The losing finally stopped for Kyle Kendrick, and at least for a day, the hitting started again for the Phillies. Both Kendrick and the Phillies reversed slides Monday in a 9-0 win over the Colorado Rockies at Citizens Bank Park.
Kendrick pitched 62/3 innings in snapping a personal 10-game losing streak. His last win had come Aug. 6, 2013, in a 9-8 slugfest over the Chicago Cubs. In between, Kendrick had gone 16 starts without a win.
"It was tough, a little grind sometimes," Kendrick said.
The slump was not all on Kendrick. Over the span of his 10 straight losses he received an average of just 2.51 runs of support per nine innings. That tied for the third-lowest average in baseball for any starter over that span.
"You pitch well and don't get that W and that is what we are playing for - to win games," said Kendrick, who allowed six hits and walked four while striking out two. "And you have to keep going out there and trying to keep games close."
The Phillies offense did its part after being no-hit by Los Angeles Dodgers righthander Josh Beckett on Sunday. Ben Revere, who had three hits, led off with a first-inning single up the middle off Rockies starter Jhouyls Chacin, immediately breaking up the no-hit drama.
The Phillies also received a home run and five RBIs from Ryan Howard, another player who used Memorial Day to come out of a slump.
"It is a crazy game," Howard said. "You are bound to break out at some point, and tonight we were able to."
Leading by 4-0, Kendrick was lifted in the seventh inning after a two-out single by Charlie Blackmon. Michael Cuddyer then got an infield base hit off reliever Mike Adams.
The inning ended when Adams struck out Troy Tulowitzki swinging on a 3-2 slider. Adams has not allowed an earned run in his last 11 appearances.
"He threw a good slider and it was real big at the time," manager Ryne Sandberg said.
The Phillies took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning when Chase Utley hit a two-out single, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and scored on Howard's RBI single.
That snapped an 0-for-17 streak for Howard.
The Phillies went up, 2-0, in the fifth on Revere's RBI infield single, as the Phillies centerfielder used a headfirst slide to beat the throw from second baseman Josh Rutledge.
Howard added a two-run home run in the sixth. It was his first home run since May 8.
The Phillies piled it on with five more in the seventh on Utley's RBI double, Howard's two-run single, and a pinch-hit, two-run homer by John Mayberry Jr.
Sandberg showed confidence in his team. He used virtually the same lineup that faced Beckett. The only exception was that Carlos Ruiz, who had the game off on Sunday, returned to catch and hit seventh. The fact that the manager stayed the course wasn't lost on the players.
"I'm glad he did it," Howard said. "And it worked out."
The Rockies are an offense packing plenty of punch. Five of the eight position players entered the game hitting .314 or better.
Colorado is a different team away from hitter-friendly Coors Field, though. The Rockies entered the game batting .344 with a .951 on-base-plus-slugging percentage at home, while hitting .244 with a .692 OPS on the road.
Still, it was an impressive performance by Kendrick against a Rockies team that entered the game leading all MLB teams with 262 runs.
Kendrick admitted that no longer having to deal with the dubious streak is a major relief.
"For sure it is," Kendrick said. "You don't have to keep talking about it, and hopefully I can start a win streak now."
BY THE NUMBERS
Days between Kyle Kendrick's last two wins.
Wild pitches in the third inning by Colorado's Jhoulys Chacin.
Doubles this season by Chase Utley. He had 25 all of last season.
RBIs by Ryan Howard, who leads the team with 30.