Rusin fills in effectively on mound, at plate

Left-hander throws three scoreless innings in relief, triples in 6th

Rusin fills in effectively on mound, at plate

PHILADELPHIA -- An unexpectedly abbreviated start, in hot, sticky weather at Citizens Bank Park: Rockies left-handed reliever Chris Rusin has handled that before.

Rusin entered Saturday night after Tyler Anderson was ejected at the start of the fourth inning for hitting the Phillies' Maikel Franco, who hit a three-run homer in the first. Rusin pitched three scoreless innings, struck out one and scattered a hit and three walks. He gave the Rockies a chance in an eventual 6-3 loss.

Oddly, last May 31 at Citizens Bank Park, the Rockies called upon Rusin when Jordan Lyles left after 1 1/3 innings with a season-ending left big toe injury. Rusin threw 4 2/3 scoreless innings for the decision in a 4-1 victory.

When a starter is injured or ejected, the new pitcher is given as long as he needs to warm up. Rusin said the key is not to take too long when it's hot. The heat index in Philadelphia was 105.

"I knew not to throw too many [warmup] pitches in the heat or anything," Rusin said. "I tried to take the minimal number of pitches I could to get through that inning and get loose and then take it from there."

Franco scored on Freddy Galvis' single three batters after Rusin entered, but that was it. Rusin avenged Galvis' hit in the fifth by forcing an inning-ending double-play grounder.

Rusin also tripled during the Rockies' three-run sixth that cut the difference to 4-1. Rusin, who tripled for the Cubs in 2012, became the first Rockies pitcher to triple since Aaron Cook against the Mets at Shea Stadium on Oct. 2, 2005.

"I had no idea where that ball was going. I knew I got it off the good part of the bat, but I didn't know how hard I hit it," Rusin said. "I was just going to run until he either caught it or I saw it drop. I thought I could stretch it into three, which was probably not the smartest thing to do with two outs, but that competitive part of my body took over."

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.