PHILADELPHIA (The Sports Xchange) – Ryan Howard hit a go-ahead grand slam and drove in five runs to help rookie right-hander Jake Thompson earn his first major league victory as the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Colorado Rockies 10-6 on Friday night.
Howard’s fifth-inning slam off Jon Gray snapped a 3-3 tie. He added an RBI single off reliever Jordan Lyles in the eighth while going 3-for-5.
Thompson (1-1) was a winner in his first home start. Philadelphia, which won its second straight, had 11 hits.
Charlie Blackmon hit three solo homers for the Rockies, who lost for the fifth time in six games. It was the first time in his career he has hit that many in a game, and his fifth career multi-homer game. Three have come this season.
D.J. LeMahieu also homered for Colorado, going back-to-back with Blackmon off reliever David Hernandez in the ninth.
Thompson, called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Aug. 6, went five innings and allowed three runs and two hits while striking out six and walking three.
He also equaled a 114-year-old club record when he struck out four batters in the second inning, the first of which, David Dahl, reached on a wild pitch. Doc White is the only other Philadelphia pitcher to fan four in an inning, having done so July 21, 1902 against the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Dahl, a rookie left fielder, went 0-for-4 and saw his career-opening hitting streak snapped at 17 games. That equaled a major league record to start a career.
Gray dropped his second straight start, going 4 1/3 innings and yielding seven runs (six earned) and six hits while striking out six and walking four.
Philadelphia’s Cesar Hernandez, leading off the bottom of the first, capped a 13-pitch at-bat with a triple, and scored the game’s first run when Odubel Herrera followed with a single.
The Rockies tied it in the second when Howard, the Phillies’ first baseman, threw wildly to Thompson covering the bag following Nick Hundley’s slowly hit chopper, allowing Dahl to score from third.
The Phillies answered with two in the bottom of that inning. With Freddy Galvis at second, Peter Bourjos doubled to right. Galvis came home on an errant throw to second by Rockies right fielder Gerardo Parra, a play that enabled Bourjos to take third. He later scored on Gray’s wild pitch, giving Philadelphia a 3-1 lead.
Blackmon led off the third with his 16th home run of the season, hitting Thompson’s 1-1 changeup into the seats in right, and Colorado forged a 3-3 tie on Nolan Arenado’s sacrifice fly in the fifth.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Phillies loaded the bases on Herrera’s walk, Aaron Altherr’s single and a fielder’s choice off the bat of Mikael Franco that saw Altherr beat the throw of second baseman LeMahieu to shortstop Daniel Descalso at second.
Howard then launched Gray’s 1-0 fastball into the Rockies’ bullpen in deep center field. It was the 14th career grand slam for Howard, who already owns the team record in that category. It was also his 17th homer of the season and the 374th of his career, moving him into a tie for 76th place on the all-time list with Rocky Colavito.
Altherr’s RBI single in the sixth gave Philadelphia an 8-3 lead, but Blackmon countered with a solo homer off reliever Edubray Ramos in the seventh.
The Phillies went up 9-4 in the seventh, when a run came across on a double-play ball off the bat of Bourjos.
Howard’s RBI single off Lyles gave the Phillies a 10-4 cushion, but Blackmon hit his 18th of the season off Hernandez in the ninth, and LeMahieu followed with his eighth.
NOTES: Earlier in the day, the Phillies optioned OF Cody Asche to Triple-A Lehigh Valley and activated OF Peter Bourjos from the disabled list. Manager Pete Mackanin said Asche, hitting .213 in 57 games, was sent down to “figure himself out,” and added that he will be working at third base (his natural position) as well as first base in the minors. That, the manager added, will “make him more versatile, which increases his value.” … The Phillies inducted retired 1B Jim Thome into their Wall of Fame before the game. … Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado is the second player in team history to log 30 homers or more in consecutive seasons. Matt Holliday also did it in 2006-07. … Colorado RHP Matt Carasiti, whose contract was selected from Triple-A Albuquerque earlier in the day, went two innings in relief and allowed two runs (one earned) and four hits, while striking out two and walking one. … The Rockies also designated RHP Gonzalez Germen for assignment and placed 1B Mark Reynolds (broken hamate bone, left hand) on the disabled list, and called up 1B Ben Paulsen from Albuquerque. Paulsen went 0-for-3 on Friday.