Rockies edged by Phils in first game of twin bill

Rockies edged by Phils in first game of twin bill

Rockies edged by Phils in first game of twin bill
PHILADELPHIA -- The Rockies' offense had trouble hitting and rookie catcher Wilin Rosario had trouble hanging onto the ball on Sunday afternoon.

Managing just two runs in the second inning and reaching scoring position just three times the rest of the way, the Rockies lost their fourth straight game, 3-2, to the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park in the opener of a doubleheader.

As tough as it was for a Rockies offense that managed just six hits and has scored in just two innings during the skid, it was even rougher for Rosario, who suffered four passed balls -- two in the ninth inning.

"We're so very young, but what we have to realize is this is four games of 1-0, 1-0, 3-2, 3-2, that these little things, you cannot mis-execute those," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "You've got to catch the ball, got to make the plays, got to do the things that are necessary, especially when you're playing on the road."

The clubhouse was not open between games, so Rosario wasn't available for an interview, but he said through a club official that shadows from the sun and light standards -- a potential problem at Citizens Bank Park -- were not to blame.

Rosario leads the Majors with 19 passed balls. The Mets' Josh Thole, who has to handle the difficult delivery of knuckleballer R.A. Dickey entered Sunday with 16.

John Mayberry Jr. won it for the Phillies with a two-out, bases-loaded single off Matt Belisle (3-6) that barely eluded the glove of diving Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez.

On Friday night, Nate Schierholtz's ninth-inning RBI single gave the Phillies a 3-2 victory. The two weak offensive performances came after the team suffered consecutive 1-0 losses at Atlanta on Wednesday and Thursday.

Sunday, just like on Friday, the Rockies managed runs in just one inning. This time, Rosario's leadoff walk from Cole Hamels and Chris Nelson's one-out single set up two-out RBI singles by DJ LeMahieu and Rockies starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood.

Hamels made a deft defensive play, juggling Gonzalez's hard smash and throwing him out at first to end the fifth with a runner at third. Beyond that, the opportunities were scant. The Rockies put a runner at second in the ninth before winning pitcher Jonathan Papelbon (5-6) struck out Jordan Pacheco and forced a LeMahieu fly ball.

Chatwood battled control issues -- four walks against two strikeouts -- but managed five solid innings. Ryan Howard's third-inning double, one of three hits off Chatwood, accounted for both Phillies runs before the ninth.

"With the exception of that second inning, Tyler Chatwood threw the ball extremely well," Tracy said. "He got away with some things in the second inning. I believe he threw 13 pitches and nine of them were balls."

Chatwood was sent down from the Rockies twice during the year, first to Triple-A Colorado Springs and then to Double-A Tulsa, to work on control and efficiency so he could work as a starter in the Rockies' system that limits pitchers to around 75 pitches, or two times through the order. He has made at least five innings in four of his eight starts since his return and is learning to regulate himself when he loses his delivery. That's what happened on Sunday.

"My misses were a lot closer today, so it was a little easier to get back in the zone," Chatwood said. "I threw a breaking ball that got my release point where it needed to be for my fastball.

"I felt like I threw the ball well, battled, and when I got myself in a jam, battled through."

It was once again a strong game for the bullpen, with Adam Ottavino throwing two scoreless innings and Rex Brothers escaping the eighth after letting the Phillies load the bases with two outs on two walks and a hit before forcing a Ty Wigginton fly ball.

Rosario suffered a passed ball after Jimmy Rollins' one-out single in the ninth. The next hitter, Schierholtz, hit a hard bouncer to the mound. Belisle caught Rollins in a rundown that allowed Schierholtz to move to second. If the passed ball had not occurred, the Rockies would have had an opportunity for a double play.

Another pitch escaped Rosario with runners at first and second, which forced the Rockies to intentionally walk Howard in front of Mayberry.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.