|Philadelphia (70-39) «||2||0||0||2||0||0||0||1||0||5||8||0|
DENVER -- Kyle Kendrick says he's ready to head back to the bullpen. He certainly looked sharp enough to start Tuesday night.
|More on Phillies at Rockies|
Kendrick (6-5) yielded four hits, struck out a career-high seven and walked two in his longest outing in 11 starts this season. He threw a career-high 117 pitches and didn't allow a runner past second base in leading the Phillies to their fifth consecutive victory.
His reward? A seat in the bullpen when Roy Oswalt returns to the rotation this weekend.
"It is what it is," Kendrick said. "Everyone knows I can start. Oswalt coming back is going to make us better."
Oswalt has been out since late June with a bad back and Kendrick has taken on the starting role in his absence. His victory Tuesday was only his third as a starter, and he did it with best performance since throwing a complete game against Pittsburgh on July 3, 2010.
"KK was very good," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "This would rank up there with his best outing."
Kendrick agreed -- to a point.
"Results-wise, yeah," he said. "My changeup wasn't very good tonight but my cutter and fastball were pretty good."
The Phillies, meanwhile, got off to a fast start against Aaron Cook, who pitched four innings before leaving with muscle spasms in his neck.
Philadelphia tacked on two more in the fourth. Howard led off with a drive to the facing of the second deck in right-center. One out later, Raul Ibanez and Placido Polanco hit consecutive singles and Brian Schneider had a sacrifice fly.
"It felt pretty good off the bat," Howard said of his 432-foot homer. "It started middle in and it ran back over the plate."
Cook (2-6) gave up five hits, struck out two and walked one.
"When you get the lead and add two more on that's what really helps," Manuel said. "Two runs in this yard doesn't hold up a lot."
Howard led off the eighth with a drive to left against Matt Lindstrom for his 23rd home run.
David Herndon pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to finish the shutout.
The Rockies had very few chances against Kendrick and failed to capitalize on any of them. They had two runners on in the first but Seth Smith looked at strike three to end the threat. Eric Young Jr. and Chris Iannetta reached second base in the third and fifth, respectively, but were stranded there.
"He used his cutter very effectively," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "He was cutting the ball in on the left-handed hitters. He was throwing the front door cutter to some of our right-handed hitters."
Now he gladly moves back to the bullpen, where he is 2-2 with a 2.49 ERA in 15 appearances.
"That's KK38. He's changing on the fly," Howard said. "He's done everything they've ever asked him to do -- come from the bullpen, start, spot start, he's never complained about it."
|Kyle Kendrick strikes out a career-high seven batters and comes within an inning of his second career complete game. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Jimmy Rollins, SS||4||1||0||0||1||0||1||.264|
|Shane Victorino, CF||4||1||1||0||1||0||0||.303|
|Chase Utley, 2B||4||0||0||1||0||0||2||.284|
|Ryan Howard, 1B||4||2||2||2||0||1||2||.252|
|Hunter Pence, RF||3||0||2||1||1||0||0||.308|
|Raul Ibanez, LF||4||1||1||0||0||1||3||.248|
|Placido Polanco, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||1||2||.275|
|Brian Schneider, C||3||0||0||1||0||0||2||.173|
|Kyle Kendrick, P||3||0||1||0||0||1||1||.263|
|a- John Mayberry Jr., PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.256|
|David Herndon, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-flied out for Kendrick in the 9th|
|2B - Hunter Pence 2 (29, Cook, Escalona)|
|HR - Ryan Howard 2 (23, Cook, Lindstrom)|
|SF - Brian Schneider (1)|
|RBI - Chase Utley (33), Ryan Howard 2 (83), Hunter Pence (64), Brian Schneider (6)|
|2-OUT RBI - Hunter Pence (19)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - Howard|
|Kyle Kendrick (W,6-5)||8||4||0||0||2||7||0||3.19|
|Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Kendrick 117-72, David Herndon 12-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Kendrick 8-8, David Herndon 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Kyle Kendrick 29, David Herndon 3|
|Eric Young Jr., LF||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.216|
|Dexter Fowler, CF||3||0||1||0||1||2||1||.264|
|Todd Helton, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||0||2||.307|
|Troy Tulowitzki, SS||2||0||0||0||1||0||0||.285|
|Chris Nelson, 3B||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.253|
|Seth Smith, RF||4||0||0||0||0||2||2||.285|
|Ian Stewart, 3B||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.144|
|Edgmer Escalona, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Ryan Spilborghs, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.218|
|Matt Lindstrom, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Matt Reynolds, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Mark Ellis, 2B||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.228|
|Chris Iannetta, C||3||0||1||0||0||1||1||.224|
|Aaron Cook, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.211|
|Jonathan Herrera, 3B-SS||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.248|
|a-singled for Escalona in the 7th|
|2B - Dexter Fowler (18, Kendrick)|
|SB - Eric Young Jr. (7, 2nd base off Kendrick/Schneider)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|Aaron Cook (L,2-6)||4||5||4||4||1||2||1||5.34|
|Pitches-Strikes - Aaron Cook 63-37, Edgmer Escalona 40-23, Matt Lindstrom 21-11, Matt Reynolds 9-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aaron Cook 6-4, Edgmer Escalona 2-6, Matt Lindstrom 1-1, Matt Reynolds 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Aaron Cook 18, Edgmer Escalona 12, Matt Lindstrom 5, Matt Reynolds 3|
|Attendance - 39128|
|Game Time - 2:34|
|Temperature - 72|
|Umpires - Home - Dale Scott, First Base - Jerry Meals, Second Base - C.B. Bucknor, Third Base - Dan Iassogna|