seventh. But Houston still faced the minimum in that inning when J.D. Martinez grounded into a double play to end the seventh.

The Astros struck early against Michael Fulmer (5-2) when George Springer drew a leadoff walk before scoring on the double by Altuve to make it 1-0 with one out in the first (see full recap).

Homers help Yankees top Royals
NEW YORK -- Didi Gregorius, Brett Gardner and Chris Carter homered, and the New York Yankees once again downed Jason Vargas by beating the Kansas City Royals 4-2 Monday night.

A reversed umpire's call in the seventh inning kept the Yankees ahead and enabled Michael Pineda (5-2) to top Vargas for the second time in a week. The Royals, with the worst record in the AL, have lost five of seven.

Vargas (5-3) began the day with a 2.03 ERA, tied for second-best in the majors. But the lefty fell to 0-7 lifetime against the Yankees when he was tagged by Gardner and Gregorius, the only left-handed hitters in the New York lineup (see full recap).