DENVER (AP) -- The defending NL champs are a mess.
Their can't-miss closer has blown more saves this year than he did all of last season. Their ace is winless. Their slick-fielding first baseman is watching groundballs elude his grasp like never before and their young leader is scuffling so badly he was benched.Pat Burrell's bases-clearing double off Manny Corpas in the ninth inning sent the Philadelphia Phillies to an 8-6 win Tuesday night over the Colorado Rockies, who lost their third straight game when leading after seven innings.Corpas (0-1) was two outs away from the save when Burrell sent a 2-2 fastball past diving center fielder Willy Taveras in the gap in left-center, clearing the bases, snatching the win from Jeff Francis and piling on the discouragement in the Rockies' dugout, where slumping shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was hoping to get back in the starting lineup after sitting the first six innings.With their two-game sweep, the Phillies (11-10) moved over .500 for the first time this season.The Rockies (9-11) simply aren't playing the type of baseball that led them to their first World Series last year and left them with a warm feeling all winter."No, we're not," Todd Helton said. "We have to play better. We have to do some things, little things that help you win baseball games. We're not doing those right now."Clinging to a 6-5 lead to start the ninth, Corpas allowed a leadoff single to So Taguchi that barely eluded a diving stab by Helton, who acknowledged he "took a false step" and should have had it.After Jayson Werth struck out, Chase Utley singled to center and took second when Taveras threw to third. Instead of facing runners at the corners and looking for the double play, the Rockies had to intentionally walk Ryan Howard, who's hitting just .190, to load the bases for Burrell."This is our forte," Werth said. "We hit good late and we have good clutch hitting in Chase and Pat."Burrell's big hit took Brett Myers off the hook for the loss and made a winner of Ryan Madson (1-0), who threw a scoreless eighth. Brad Lidge pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth save in as many chances.Garrett Atkins had staked Colorado to a 6-4 lead when he sent Myers' 100th pitch into the left-field seats for a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the seventh. Atkins connected off an 0-1 fastball after Matt Holliday had drawn a walk with one out.Holliday also homered off Myers, his shot to straightaway center field breaking a 3-3 tie in the fifth.Until Corpas' third blown save in seven tries -- he had one blown save in 20 chances last year -- Francis was in line for his elusive first win after allowing four earned runs and six hits over seven innings, including Werth's solo homer in the seventh that tied it at 4.Myers allowed six runs, all earned, and 11 hits in seven innings."I was lost out there," said Myers, who is still 6-0 in seven career appearances against Colorado, including 4-0 at Coors Field. "I didn't know what to throw. If I made a quality pitch, they hit it. If I made a bad pitch, they didn't miss it."Tulowitzki, mired in a 1-for-17 slump that has dropped his batting average to .163, was replaced in the starting lineup by Clint Barmes, with Jeff Baker starting at second base."Anytime you're not playing it bothers you, so it bothered me," Tulowitzki said. "But at the same time I understood it."The juggling didn't pay off in the field. In the fourth inning, Baker failed to touch the bag on what should have been an easy 6-4-3 double play.Francis followed by walking the pitcher to load the bases, then Taguchi drew a walk to put the Rockies in a 3-1 hole. Baker atoned in the bottom of the inning, knocking in Brad Hawpe, who had tripled, with an infield single. He came around to score on Taveras' double, tying it at 3.Baker had a throwing error in the sixth before being replaced in the lineup by Tulowitzki, who grounded out in his only at-bat.The Rockies' bullpen hasn't been sharp since doing yeoman's work in their 22-inning win at San Diego last week, but Helton, for one, isn't blaming any hangover from the marathon game with the Padres for the team's multitude of struggles."You can find a million excuses if you want to," he said. "We're not looking for any."
Barmes went 1-for-5 and Baker went 2-for-3. ... Utley saw his home run streak halted. He had gone deep in five straight games, tying a club record held by Bobby Abreu, Mike Schmidt and Dick Allen.