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News » Philadelphia opens up on Colorado closer candidates PHILLIES 7, ROCKIES 5

Philadelphia opens up on Colorado closer candidates PHILLIES 7, ROCKIES 5

Philadelphia opens up on Colorado closer candidates PHILLIES 7, ROCKIES 5
The back end of the Rockies' bullpen flunked its first major test of the young season Sunday afternoon at cold, rain-soaked Coors Field.

Huston Street and Manuel Corpas battled for the closer job during spring training, with Street emerging the winner. Corpas was forced to settle for the setup role. But no matter who won the job, the tandem was being counted on to be a major strength for Colorado this season.

Not that the Phillies paid attention. They took it to Corpas and Street en route to a 7-5 victory.

Philadelphia won the game in the ninth on a two-run, one-out home run to right-center by pinch-hitter Matt Stairs. It was the 15th pinch-hit homer of Stairs' career. He didn't get what he expected from Street, but he did get what he wanted.

"The last time I faced (Street), he made me look stupid with a changeup, so that's what I was looking for," Stairs said.

Instead, Street left a low fastball over the heart of the plate. Stairs made the adjustment, driving the ball beyond the fence.

"I was trying to go inside on him, because he's had success with me down and away," said Street, who took the loss. "It just didn't get in far enough."

The Rockies (3-3) lost two of three to the defending champion Phillies and now head to Chicago for the Cubs' home opener at Wrigley Field today.

The Phillies tied the game 5-5 in the eighth, wasting no time roughing up Corpas. Shane Victorino smashed a hard single up the middle, setting the table for Chase Utley's game-tying, two-run homer to right.

"I don't know him; now I know him," said Corpas, who was trying to throw a sinker outside but left it inside, allowing Utley to turn on the pitch and ignite Philadelphia's comeback. For Utley, hitting .476, it was his fifth consecutive two-hit game.

After posting early leads of 4-0 and 5-1, the Rockies ended up wasting a fine performance from starter Aaron Cook. The right- hander rebounded from his 2 1/3-inning opening-day meltdown, pitching six innings and giving up three runs and seven hits. He used his sinker to induce critical inning-ending double plays in the fourth and sixth.

The Rockies backed up Cook with maximum force in the first inning, scoring four runs on five hits against erratic Philadelphia starter Chan Ho Park. Brad Hawpe hit a run-scoring double, then Garrett Atkins scored Hawpe with an opposite-field single. Clint Barmes capped the scoring with a two-run single through the left side.

Rookie center fielder Dexter Fowler continued his joyous big- league adventure with a solo homer to left in the second inning. It was Fowler's second homer and, after going 2-for-5, he's hitting .385.

After getting six hits in the first two innings, the Rockies had just three in the last seven.

"If this was a football game, the first 20 plays worked like a charm," manager Clint Hurdle said. "But we weren't able to have any continuity to our offense. Their bullpen obviously challenged us."

Patrick Saunders: 303-954-1428 or

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 15, 2009

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