Butler leads Rockies to 5-2 win over slumping Phillies
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Eddie Butler gave the Rockies another strong start. Oh, and Nolan Arenado and the offense pitched in, too.
Arenado, Michael McKenry and Ben Paulsen each homered Saturday and Butler tied his career high by going six innings, leading the Colorado Rockies to a 5-2 victory over the slumping Philadelphia Phillies.
Butler (3-5) allowed one run and four hits. He struck out three and walked one in an emergency start, helping the Rockies win for the sixth time in seven games. Colorado pitching has allowed 15 earned runs over the seven games.
''When you get good starting pitching, the rest of the game falls into place,'' Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.
Cesar Hernandez homered and Ryan Howard had an RBI double for Philadelphia, which lost its sixth straight and fell a season-worst 13 games under .500.
''We were getting the big hit and we've lacked that in the cold streak,'' Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said.
Jorge De La Rosa was scheduled to start for the Rockies, but the left-hander was scratched Saturday morning because of a cut on his left middle finger that cost him his second straight start.
''He was throwing strikes, had a good fastball and had confidence in his changeup,'' Weiss said of Butler. ''Our starters have done a really good job lately.''
Butler, making his 13th career start, had been 0-4 with a 6.00 ERA in his last five starts.
''I was just following (McKenry, the catcher) and trying to attack the zone,'' Butler said. ''Guys were really playing well behind me, and they also were hitting balls out of the park.''
John Axford pitched a scoreless ninth for his ninth save. Cody Asche and Jeff Francoeur led off the inning with singles, but Axford retired the next three batters.
Aaron Harang (4-5) gave up two runs and four hits in six innings. The right-hander entered with the lowest home ERA (0.61) in the majors, and the two runs he allowed were as many as he yielded in his previous four starts combined at Citizens Bank Park this season.
The 37-year-old still pitched well enough to win, but the Philadelphia's tepid offense couldn't do much off of Butler.
''You just can got out there and do what you can do to contribute to your team,'' Harang said.
The Phillies have scored 11 runs during their losing streak.
''It's pretty good hitting weather and we have guys capable,'' Sandberg said.
After Howard's hit gave Philadelphia a 1-0 lead in the first, red-hot Arenado and McKenry hit solo shots in the second to put the Rockies up a run. Harang said they were good pitches and credited the hitters.
''We knew Harang would be tough,'' Weiss said. ''The two home runs early as big for us.''
Arenado finished 2 for 4 with a pair of RBIs and is batting .458 with four homers and 12 RBIs in his last six games.
Paulsen led off the seventh against right-hander Luis Garcia with a 421-foot drive off the base of the second deck in right field.
Pinch-hitter Rafael Ynoa put the Rockies up 4-1 with an RBI single later in the seventh.
WHAT A PLAY
Freddy Galvis made a highlight-reel defensive play in the seventh when he ranged to his left to snare Charlie Blackmon's grounder up the middle before making a behind-the-back flip to Chase Utley for the force of Ynoa at second base.
FAN HELPS FRANCOEUR
Francoeur reached second base in the eighth inning on a ground-rule double. A fan reached over the railing and tried to catch the ball while it was still in play, blocking left fielder Brandon Barnes from an opportunity to catch it. Umpires confirmed the double after reviewing the play to see if it was a home run.
Hernandez had a pinch-hit homer leading off the eighth against Rafael Betancourt. Betancourt followed by walking Ben Revere and then was lifted with flu-like symptoms. Weiss and the Rockies trainer came to the mound after the walk and Betancourt departed following a brief conversation.
Rockies: De La Rosa (1-2, 6.51) is now scheduled to start Tuesday's home game against the Dodgers.
Rockies: RHP Jordan Lyles (2-5, 5.10) looks to get through a start healthy after leaving two of his last three due to injury. He bruised his pitching hand on May 13 and sprained his left big toe in his last outing. In four road starts this year, Lyles is 1-2 with a 6.00 ERA.
Phillies: RHP Jerome Williams (3-4, 5.33) tries to close out May on a good note after struggling to a 1-3 mark with a 6.53 ERA in six starts this month entering Sunday's series finale against the Rockies. Williams was the loser during Philadelphia's 7-3 defeat at Colorado May 21 when he allowed five runs on eight hits in five innings.