After getting swept in Los Angeles, Colorado dropped 2½ games behind the Dodgers and had an off day before three games in Arizona. The Rockies held a team meeting.
“You’ve got two options: You can sit at your locker and cry about it, or you can flush it out and show up the next day, continue to win games,'” outfielder Carlos Gonzalez recalled.
David Dahl homered for the fourth straight game, and the Rockies opened a one-game NL West lead with a 5-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday that extended their winning streak to seven.
Trevor Story and Gerardo Parra also went deep for the Rockies (89-70), who matched their longest winning streak this season. Dahl hit a run-scoring triple and finished the four-game sweep with eight hits and 11 RBIs.
Seeking its first division title, Colorado closes at home with three games against Washington and already is assured its winningest season since going 92-70 in 2009.
“We’re on a roll right now and put ourselves back in the race,” Gonzalez said.
The second-place Dodgers (88-71) also are one game ahead of St. Louis (87-72) for the second NL wild-card berth and finish with a three-game series at San Francisco. The West champion meets Atlanta in the Division Series, and the Central champion plays the wild-card game winner.
Jose Bautista and Carlos Santana homered for the Phillies, outscored 39-7 in the series. Philadelphia (78-81), which struck out 14 times for the second day in a row, has lost a season-high eight straight and has gone 15-33 since moving a season-high 15 games over .500 on Aug. 5. The Phillies are assured their seventh straight season without a winning record, their most since 1994-2000.
“I do not think that our team has quit on the season or quit in general,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “Today was pretty good evidence that we still have some fight in us. Had baserunners late. Looked like it was going to be a game that might get out of hand early. We never allowed it to get out of hand.”
Scott Oberg (8-1) pitched 1 1/3 hitless innings in relief of Antonio Senzatela, who allowed one run and five hits in 4 2.3 innings. Oberg relieved with two on in the fifth and struck out Carlos Santana, then fanned two in a perfect sixth.
Wade Davis gave up Carlos Hernandez’s leadoff single in the ninth, struck out J.P. Crawford and Roman Quinn, then retired Rhys Hoskins on a popup for his NL-leading 42nd save in 48 chances.
Jake Arrieta (10-11) gave up three runs and six hits in six innings. He had a 3.96 ERA, his highest since 2013, in his first season with the Phillies after agreeing to a $75 million, three-year contract on March 12, a month into spring training.
“Everyone will talk about this season as a failure, but I don’t look at it that way,” Arrieta said. “It’s unfortunate the way we’ve played the last couple of months. But if you view it as a failure, how does that bode well for us moving forward if we just look at it as we all failed? I think this was a success for us in a lot of areas and in some other areas not as much.
“Moving forward we know we don’t want to continue to feel like this again. We know that we want to continue to play into October and we didn’t make that happen.”
Dahl hit his 14th home run in the first and Story hit his 35th in a two-run second that also included a run-scoring wild pitch that followed Andrew Knapp’s passed ball.
Bautista homered in the third, but the Rockies opened a 5-1 lead in the seventh when Parra homered as a pinch hitter and Dahl tripled.
“I think the ball actually might have hit me in the chest if I took it,” Dahl said of the pitch from reliever Tommy Hunter. “Fortunate enough to find some barrel and get the runner in.”
Dahl tied teammate Nolan Arenado with home runs in four consecutive games. Arenado also did it from June 19-22.
Santana hit a two-run homer in the eighth off Adam Ottavino, who walked Dylan Cozens and struck out his next three batters.
Davis set a franchise record for saves in a season, surpassing Greg Holland (2017) and Jose Jimenez (2002).
Rockies: LHP Tyler Anderson is to throw a bullpen session Friday to determine whether he will be available Sunday as the starter or to come in as a reliever. Anderson had his last start scratched due to shoulder tightness.
Phillies: RHP Jerad Eickhoff (0-0, 9.00) is slated to open a three-game series against Atlanta on Friday night.
Rockies: LHP Kyle Freeland (16-7, 2.84) starts the series against the Nationals.
Source: The Associated Press