PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Jimmy Rollins felt the glove on his back and conceded the third out.
Not so fast. Rollins was never tagged.
Says who? Only the Colorado first baseman who made the phantom putout.
“I didn’t tag him,” Todd Helton said. “I tried to tag him.”
Helton’s swipe at Rollins never connected in a close play at first, but the Colorado Rockies got the call in a big spot during their 5-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday night.
“Jimmy said he felt something on his back,” Phillies interim manager Ryne Sandberg said.
Replays showed the tag was never close to No. 11.
Third baseman Nolan Arenado made a fantastic backhanded stop and in-the-air throw to first to rob Rollins in the seventh inning. Rollins never argued the call by first base umpire Jim Wolf that stranded the potential tying runs, and Helton simply hustled off the field to sell the out.
“A game-saving play,” Sandberg said.
Jonathan Herrera entered in the seventh with two runners on and two outs and Rollins at bat. Rollins then sent a hard grounder down the third base line that looked as if it was headed for extra bases.
Arenado backhanded the ball, his momentum carried him into foul territory and he whirled in the air to one-hop the throw toward Helton. Helton made a sweeping tag toward the slow-starting Rollins for the third out.
“It’s right up there with the other 72,” Arenado great plays, manager Walt Weiss said. “It’s a game changer.”
Arenado shifted toward the line after a tip from shortstop Troy Tulowitzki that Rollins would try to pull the ball.
“I made a good grab,” Arenado said. “I think he was safe, if you watch the replay.”
“It was a good act by Todd,” Arenado said.
The Rockies used Arenado’s play and a little pop to snap a three-game losing streak.
Tulowitzki and Wilin Rosario homered and Jorge De La Rosa (13-6) pitched into the seventh to win his third straight start. Dexter Fowler also drove in a run to help the Rockies jump out to a 5-0 lead.
Rafael Betancourt tossed a scoreless ninth for his 16th save.
Tyler Cloyd (2-3) allowed five runs in six innings in his first major league start since June 12. Recalled after Monday night’s game, Cloyd was coming off consecutive complete games in the minors.
Against the Rockies, Cloyd was hit hard from the start.
Tulowitzki’s second homer in two games was a two-run shot deep into the left-field seats. Phillies outfielder Dom Brown never moved as the ball soared high over his head.
“He looks a lot more ease at up there,” Weiss said. “His timing looks really good.”
Michael Cuddyer followed Tulowitzki’s 22nd homer with a double. He moved up on a grounder and scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-0 in the first inning.
Fowler added an RBI single in the second, and Rosario extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a two-out drive in the third.
“In the first three innings, everything was off,” Cloyd said.
Staked to a 5-0 lead, De La Rosa allowed three runs in the third. Chase Utley had an RBI single to right and Brown added a sacrifice fly.
De La Rosa walked three and struck out three in 6 1-3 innings.
“He’s been our guy,” Weiss said.
The Phillies beat the Rockies on Monday night to snap a skid of 26 games without consecutive wins, the longest drought since a 49-game stretch in 1997. But the offensive woes that have plagued the Phillies for most of the season returned and they had only three hits against De La Rosa and three relievers.
“There are not too many options,” Sandberg said. “All the guys have a chance to be out there.”
NOTES: Phillies RHP Roy Halladay allowed two runs in six innings for Class-A Lakewood in his second rehab start. … Helton made his first error of the season in the third inning. … Phillies assistant GM Scott Proefrock said RHP John Lannan is out for the season and will need surgery on his left knee. 1B Ryan Howard (knee) can start baseball activities on Thursday. Injured pitchers Mike Adams, Jeremy Horst, Joe Savery and Mike Stutes are all making progress. OF Ben Revere (foot) is off crutches. … Colorado sends RHP Juan Nicasio (7-6, 4.94 ERA) the mound Wednesday against Philadelphia’s Cliff Lee (10-6, 3.19 ERA).
– By DAN GELSTON, AP Sports Writer
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