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Friday, October 24, 2014         

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Howard’s back in swing

By Associated Press

POSTED:


PHILADELPHIA >> Ryan Howard is starting to look like a former MVP.

Howard hit a three-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Philadelphia Phillies to a 6-3 win over the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday night.

Chase Utley hit a tying, RBI single off Boone Logan before Howard drove one out to left-center for his fifth career walk-off homer. Howard finished the series

5-for-9 with two homers and nine RBIs. 

"I found the ball. That's about it," Howard said. "With swinging, sometimes you have to tinker with a few things, sometimes it just finds you. You don't question it. You just try to roll with it."

Howard, who was NL MVP in 2006 when he hit 58 homers, has struggled since tearing his Achilles' tendon on the final swing of the 2011 season in a playoff loss. If he regains his old form, Howard could keep the Phillies in contention in a division that lacks a dominant team.

"I believe this is a championship-caliber team," Howard said. "We just have to play like it. We've talked about trying to build on games like this. Now it's about doing it."

Closer La Troy Hawkins (2-1) got the first out in the ninth before Tony Gwynn Jr. reached on second baseman D.J. LeMahieu's throwing error. Ben Revere followed with a single to right. Jimmy Rollins then hit a foul pop that Troy Tulowitzki, a two-time Gold Glove winning shortstop, dropped for an error. But Hawkins retired Rollins on a liner to left. Logan entered and allowed Utley's line-drive single to right that scored Gwynn.

Howard then connected on a 2-2 pitch for his ninth homer. 

Jonathan Papelbon (1-1) tossed a perfect ninth for the win. 

LeMahieu hit a tie-breaking solo homer in the eighth and Justin Morneau also hit a solo homer for Colorado.

Phillies reliever Mike Adams pitched out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the seventh after Antonio Bastardo walked the first three hitters. Adams entered and retired pinch hitter Carlos Gonzalez on a home-to-first double play bouncer to the mound. Adams then struck out pinch hitter Tulowitzki to end the inning.

"I'm not going to back down from nobody," Adams said about not walking Tulowitzki. "I'm not scared. It's competition. I feel I'm better than anybody at the plate."






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