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Mistake-prone Rockies swept by Phils in twin bill

Colorado Rockies' Chris Nelson, right, collides with Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard on a ground-out in the sixth inning of the first game of a baseball doubleheader on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in Philadelphia. Philadelphia won 3-2. Colorado Rockies' Chris Nelson, right, collides with Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard on a ground-out in the sixth inning of the first game of a baseball doubleheader on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in Philadelphia. Philadelphia won 3-2. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
By Dan Gelston
AP Sports Writer / September 9, 2012
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PHILADELPHIA—The Rockies bobbled and botched the baseball in a double dose of fielding futility.

Wilin Rosario had four passed balls and Carlos Gonzalez failed to make the game-saving catch in the opener of a day-night doubleheader. They followed in the nightcap with five errors -- the most for the team in more than 10 years.

Ryan Howard drove in two runs and seven pitchers combined to help the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Colorado Rockies 7-4 on Sunday night and complete the sweep.

John Mayberry Jr. hit an RBI single in the ninth inning of the first game to lift the Phillies to a 3-2 win.

The Phillies trailed 4-1 in the second game before scoring two runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings for their fourth straight win.

Josh Roenicke (4-2) took the loss for the Rockies, who allowed only three earned runs in the second game.

Chris Nelson hit a three-run homer for the Rockies, who have lost five straight games.

"You can't make five errors in a game or you're going to lose," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said.

Ty Wigginton hit the tying homer for the Phillies in the sixth and helped move them within six games of a wild-card spot. The Phillies (69-71) would like to hit .500 first.

"I know they're not going to pack it in," manager Charlie Manuel said.

Jonathan Papelbon won the opener and tossed a scoreless ninth for his 32nd save in the second game. He also earned the win Friday night to help the Phillies complete a three-game sweep.

The Rockies scored four runs in the third on Ramon Hernandez's RBI single and Nelson's three-run shot to the left field seats.

Nelson knew it was gone the moment he connected off Cloyd and followed the arc all the way into the stands.

The Rockies simply couldn't handle the baseball. Shortstop Jonathan Herrera and third baseman Chris Nelson each made two errors and first baseman Jordan Pacheco committed the fifth error when he mishandled a grounder in the seventh.

The Rockies made five errors in a game for the first time since June 12, 2002 vs. Boston.

"It's young people," Tracy said. "If they're going to learn, it won't be in 9-1 or 10-2 games. It's the importance of experience in close ballgames."

In the opener, Mayberry hit a bases-loaded single against Matt Belisle (3-6) for the win. Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez sprinted toward Mayberry's low liner and appeared to make a diving catch, but the ball popped out when his glove hit the ground. There was brief confusion before the umpire ruled it was a hit.

Papelbon (5-6) picked up the win with a scoreless ninth.

"You can kind of sense the crowd's excitement, coming down the stretch of games with a chance to win," Mayberry said. "I don't think anybody in this clubhouse has written ourselves off."

Rosario had two of his four passed balls in the ninth. He also had a passed ball in the eighth and the third.

The major league record for passed balls is 12 by Alex Gardner of the 1884 Washington Nationals of the American Association, according to STATS LLC. The modern-day mark is six passed balls and is shared by Rube Vickers of the Reds on Oct. 4, 1902; Geno Petralli of the Rangers on Aug. 30, 1987; and Jerry Goff of the Astros on May 12, 1996.

"We know the progress he is making, but the ball made its way to the backstop too much," Tracy said. "That really changed things around."

Notes: The Phillies will select the contract of slugging 1B/OF prospect Darin Ruf from Double-A Reading on Monday. RHP Mike Stutes will move to 60-day disabled list to make room on 40-man roster. ... The Phillies and Rockies played a doubleheader against each other for the first time since 1999. ... Colorado rookie 1B Matt McBride, who grew up 45 minutes north of Philadelphia in Bethlehem, Pa., got the start in the opener.

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