Carlos Gonzalez came to the plate in the fourth inning with a runner on first and nobody out and saw the shift-happy Philadelphia Phillies move three infielders to the right of second base.
The lefty slugger promptly laid down a bunt where nobody was on the left side [url=http://www.packerscheapstore.com/customized-cheap]Cheap Customized Green Bay Packers Jerseys[/url] , sparking a big inning as another of manager Gabe Kapler’s defensive moves backfired.
Ian Desmond hit a two-run homer in that five-run fourth, Tyler Anderson pitched seven strong innings and the Colorado Rockies routed the Phillies 7-2 on Wednesday night to end a five-game losing streak.
”We were probably most excited about CarGo’s bunt,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. ”After the Nolan (Arenado) walk and then the bunt, that sort of set everything up. It got us going. And CarGo practices that every day.”
Trevor Story added three hits and drove in two for the Rockies, who had dropped nine of 11 while falling from first place to fourth in the NL West.
Anderson (4-1) allowed one run and six hits while matching his longest outing of the season, set in his last start.
”I think we were feeding off Andy a little there. He pitched great tonight,” Desmond said. ”An electric fastball. He was locating all his pitches. He was working quick. You could tell he was pitching with a purpose tonight. And as an offense, I think we fed off that.”
Jorge Alfaro and Jesmuel Valentin homered for the Phillies, who were seeking their first three-game winning streak since May 13-17.
Gonzalez’s bunt was another blow to the Phillies’ defensive alignments, which came under criticism from Philadelphia pitcher Jake Arrieta after a loss at San Francisco earlier this month.
”I don’t think it’s something we want to see him do every day,” Desmond said of Gonzalez. ”But that built momentum. It kept it going.”
Nick Pivetta (4-6) struck out five straight batters in the second and third innings. But the bunt was the first of five straight hits allowed before he recorded an out in the fifth. Story had an RBI double off the wall and Gerardo Parra followed with a two-run single.
Desmond, who came in hitting .196, then sent an 0-1 slider into the right-field seats for his 12th homer to make it 6-0.
”I hung a couple breaking balls tonight and they’re a good-hitting club,” Pivetta said.
Story, who had his career-high fifth straight multihit game, had another run-scoring double in the seventh against Mark Leiter Jr., giving him 49 RBIs.
Pivetta, who lost his fourth straight start, was charged with six runs on eight hits with three walks over five innings.
Anderson didn’t allow a walk and struck out six, including Scott Kingery three times. He used his awkward lefty delivery to keep the Phillies off balance [url=http://www.jaguarscheapstore.com/customized-cheap]Cheap Customized Jacksonville Jaguars Jerseys[/url] , save for an 0-2 fastball that Alfaro hit to right for his fifth homer in the fifth.
Valentin had three hits, including his first major league homer in the ninth off Harrison Musgrave.
”As soon as I hit it, I thought I had a chance,” Valentin said. ”Thank God I got it out of the way.”
Rockies: Reliever Adam Ottavino (oblique) felt good after throwing Tuesday. ”He’s champing at the bit to get back on the mound,” Black said. ”We’re really optimistic that this could happen in a couple days.” Ottavino has a team-best 0.95 ERA.
Phillies: Reliever Pat Neshek (shoulder, forearm) will throw all of his pitches in a bullpen Thursday. If it goes well, he’ll head to Florida to throw live batting practice. Neshek, who signed a two-year, $16.5 million deal in December, has yet to throw a pitch this season. ”The greatest acquisition we can make right now is inserting Pat Neshek in our bullpen,” Kapler said.
FRANCO BACK, HERRERA SITS
Slumping 3B Maikel Franco started after being out of the Philadelphia lineup five straight games and went 0 for 4.
CF Odubel Herrera, 0 for 17 in the past four games, didn’t play.
The Rockies signed former Mississippi LHP Ryan Rolison, the 22nd overall pick in last week’s draft.
Musgrave returned from his grandfather’s funeral in West Virginia, was activated off the bereavement list and pitched the ninth. LHP Sam Howard was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque.
Phillies RHP Vince Velasquez (4-7, 4.95 ERA) starts the series finale Thursday against RHP German Marquez (4-6, 4.79). Velasquez was charged with 10 runs in 3 2/3 innings in his last start.
Nick Foles threw a deep pass into the wind on the first play from scrimmage against the Falcons, LeGarrette Blount scored the only touchdown on fourth down and wide receiver Nelson Agholor ran 21 yards on a new play.
The Philadelphia Eagles (14-3) are aggressive no matter what.
They’ll need that approach when they face the Minnesota Vikings (14-3) and their top-ranked defense in the NFC championship game on Sunday.
”You’d probably call me unorthodox with some of the decisions I’ve made on fourth downs and going for it, 2-point conversions [url=http://www.officialoilers.com/authentic-adidas-ryan-strome-jersey]Ryan Strome Jersey[/url] , things like that,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said Wednesday.
”Sometimes you just don’t do the norm, you just don’t do what everybody expects you to do and sometimes that can help you. I’m calculated by it, but at the same time, I’m going to make sure that I’m putting our guys in a good position.”
Foles underthrew the long pass to Torrey Smith to start the divisional playoff game, but a pass interference call gave the Eagles a 42-yard gain to the Falcons 25.
Jay Ajayi fumbled on the next play or perhaps the game wouldn’t have come down to a defensive stand at the end to preserve Philadelphia’s 15-10 win.
”Take a shot,” Pederson said explaining his decision to throw long into a stiff wind.
On the touchdown drive early in the second quarter, Philadelphia faced third-and-3 from the Falcons 24. Foles faked a pitch to running back Corey Clement and handed off to Agholor on an inside counter with Pro Bowl right tackle Lane Johnson pulling out and leading the way. Agholor took it to the Falcons 3. It was the first time Pederson called the play this season.
”Coach has just had a knack of seemingly calling those at the right time,” offensive coordinator Frank Reich said.
”It comes up different every week. We really work well as a staff together in game planning. Sometimes we think we like something and we go out on the practice field and it doesn’t quite look like it’s ready. So, we have to keep it in the crock pot for another week or start over with a new recipe.”
Three plays later, tight end Trey Burton lined up at fullback and Blount followed his block into the end zone for a 1-yard TD run. Pederson didn’t think twice about going for it instead of kicking a game-tying field goal.
”The ball was just inside the 1-yard line, and we had confidence to go for it in that situation,” Pederson said. ”We were real close and the guys did a great job.”
During the regular season, only Green Bay (28) went for it on fourth down more than Philadelphia (26). The Eagles converted 17 times for 65.4 percent, third-best behind New Orleans (80 percent on 12 for 15) and Jacksonville (76.9 percent on 10 for 13). Minnesota is 1 for 7 on fourth down, fewest attempts in the league.
”You always want to be aggressive,” Foles said. ”I love Coach’s calls.”
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