Phils assist Rockies' grounds crew, get win after rain delay

" Unsung heroes: Jimmy Rollins knotted the score at 4-4 with an RBI single in the fourth and then drove in the go-ahead run for Philly in the sixth.

" Did you see that? The Phillies braved a strong wind to help the Rockies' grounds crew cover the field with the tarp during a rain delay in the seventh. LaTroy Hawkins was the only Colorado player to lend a hand.

" Quotable: "The wind was so strong, we couldn't hold it. When it draped over the guys, I was worried that somebody might suffocate. It was really cool the Phillies came out and gave us a hand." -- head groundskeeper Mark Razum

" Fantasy stat: Phillies right fielder Shane Victorino not only helped the grounds crew wrestle the tarp, but he also hit his third homer in his last seven games.

-- ESPN.com news services

Phillies 8, Rockies 4

DENVER (AP) -- Rockies groundskeeper Keros Johnson was trapped in the middle of an out-of-control tarp.

When he finally crawled out, the wide-eyed Johnson was greeted by a sight he didn't expect -- Shane Victorino and Co. attempting to get the tarp under control.

Victorino helped wrangle with the tarp before a rain delay and then hit a two-run homer after the break in Philadelphia's 8-4 win over the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.

Talk about good karma.

"That's not why you do things," Victorino said. "I felt like we needed to help, just in case."

The win puts the Phillies' dubious milestone on hold until after the All-Star break. They've lost 9,999 games in franchise history.

Most of the Phillies bench emptied onto the field during the seventh-inning delay, rescuing members of Colorado's grounds crew from underneath the whipping tarp. A strong burst of wind caught hold of it as the crew tried to roll it over the infield.

Victorino grabbed a corner, dug in his feet and pulled it as hard as he could toward left field. Ryan Howard held a section down with a knee. Michael Bourn started heaving sand bags onto the tarp to weigh it down.

Even plate umpire Bill Welke and crew chief John Hirschbeck were out there trying to keep the tarp from flying away again.

The grounds crew had no trouble with the tarp when they removed it following the 50-minute delay. It's the second straight rain delay, the one Saturday night lasting one hour and 22 minutes.

"One guy flew 10 feet in the air," said Adam Eaton, who also pitched in. "We were just hoping they're not hurt. They all thanked us. You hear stories about people getting hurt."

Head groundskeeper Mark Razum had never seen anything like the wind gust in 29 years.

"The wind was so strong, we couldn't hold it," Razum said. "When it draped over the guys, I was worried that somebody might suffocate. It was really cool the Phillies came out and gave us a hand."

They didn't give it a second thought.

"At the time, we weren't thinking [injury]," Victorino said. "I don't want someone to get suffocated or that tarp to trap somebody."

The lone Rockies player to help out was LaTroy Hawkins. The rest were already back in the clubhouse.

"I've been on tarp duty in college and it can whip around, yank you around, your shoulders and stuff," Jamey Carroll said. "They were helpful and hats off to them for it. After the fact, you think what could have happened to one of the guys ... you're risking a lot."

To manager Charlie Manuel, it was worth the risk.

"I want my players to be tough," he said.

And where was he as the tarp went haywire?

"Sitting on the bench," Manuel said. "I'm a manager. I'm no dummy. They were having fun, running around like little kids."

Jimmy Rollins had three hits -- including two RBI singles -- and Pat Burrell hit his 11th homer of the season for Philadelphia.

Eaton (8-5) won for the first time since June 11, going six innings and giving up four runs and eight hits. He also struck out three.

Ryan Madson pitched three innings for his first save of the season.

Todd Helton and Kaz Matsui homered for the Rockies, whose five-game winning streak ended. Aaron Cook (5-6) lasted six innings, tying a career high by giving up 12 hits. He also allowed five runs.

"You never want to lose a game, but the reality of it is you're going to lose some," manager Clint Hurdle said. "We made some strides."

Although the presence of loss No. 10,000 is hanging over their heads, the Phillies say they pay it little attention.

"It's no big deal," infielder Wes Helms said. "Other organizations that are around as long as the Phillies have been are going to eventually reach 10,000 losses."

Securing the flapping tarp was a good diversion, as was the win.

"It's not an easy job, not with that wind kicking," Eaton said.

Johnson won't soon forget his experience underneath the tarp.

"There's not much air and it's dark," Johnson said. "It was a little freaky."

Game notes
Philadelphia and Colorado are both 44-44 at the All-Star break. ... Howard will be taking a familiar arm with him to San Francisco as he tries to defend his Home Run Derby crown Monday night. Bullpen coach Ramon Henderson will be throwing him belt-high fastballs. Henderson also pitched to Bobby Abreu when he won the contest while a member of the Phillies in 2005. ... Eaton had two hits Sunday, his second multihit game of the season.