- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 19, 2015

DENVER (AP) - The Colorado Rockies have come down with a serious case of the Ks.

They can’t seem to find an immediate cure, either.

Colorado struck out 11 times in a 4-3 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday night, including all three outs in the ninth. That extended the club’s dubious streak to six straight games with 10 or more whiffs.

That’s a new team record - and no one’s a fan of it.

“We need to tighten up our approach with two strikes,” said Rockies manager Walt Weiss, whose team has dropped six straight at home. “You can’t miss your pitch when you get it early in the count.”

To be fair, the Rockies have gone up against some formidable pitching lately. On Monday, they encountered Cole Hamels (4-3), who is steadily returning to his All-Star form. He allowed one run and struck out seven in 7 1-3 sharp innings.

The left-hander is 11-0 since 2014 when the Phillies score three or more runs for him.

“We faced a tough pitcher,” Carlos Gonzalez said. “He was in control all night.”

Odubel Herrera had the decisive hit when he sent a two-out fastball from Jordan Lyles (2-4) into right field for a two-run double to make it 3-1 in the sixth. Carlos Ruiz added an RBI single.

Earlier in the game, Herrera lost a routine fly in the night sky that could’ve led to a big inning. But Hamels struck out two straight to quell the rally.

Just that kind of evening for the Rockies.

Lyles went six innings, giving up four runs in his first start since being hit on the right hand by a line drive last week. After the game, he was lamenting a walk he issued to Chase Utley after being ahead in the count. Herrera then followed with his double.

“The key was the walk to Utley,” Lyles said. “I shouldn’t have walked Utley.”

Hamels threw 105 pitches before being taken out for reliever Luis Garcia, who allowed an RBI single to Gonzalez. With two on and one out, Wilin Rosario struck out and Nick Hundley flied out to keep it a 4-2 game.

Hundley was ejected for arguing with the first base umpire over a check-swing call earlier in his at-bat.

Jonathan Papelbon pitched a rocky ninth - giving up an RBI single to Charlie Blackmon with two outs - before striking out Nolan Arenado to earn his 10th save in as many chances.

The Rockies returned after a tumultuous 2-4 road swing. While away, they were without Weiss for a few games when he underwent surgery to remove his appendix, and All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was sidelined for two games with tightness in his left quadriceps.

Weiss said he’s feeling much better - even joking about being cleared to eat pizza again - and Tulowitzki was back in the starting lineup.


Given his injury-riddled past, Tulowitzki said he knows that fans hold their breath whenever he takes a day or two off. He compared his situation to that of Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose.

“If you talk to the Bulls fans, they think the same thing about D-Rose until he was out there on the field,” Tulowitzki said. “I see myself in the same way. … It’s a concern until I’m out there playing.”

Over the years, Tulowitzki has had stints on the disabled list for a quadriceps tendon tear, lacerated right hand, broken left wrist and a groin injury. Last season, he played only 91 games before undergoing hip surgery.


Phillies: RHP Hector Neris was recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take the spot of RHP Chad Billingsley, who was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained shoulder. Manager Ryne Sandberg said the team will bring up RHP Severino Gonzalez to start Wednesday.

Rockies: LHP Jorge De La Rosa (groin) threw a side session and should make his next start Thursday. … OF Corey Dickerson is sleeping in a special sock to help heal the plantar fasciitis in his left foot.


Phillies: RHP Aaron Harang (4-3, 2.03 ERA) has won two of his last three starts.

Rockies: RHP Chad Bettis (0-0, 7.20) makes his second start of the season.

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