Worley helps Phillies end five-game losing streak

Worley helps Phillies end five-game losing streak

Worley helps Phillies end five-game losing streak
DENVER -- Vance Worley waited until the fifth inning to record his first strikeout in the Phillies' 8-5 win over the Rockies on Saturday night, but he certainly made it count.

Nursing a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth, Worley found himself in a most precarious situation: bases loaded, two outs, cleanup hitter Michael Cuddyer at the plate with a full count.

Cuddyer swung and missed at a 90-mph fastball, and Worley (4-5) pumped his fist and shouted as Coors Field let out a collective groan.

"That at-bat kind of set the tone for the rest of the game. [Cuddyer] was looking for something more offspeed and we ran it right over," Worley said.

Worley didn't wait long to deliver another crushing blow. Facing an 0-2 count in the top of the sixth, Worley laced a two-out, two-run double down the line in right field off Rockies reliever Adam Ottavino.

"[The pitch] was up and away and rather than trying to do too much with it, I just went with it," he said.

It was Worley's second hit of the season. He recorded his first on a deflected infield single in the second inning, then stumbled and fell upon reaching the bag.

"I think I had to fall on my face to realize how to hit," Worley joked.

But Worley's feats were almost for naught.

Colorado catcher Wilin Rosario blasted a three-run homer with one out in the bottom of the eighth off Brian Sanches to make the score 6-5, another tough blow for a bullpen that has scuffled all season, ranking second-to-last in the National League in ERA (4.80).

"Yeah, we have a tough time," manager Charlie Manuel said. "We struggle to get outs. But the only way our guys are going to get any experience is putting them in the game, and hopefully they'll get better as soon as possible."

They were saved by closer Jonathan Papelbon, who retired the next two Rockies to extinguish any hopes of a comeback.

"You appreciate all the saves, but the five-out saves are the ones where your team leans on you a little bit more, you're the last stop along the line," said Papelbon, who recorded five outs for his 19th save. "It just happens to be a few more outs earlier than usual."

Manuel was going to put Papelbon in to get four outs, but was pressed into action after Rosario's homer.

"I wanted to win the game, and thought [Papelbon] was our best chance," Manuel said.

The Phillies gave themselves some breathing room in the top of the ninth when Jimmy Rollins doubled, Shane Victorino tripled and Chase Utley singled to make the score 8-5. It was Victorino's third triple and first since May 14.

"Anytime you get an extra run or two, add that cushion, makes it that much easier for Papelbon to pitch that flawless ninth," Victorino said.

Said Manuel, "[The ninth inning] was big, one run ain't too safe here."

The 24-year-old Worley went 6 2/3 innings, scattering eight hits and giving up two runs, to help the Phillies snap a five-game losing streak and set up the series rubber match Sunday.

"He did a good job," Manuel said. "He battled."

Worley was boosted by an offense that scored more runs in the first inning (four) than it had in any of its previous four games.

After Victorino doubled off Rockies starter Jeremy Guthrie (3-9) with one out in the first, Utley plated him with a line drive to left. Catcher Carlos Ruiz brought in Utley and Ryan Howard -- who had reached via walk -- with a towering homer to center field, his 14th.

"Victorino swung the bat well tonight, he had [a good] approach from the left side," Manuel said.

It was the most runs the Phillies had scored in the first since June 13, when they scored six against the Twins.

"The first inning, [Guthrie's] pitches weren't finishing, the ball was up in the strike zone and he was getting behind in the count," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said.

Every run -- scored or saved -- became important as the Phillies survived an eighth-inning bullpen implosion.

Third baseman Mike Fontenot, starting in place of Placido Polanco, robbed Cuddyer of a run-scoring double with a leaping grab to end the third inning.

"Some good defense tonight, some good plays that helped me get deep into this game," Worley said.

Juan Pierre helped keep innings alive with three two-out singles, the most important of which extended the sixth inning and gave Worley the opportunity at the plate. Pierre also stole his 21st base, third-most in the National League.

In the fourth inning, Victorino threw out Tyler Colvin -- who had reached on a catcher's interference -- on an 8-3 double play.

"Tonight was an example of how we keep punching away," Papelbon said.

Trey Scott is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.