DENVER — Jon Gray pitched seven crisp innings and drew a bases-loaded walk as part of a five-run third to help the Colorado Rockies rout the Philadelphia Phillies 10-1 on Monday night.
Colorado won its fourth straight game since being swept in Los Angeles by the NL West-leading Dodgers, who entered the night with a 1 1/2-game advantage over the Rockies in the division. Colorado also began the day trailing St. Louis by 1 1/2 games for the second wild card.
Grey (12-8) was moved up a day when scheduled starter Tyler Anderson was scratched due to shoulder tightness. Gray worked his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the first and only picked up steam from there.
The right-hander’s one costly mistake was an elevated fastball that Rhys Hoskins hit for a homer in the seventh when the game was out of reach. Gray ended his night by striking out Scott Kingery to finish the inning and left to a round of applause.
The Rockies cranked up the offence to open a four-game series against a Phillies team that has been eliminated from post-season contention. David Dahl lined a two-run homer in the fourth, Tony Wolters drew four walks and Charlie Blackmon had a single to extend his hitting streak to a career-best 16 games.
All-Star shortstop Trevor Story returned to the starting lineup after missing a week with inflammation in his right elbow and made an immediate impact. He had two hard-hit doubles to centre.
Colorado jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the third as Nolan Arenado and Gerardo Parra delivered run-scoring singles off Zach Eflin (11-8). Wolters and Gray each drew a bases-loaded walk from reliever Austin Davis. Another run scored on a wild pitch.
Eflin lasted 2 2/3 innings and allowed five runs.
There was a scary moment in the fourth when Phillies left fielder Aaron Altherr ran into the fence while trying to catch Dahl’s homer. The side of Altherr’s face slammed into the padded fence, his hat flying off. Altherr eventually limped to a cart and was taken away. He sprained his right big toe and bruised a knee.
On the play, the fan trying to catch Dahl’s homer was hit in the head by the ball, his hat flying off as well.
Rockies: Anderson remains optimistic he will pitch again this season. “Just have to think about getting back as quick as I can,” he said.
Phillies: RHP Vince Velasquez (9-11, 4.59 ERA) makes his second start this season against Colorado on Tuesday. He beat the Rockies on June 14 by allowing two runs over 6 2/3 innings.
Rockies: Starter-turned-reliever Chad Bettis (5-2, 5.18 ERA) will once again start and throw between 30 and 50 pitches before turning things over to a fresh bullpen courtesy of Gray going deep into Monday’s game.