for this game

Phelps leads Pirates over Rockies

Aug 24, 2007 - 2:42 AM DENVER (Ticker) -- The Colorado Rockies will not be in the National League wild-card race much longer if they keep losing to teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Josh Phelps drove in three runs and had a career-high four hits as the Pirates defeated the Rockies, 5-1, in the finale of a four-game series Thursday.

The last place team in the National League Central Division, Pittsburgh took three games in the series to knock Colorado (64-63) 4 1/2 games behind the wild-card leading San Diego Padres (68-58), who outlasted the New York Mets in 10 innings Thursday. Colorado has lost six of eight and nine of 14 overall.

"We can't let our confidence get shaken with the way we have played the last 10 days," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "We need to put our foot down and get back on the right track. This team has proven that they can put a long streak together ... We've got to play threw this, we still plan on making the playoffs."

Pirates starter Paul Maholm (10-14) pitched seven strong innings allowing one run, seven hits and two walks while striking out five. It was the third consecutive win for the lefthander in his Coors Field debut.

Despite allowing a single and walk, Shawn Chacon tossed a scoreless eighth inning and Matt Capps pitched a perfect ninth to preserve the win.

"It is definitely frustrating," Colorado rookie shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said. "Especially when you felt like this is a team you should beat. We didn't have it offensively."

Phelps provided the bulk of Pittsburgh offense, beginning his day with an RBI double in the first. After consecutive singles by Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez with one out in the fourth, Phelps drove in both runners with his second double in as many at-bats.

"I'm ready when I get up there," said Phelps, who hit the first pitch he saw in the fourth. "I don't waste time and I take the approach of taking a good rip at the first thing I think I can handle. After that, I just let it fall where it may."

Claimed off waivers from the New York Yankees in June, Phelps added that he is pleased to be contributing.

"It's days like this when the manager needs you and you do well that gives you confidence," he said. "There's times when you hit in the four spot and you get pitched around. It didn't happen like that today."

Jose Bautista made it a 4-0 game with a two-out single to plate Phelps later in the frame. Jason Bay also drove in a run for Pittsburgh, which has won five of its last six games.

In his second career start, Colorado's Franklin Morales (0-1) lasted four-plus innings allowing four runs, seven hits and five walks while striking out two.

"Overall his command wasn't too sharp but I don't know if that was just because he was a little too geared up," Hurdle said. "That is part of what you need to factor in."

After allowing a single to Phelps and a walk to Bay to start the fifth inning the 21-year-old was replaced by Jeremy Affeldt who eventually got out of the jam with a double play.

Colorado's Garrett Atkins had two hits and Matt Holliday singled to extend his hitting streak to 13 games though the team's offense continues to struggle as a whole. The team has scored three runs or less in four of its last five games.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    PITTSBURGH 1 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 10 0
    COLORADO 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 8 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: PIT - PAUL MAHOLM, SHAWN CHACON (8TH), MATT CAPPS (9TH) AND CARLOS
    MALDONADO
    COL - FRANKLIN MORALES, JEREMY AFFELDT (5TH), JORGE
    JULIO (6TH), LATROY HAWKINS (8TH),

    Aug 23 6:03 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JASON BAY SCORED FREDDY SANCHEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J BAY ON FIRST, J PHELPS ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 5
    COLORADO 1 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: J BAUTISTA (.262, 1-FOR-2, 2 BB, RBI)

    Pirates vs. RockiesAug 23 5:46 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY RYAN SPILBORGHS SCORED TODD HELTON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 4
    COLORADO 1 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: Y TORREALBA (.267, 0-FOR-1)

    Pirates vs. RockiesAug 23 4:19 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JOSE BAUTISTA SCORED JOSH PHELPS.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, J BAUTISTA ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 4
    COLORADO 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: M KATA (.297, 0-FOR-1)

    Pirates vs. RockiesAug 23 3:51 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JOSH PHELPS SCORED JACK WILSON AND FREDDY
    SANCHEZ.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J PHELPS ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 3
    COLORADO 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: J BAY (.249, 0-FOR-1)

    Pirates vs. RockiesAug 23 3:47 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    PITTSBURGH 1 1 1 0
    COLORADO 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: PIT - PAUL MAHOLM
    COL - FRANKLIN MORALES

    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: K MATSUI (.288, 3 HR, 29 RBI)
    T TULOWITZKI (.293, 17 HR, 67 RBI)
    M HOLLIDAY (.335, 22 HR

    Pirates vs. RockiesAug 23 3:13 PM