Homers help Eaton post first '08 win
Utley, Jenkins go deep to back righty's solid six-inning effort
PHILADELPHIA -- Adam Eaton finally has a W next to his name in a box score.It came with the Phillies' 6-1 win over the Rockies on Wednesday that completed a homestand-opening, three-game sweep of the Rockies at Citizens Bank Park. Like Kyle Kendrick on Tuesday and Jamie Moyer on Monday, Eaton benefited from run support, as the Phillies outscored Colorado 33-10 in the series. It took 11 starts, including six straight no-decisions to open the season, but Eaton finally recorded win No. 1. "I was nervous," Eaton said. "It was a weird feeling. I've got a few wins under my belt and pitched with leads before, but it was nice to get that one out of the way. It's the last week of May. Now, being 1-3 and us being 5-6 in my 11 starts, there still a lot of room for improvement. Still, it was nice to get that first one out of the way." The right-hander surrendered one run in six innings, walking one and striking out four. He pitched well in a May 23 outing against Houston -- allowing three runs in seven innings -- but took a loss. Wednesday represented his best outing of the season, and provided hope that consistency is coming. "That's the story of the night," manager Charlie Manuel said. "That was back-to-back outings where he pitched good. He's throwing a lot more strikes and being more aggressive." Eaton retired eight of the first nine hitters before Willy Taveras and Seth Smith hit two-out singles. Todd Helton barely missed a three-run homer down the right field line, then singled off the left field wall, scoring Colorado's lone run. Seeing the ball skip cleanly to Burrell, Helton tried to retreat to first, then got caught in a rundown. Smith broke from third and was tagged out in a 7-6-4-3-2 rundown, or the zip code for Blanket, Tex. Though not as potent as in the previous three days, when the team scored 42 total runs, the Phillies scored enough, blowing open a 1-1 tie with a five-run fifth inning. Rookie Greg Reynolds walked Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino, and Chase Utley pounded a three-run home run. The pitch was down the middle, and Utley turned it into his Major League-leading 17th homer of the season. "The ball was worth watching. That was a nice swing. It reminded me of my swing," Manuel said with a laugh. Geoff Jenkins followed a walk to Ryan Howard with a two-run home run. Eaton threw three more scoreless frames after the third, lowering his ERA to 4.99. It had been 5.37 entering the game. The last time the right-hander allowed fewer than one earned run was on June 11, 2007, when he tossed seven shutout innings against the White Sox. "He had pitched good," said Manuel, explaining why he lifted Eaton after six innings. "I wanted to give him a chance to get a win." Added Jenkins: "It's a big confidence-booster for him. It was obviously nice to get it for him." Eaton will take the W, and the mental boost that comes with it. "Earlier in the year, we were 4-2 in my starts [in which he had six no-decisions], so I didn't care at that point," he said. "But now we're getting into June, it's nice to say I can pitch in a game where I can get a win. It's probably a psychological thing."
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.