05/26/2008 11:48 PM ET
Utley drives in six as Phils pound Rox
Phillies collect 19 hits, score six runs in fourth, sixth innings
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com
Utley's six RBIs Watch
Coste's four RBIs Watch
Feliz's four hits Watch
Phillies' six-run fourth Watch
Phillies' six-run sixth Watch
PHILADELPHIA -- Though the Phillies added 17 more runs and received a regroup from starter Jamie Moyer to cement a 20-5 pounding of the Rockies on Monday night, they won the moment the ball left Chase Utley's bat.
When that ball sailed majestically over the right-field fence in the bottom of the first inning, erasing a deficit that began with a Rockies three-spot, the Phillies and many of the 44,764 fans planned on celebrating Memorial Day with a win.
"After that, everybody started hitting," catcher Chris Coste said. "It wasn't like it won the game, but immediately, we were back in it. That was probably the biggest hit of the game because we're down, 3-0, and eventually put us on that path."
That path had the Phillies carrying the momentum to a severe drubbing at Citizens Bank Park. In scoring the most runs by a Major League team this season, Philadelphia pounded out 19 hits. Every starter reached base at least once and only Pat Burrell and Moyer didn't collect a hit.
The barrage was the Phils' first consecutive double-digit output since Sept. 16-17, 2007, when they scored 23 runs against the Mets and Cardinals. It was also the first time they've scored 35 runs in back-to-back games since July 2-3, 1999, when they scored 14 and 21 against the Cubs. They've scored 20 or more runs three times since 1923.
"It's one of those games where everybody's fighting to get to the bat rack," Ryan Howard said. "We just had a great day as a team."
Utley led the charge with a career-high six RBIs, with two singles and the home run. Shane Victorino reached base five times with a hit, two walks and two hit-by-pitches, and scored four times. So Taguchi, making his first start since May 8, recorded three hits. Coste smacked a three-run homer and collected two other hits.
The clear 80-degree night suggested a brewing eruption, and manager Charlie Manuel practically predicted it before the game.
"The weather's getting warmer. It's getting into hitting season," Manuel said. "From now until August or the first of September is hitting season. That's when the production in baseball should pick up."
Philadelphia batted around three times in the game, and had two six-run innings. Moyer benefited again, with the Phillies scoring 42 runs in his previous three outings.
"It's pleasant to see," Moyer said. "Not necessarily in the number of runs, but it's pleasant to see the guys have good swings. It's nice to see them get the results they're looking for."
After surrendering a three-run home run to Ryan Spilborghs in the first, Moyer held the Rockies to one run over the next six innings. The 45-year-old veteran collected his 235th win, moving him one behind Whitey Ford (236) for 59th on the all-time list.
By beating the Rockies in his fifth attempt -- he had been 0-4 with a 5.54 ERA before Monday -- the lefty has now defeated every Major League team. He joined Kevin Brown, Al Leiter, Terry Mulholland, Curt Schilling and Woody Williams as the only six pitchers to accomplish that feat.
This isn't the same Rockies team that swept the Phillies out of the 2007 National League Division Series, beating Moyer, 2-1, in the final game, Oct. 6, in Colorado. When Shane Victorino ended the 2007 season with a groundout to second baseman Kazuo Matsui, he said the bitter taste of watching Colorado celebrate would linger.
Colorado's starting eight Friday contained just three players -- Todd Helton, Spilborghs and Yorvit Torrealba -- who started that Oct. 6 night in Denver, and starting pitcher Jorge de la Rosa has just finished his season with the Royals.
A big easy win won't exorcise the demons, and will be forgotten on Tueday, when the Phillies prepare to play game 54 of their 162-game season.
"When we score runs, I'm definitely happy," Manuel said. "At the same time, we keep things in perspective. We'll celebrate this now, but when we leave here tonight, we'll think about [Tuesday's] game."
"It was nice to get off to a start like this, but we have to come out as hard as we can [Tuesday]," Coste said. "Sometimes it's tough to start back at zero the next day. We have to jump on them the way we did today. They're going to want to jump on us."
Coste added that the weather was perfect.
"We all like days like this because it wasn't too hot," Coste said. "It was warm, but it wasn't one of those days where you're thinking, 'Man, what a hot day.' If we could freeze-frame this day, this would be the kind of day we'd love to have. I don't know that our pitchers would agree with that."
If it meant 20 runs a game for the home team, even the pitchers might get on board.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.