Phils Start Trip With Impressive Win In Colorado

With six games against the Rockies and Giants - the teams with the two best home records in the National League - getting a win in the opener of the road trip is a good way to get things started. Brett Myers handled the thin air of Colorado just fine and the Phillies bats seemed to like the high altitude as well. The win kept the Phillies lead in the NL wild card race at two games over the Florida Marlins, who beat St.Louis Tuesday night.

Since he's a rookie, maybe Brett Myers doesn't know that pitchers aren't supposed to dominate at Coors Field. Myers pitched seven strong innings and Mike Lieberthal knocked in two runs as the Phillies cruised to a 7-2 win over the Rockies Tuesday night.

Myers was making his first career appearance at Coors Field - baseball's most hitter-friendly ballpark and a place where most young pitchers struggle. Myers (11-6) did anything but struggle. He limited the Rockies to two runs and eight hits, walking two and striking out three as he improved to 6-0 in his last 10 starts. Myers also tied All-Star Randy Wolf and Kevin Millwood for the team lead in wins.

Lieberthal helped give Myers an early cushion, delivering a two-run single in the top of the first. The Phillies scored in each of the first three innings, building a 4-0 advantage.

Ricky Ledee added a two-run homer and Bobby Abreu a solo shot for the Phillies, who won for the sixth time in their last eight games and remained two games in front of Florida for the National League wild card.

Rockies starter Shawn Chacon (11-6) was roughed up for five runs and six hits in five innings. Chacon found himself in trouble in the opening inning, allowing a one-out single to Placido Polanco and issuing consecutive walks to Jim Thome and Abreu. Lieberthal came through by grounding a 2-2 pitch into center field, giving the Phillies a 2-0 lead.

In the bottom of the inning, Myers worked out of trouble when he got Preston Wilson - the National League leader in RBI – to bounce into an inning-ending double play. Colorado hit into three double plays.

Polanco stroked an RBI single in the second and Abreu led off the third with his 18th homer, extending the Phillies' lead to 4-0.

In the bottom of the third, Myers again worked out of trouble as he was able to get through the middle of the Rockies' order. With the bases loaded and one out, Wilson popped weakly to second base and Jay Payton flied to right. Wilson went 0-for-4 and left seven runners on base.

Myers stayed out of trouble against the big bats in the middle of the Rockies' order. Colorado's three through five hitters in the order went 2-for-10 with two RBI.

The Rockies got on the board in the fourth when Charles Johnson grounded into a double play to plate a run. Todd Helton stroked an RBI double in the bottom of the eighth for the Rockies to complete their scoring. Colorado fell 7 1/2 games behind the Phillies in the wild card race.

Batting for the struggling Pat Burrell, Ledee launched his ninth homer of the season in the eighth giving the Phillies a 7-1 advantage at the time.

The series continues Wednesday night with Brandon Duckworth (4-5, 4.79) going against Chin-Hui Tsao (1-0, 5.91).


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