Phillies nip Rockies with ninth-inning rally

Phillies nip Rockies with ninth-inning rally

DENVER -- Cameron Rupp's two-run double in the ninth inning handed Rockies closer Greg Holland just his second blown save in 36 chances and gave the Phillies a sweep-averting 3-2 victory over the Rockies on Sunday afternoon in front of a sellout crowd at Coors Field.

But the Rockies maintained their half-game lead for the top National League Wild card spot over the D-backs, who fell to the Giants, and a five-game lead over the next-closest team, the Brewers. Still, Holland lamented his less-than-sharp first-pitch slider to Rupp with one out, which sent the Rockies to their first loss with a lead after eight innings this season, following 59 successes.

"I was one quality pitch from getting out of there and getting us a win, and I rolled one in there," Holland said. "So I don't think it was just one of those days. It was a day I could have pitched around some traffic, and made an untimely mistake with guys on base."

"These are good ones to win and tough ones to lose," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "We've won our share of these this year."

Rupp's double pushed the Phillies ahead after they had been frustrated by some outstanding defense, with Rockies shortstop Trevor Story at the center of much of it. Story took a Gerardo Parra throw and relayed to the plate to retire Rupp in the eighth, and threw out Odubel Herrera at the plate for the first out of the ninth.

Story showcases slick defense

Herrera doubled -- on a ball that ticked off second base and eluded Story -- to open the ninth and Maikel Franco then singled to right. Story fielded Hyun Soo Kim's grounder to retire Herrera, but Rupp's second double and third hit drove in two runners.

"I knew we tied the game, and I was hoping Hyun Soo was going to score," Rupp said. "If you get the ball to the gap and get it all the way to the wall in a big ballpark like this, that was huge."

The Rockies' Charlie Blackmon, who hit .391 (9-for-23) while the Rockies went 4-2 on the homestand, doubled three times and scored a run. He gave the Rockies a 2-1 lead with his final two-bagger off Phillies starter Aaron Nola, who fanned seven and held the Rockies to three other hits in seven innings. Rockies rookie right-hander Jeff Hoffman went seven strong innings, pitching aggressively, and was in line for the win, holding the Phillies to four hits and one run, with eight strikeouts.

Blackmon's go-ahead RBI double

Phillies closer Hector Neris overcame Story's leadoff bunt single and a two-out walk in the bottom of the ninth to record his 11th save, ending the Phillies' five-game losing streak.

Neris locks down his 11th save

Phillies overcome bad breaks to beat Rockies

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Tap time: Raimel Tapia has not seen much playing time since being recalled, but he pinch-hit for Hoffman with two outs in the seventh. Tapia walked after laying off a 3-2 changeup outside the zone from Nola. He then stole second base and scored the go-ahead run on Blackmon's third double.

Tapia steals second base

"The execution of that wasn't even close to the zone," Nola said of his walk to Tapia. "Can't walk a pinch-hitter with two outs in that situation right there. I've just gotta be better at going after him."

Nola says no: The Rockies had a chance to break through against Nola in the fourth, getting men on first and third with one out. Nolan Arenado displayed excellent baserunning, taking third on a soft Mark Reynolds single to center. Nola was not affected, however. He struck out Story and induced an Alexi Amarista flyout to end the inning. It was the only time the Rockies had two men on vs. Nola.

Nola strands a pair

AFTER REVIEW
The Rockies' eighth-inning out at the plate was upheld after a Phillies challenge. Pinch-hitter Andres Blanco doubled off Pat Neshek to left field past a diving Parra, who scrambled and threw to Story, who relayed home. Ryan Hanigan was handcuffed on the bounce and Rupp made a shifty, head-first slide, but Hanigan tagged Rupp on the back in time. Rockies lefty Mike Dunn pitched out of the jam to preserve a 2-1 lead.

Parra, Story throw out Rupp

EJECTED
Phillies bench coach Larry Bowa was ejected by home-plate umpire Carlos Torres between the seventh and eighth innings. Manager Pete Mackanin came out to talk it over with Torres, but the umpire held firm.

Bowa is ejected in the 7th

WHAT'S NEXT
Phillies: After getting Monday off, the Phillies open a two-game set at SunTrust Park in Atlanta on Tuesday at 7:35 p.m. ET. No starting pitcher has been announced, as fifth starter Jake Thompson, who originally was slated for this start, was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley last week.

Rockies: German Marquez (9-4, 4.11 ERA), will open a two-game Interleague set vs. the Indians at Progressive Field on Tuesday at 5:10 p.m. MT. The Rockies have won Marquez's past five starts, with the righty posting a 4-0 record and 3.48 ERA in those games.

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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page.

Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.