Joseph homers, hits walk-off single to lift Phils

Joseph homers, hits walk-off single to lift Phils

PHILADELPHIA -- Tommy Joseph continues to be one of the hottest hitters on the planet.

The Phillies first baseman ripped a single to center field in the bottom of the 11th inning to score Michael Saunders from second base in a 2-1 victory over the Rockies on Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. Joseph, who also homered in the seventh, entered the game with a 1.046 OPS in May, which is 17th out of 252 hitters in baseball. He had a .476 OPS in April.

Joseph's first career walk-off hit snapped the Phillies' five-game losing streak.

"Staying consistent with my approach, my swing," Joseph said about his remarkable turnaround. "Every day I'm having conversations with [hiting coach] Matt [Stairs], making sure we stick to the things that work for me, try to build on them every day and make sure that I have a good idea on the scouting report."

Joseph's solo home run

Rockies left-hander Tyler Anderson allowed just one run in seven innings. He is 2-1 with a 2.55 ERA in four starts this month after going 1-3 with a 7.71 ERA in six starts in April. The Rockies went 7-3 on their 10-game road trip, making it one of their most successful road trips in franchise history.

"I think Tyler has been the aggressor," Rockies manager Bud Black said after the game.

"We talk about the pitching principles: first-pitch strikes, ahead in the count, ball-strike ratio, limiting the walks are all part of it. I think his slider-cutter was much better, I think the use of the change, the pitch selection is better, I think the focus on him keeping the ball down is much improved. I think those things sort of factor into his resurgence."

Two sac bunt attempts led to amazing defense

Phillies relievers combined for six scoreless innings. They allowed just two hits and a walk while striking out three, needing just 67 pitches to set down the Rockies from the sixth through 11th innings.

"We couldn't generate anything against their guys even though we got some hits, we got some walks, we got some guys in scoring position, we just couldn't get the big knock," Black said.

Story's solo home run

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Another 0-2 bomb: Vince Velasquez threw a 0-2 fastball over the plate to Trevor Story, who ripped it to right field for a solo home run in the fourth inning to hand the Rockies a 1-0 lead. It was the sixth time this season the Phillies allowed a 0-2 home run and the 25th time this season they allowed a two-strike home run. Both marks leads baseball.

"It was pretty much a pitch I try to locate high," Velasquez said. "Anything higher he probably would have swung and missed or fouled it off." More >

Rusin escapes a jam

Can't take advantage: After Joseph ripped a solo home run to center field in the seventh inning to tie the game at 1, the Phillies had runners on first and second with no outs in the eighth. But Odubel Herrera and Maikel Franco struck out swinging against Adam Ottavino, and Saunders grounded out against Chris Rusin to end the threat. Herrera and Franco went a combined 1-for-10 with seven strikeouts.

QUOTABLE
"Early in the series when we were stretching, I was telling the guys it feels so much different than the past. In the past when we used to come down here, you're like, 'Well you got to play the Phillies, you got to play a tough team,' but this time it's not the case. Everybody is confident, everybody knows that we're a really good team so when you go out there with confidence, that's a plus." -- Carlos Gonzalez, on facing the Phillies

Neshek's outstanding catch

"I went for it and luckily I didn't look like an idiot. Because it could have been bad. I just saw the replay and I think I did hit my head to get the extension. I was kind of dazed for a few seconds when I got up. I don't really remember going into the dugout." -- Phillies right-hander Pat Neshek, who made a nice diving catch for an inning-ending double play in the seventh

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Herrera went 0-for-5 with five strikeouts. He is just the ninth Phillies player since 1913 to strike out five times in a game. He is just the fifth to punch out five times in five at-bats. He joins Pat Burrell (Sept. 16, 2008), Scott Rolen (Aug. 23, 1999), Larry Hisle (May 28, 1970) and Dick Allen (June 28, 1964). More >

Desmond out at second

INSTANT REPLAY
The Phillies challenged Ian Desmond's stolen base in the third inning, believing Desmond left the bag as Cesar Hernandez applied the tag. Review showed that, overturning the call.

WHAT'S NEXT
Rockies: The Rockies will finally head back to Denver having wrapped up their longest road trip of the season. They begin a three-game set with the Cardinals on Friday when Antonio Senzatela (6-1, 3.67 ERA) takes the mound at 6:40 p.m. MT.

Phillies: The Phillies open a three-game series against the Reds at 7:05 p.m. ET Friday at Citizens Bank Park. Right-hander Aaron Nola faces Reds right-hander Bronson Arroyo (3-4, 6.75 ERA). Nola allowed four hits and one run in seven innings Sunday in Pittsburgh, which was his first start back from the DL.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia and covered the Rockies on Thursday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.