Instant Replay: Phillies 5, Rockies 4

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Instant Replay: Phillies 5, Rockies 4

BOX SCORE

A pair of two-out rallies in the eighth and ninth innings helped the Phillies win dramatically for a second straight night in a 5-4 victory over the Rockies.

Dom Brown delivered the walk-off piece with two outs in the ninth off lefty Jeff Francis to plate Michael Young. Young singled home Jimmy Rollins after a two-out double and a stolen base that started the rally.

The Phillies went into the eighth inning trailing by three when Darin Ruf hit a two-run homer. The ninth looked as if it was going to go quickly and quietly until Rollins doubled. After Young’s single, Chase Utley walked to set the table for Brown’s heroics.

With the win the Phillies took their first four-game series of the season and improved to 57-70 as well as to 4-3 under interim manager Ryne Sandberg.

Starting pitching report
Kyle Kendrick pitched well for the majority of his five-plus innings on Thursday night. Through the first four innings, the right-hander allowed just one runner to get to second base and retired 12 of the first 15 he faced.

But in the fourth and fifth Kendrick found trouble. The Rockies tied the game with a run on a pair of singles in the fifth. In the sixth, the Rockies pieced together four straight hits with Wilin Rosario delivering the crusher with a three-run homer.

For the Rockies, Chad Bettis was in line to pick up his first big-league win in his fifth start until the Phillies tied it in the ninth. Bettis allowed one run on six hits and a walk in 5 1/3 innings. He had five strikeouts.

Bullpen report
Zach Miner pitched two perfect innings in relief for Kendrick. B.J. Rosenberg followed with a scoreless eighth before turning it over to lefty Cesar Jimenez for a perfect ninth.

Jimenez got his first win of the season and his second of his career.

Rockies’ closer Rafael Betancourt was charged with his second blown save in as many nights. Betancourt has blown three save chances in 19 tries this year.

At the plate
Ruf hit a two-out, two-run homer in the eighth to bring the Phillies to within a run. Rollins and Brown also had a pair of hits and Utley drew three walks.

Carlos Ruiz continued to swing a hot bat, going 3 for 4. In the last five games, Ruiz is 10 for 16.

For the Rockies, Rosario showed up in Philly hot and he will leave on fire. Rosario hit three homers in the series and has 20 for the season. He also pushed his hitting streak to 13 games.

Rosario is 11 for 25 with four HRs and 10 RBIs in seven games against the Phillies this year.

Michael Cuddyer and Troy Tulowitzki also had a pair of hits for the Rockies in the game.

Pettibone shut down
Rookie right-hander Jonathan Pettibone said the results of his recent MRI exam showed inflammation and no structural damage. As a result, he will be shut down indefinitely until the injury subsides. Pettibone said the odds are that he won't pitch again this season.

Up next
The Phillies continue their 10-game homestand on Friday night when the Arizona Diamondbacks arrive for three games. The pitching matchups for the series are:

Friday: Cole Hamels (5-13, 3.61) vs. LHP Wade Miley (9-8, 3.56)
Saturday: Ethan Martin (2-2, 5.23) vs. RHP Randall Delgado (4-4, 3.82)
Sunday: TBA vs. LHP Patrick Corbin (13-3, 2.45).

Phillies' Darin Ruf could be facing quiet goodbye

Phillies' Darin Ruf could be facing quiet goodbye

NEW YORK — The final eight games remaining on the Phillies’ 2016 schedule will undoubtedly serve as a farewell to Ryan Howard.

Lost in the background may be the fact this week could quite possibly be the end for the man who was supposed to platoon alongside him this year, as well: Darin Ruf.

Both men have been supplanted by Tommy Joseph, who's hit 21 home runs in just 100 games this year while positioning himself as the Phillies first baseman of the near future.

Ruf will start Saturday night against Mets’ lefthander Sean Gilmartin. The Phillies are not scheduled to face a lefty starter for the rest of the season, so Saturday could be one of the final chances to see Ruf in a Phillies uniform, especially considering manager Pete Mackanin’s stated intent to give Howard more playing time down the stretch.

“It seemed like we never faced a lefty for the first month of the season. So that didn’t help Ruf at the time,” Mackanin said.  “Joseph entered the picture and made an immediate impression.”

Ruf’s departure from the majors set the stage for Joseph’s immediate emergence. At the time of his May 13 demotion to AAA Lehigh Valley – and Joseph’s promotion -- Ruf was had a .158/.206/.193 slash line.
  
Since his Sept. 1 return to the majors after rosters expanded, Ruf has done what he can to make sure his possible final season in a Phillies uniform ends on a high note. On Friday night, he drilled a home run to left center off Mets reliever Josh Smoker in pinch-hit duty, the first time Ruf had gone yard since Oct. 1, 2015.

“It felt good,” Ruf said about ending his home run drought. “You just try to simply things and last night it worked out for me.”

Where Ruf will be next year is a more complicated matter, as the 30-year-old is out of minor league options. Japanese scouts were spotted at the games he played for AAA Lehigh Valley.

With Lehigh Valley, Ruf received an opportunity he’s never truly been able to get with the Phillies due to the longstanding presence of Howard: a chance to play every day and consistently accumulate plate appearances. He hit .294/.356/.529 in 390 trips to the plate for the IronPigs. 

Ruf has never made more than 300 plate appearances in a major league season and would struggle to crack that number if he remains in Philadelphia as a backup to Joseph, who will still be 25 on opening day next year.

“I learned [this year] that you can’t take anything for granted in this game,” Ruf said. “You’ve just got to keep working to get better every day, got to put up numbers no matter where you’re at in order to get to where you want. 

“Hopefully, wherever I’m at next year, I can do that.”

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Tonight's Lineup: Jorge Alfaro catches, bats 8th vs. Mets

Tonight's Lineup: Jorge Alfaro catches, bats 8th vs. Mets

Jorge Alfaro is behind the plate for the Phillies tonight and bats eighth. Alfaro has appeared in just four games since being called up earlier this month, and has just one hit in 10 at-bats. 

Tommy Joseph is back in the lineup and batting fifth. Pete Mackanin has said that Ryan Howard would get a lot of playing time during the last few games, but it is Joseph who gets the start tonight. Joseph is batting just .154 against the Mets this season. 

Odubel Herrera, who has been hitting well in September, will remain in the three spot. He has two homers and is batting .391 over the past week. Herrera has two hits in six at-bats against Mets' starter Sean Gilmartin. 

Phillies

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Roman Quinn, RF
3. Odubel Herrera, CF 
4. Maikel Franco, 3B 
5. Tommy Joseph, 1B
6. Darin Ruf, LF
7. Freddy Galvis, SS
8. Jorge Alfaro, C
9. Alec Asher, P