PHOENIX (AP) - Josh Collmenter's numbers looked about the same as they have all season. But Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson is seeing progress.
``It's the best he's thrown,' Gibson said after the Diamondbacks' 8-5 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday night. ``He's throwing the ball much better than he was.'
Collmenter retired the side in order in three of his innings and faced the minimum three batters in another. But it was that other inning - the Phillies four-run fourth - that made the difference.
Hunter Pence snapped an 0-for-16 slump with a two-run homer and Laynce Nix followed with a two-run, two-out home run to stake the Phillies to a 4-0 lead.
Collmenter (0-2) retired seven in a row before surrendering consecutive singles to start the seventh inning and end his evening. Reliever Bryan Shaw let both runners scored and Collmenter finished a season-high six runs allowed on nine hits. He struck out six.
``Any pitch that I made that didn't go where I wanted ended up where they wanted it,' Collmenter said.
Collmenter, who entered the game with 14 earned runs allowed in 12 1/3 innings, actually lowered his ERA to 9.82.
He wasn't helped by the unexpected return of Pence, who missed Monday's game after hurting his left shoulder Sunday attempting a diving catch. When his teammates last saw Pence on Monday, the right fielder couldn't lift his arm.
That changed when Pence arrived at Chase Field, started testing his range of motion and got himself written into the starting lineup.
Shane Victorino also homered and Vance Worley scattered five hits over six innings for the Phillies, who ended a three-game losing streak.
The Phillies' eight runs were their most since an 8-2 win April 15 against the New York Mets. Philadelphia entered the game next-to-last in the majors with 48 runs scored.
Worley (2-1) walked one and struck out six for his second straight win and Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth for his sixth save.
``They made him pitch,' Manuel said. ``He was gutty but at the same time his stuff was good. It just shows how good he is and how determined he is.'
Jason Kubel hit his third home run in four games and Cody Ransom also homered for the Diamondbacks, who had won two straight after dropping five in a row.
Ransom led off the fifth with a solo home run to left, his first of the season, to pull Arizona within 4-1.
Then the offenses really got moving.
Nix and Brian Schneider singled to lead off the seventh off Collmenter and, after a sacrifice bunt, Juan Pierre looped a fly ball to left off Bryan Shaw and Kubel attempted a sliding catch. Second base umpire Angel Hernandez said Kubel had trapped the ball, loading the bases, though it appeared on replay that Kubel had made the catch and Gibson briefly argued in vain.
Orr tripled into the right-field corner, clearing the bases to give the Phillies a 7-1 lead.
``I thought he caught it. That's what I saw,' Gibson said. ``I went out there and asked Angel and he said he saw it hit the ground. That is wat he saw. What am I going to say. He is not trying to blow the call. He missed it. He went out there and called what we saw. We have to overcome that and we were unable to do it.
But the Diamondbacks answered against Jose Contreras.
Willie Bloomquist singled and scored on a pinch-hit double by Ryan Roberts, who snapped an 0-for-15 streak. Parra doubled to the right-center field gap, scoring Roberts, stole third uncontested and came home on a grounder to short by Justin Upton to make it 7-1.
Diamondbacks left-hander Mike Zagurski, who was called up from Triple A Reno earlier Tuesday, came on in the eighth and promptly surrendered Victorino's leadoff home run. Kubel homered in the bottom of the inning against Chad Qualls.
``A lot of stuff really didn't go my way tonight,' said Kubel, who was called out on strikes three straight times before his home run.
NOTES: Kubel has homered in consecutive games for the 12th time in his career. . After the game, the Phillies placed RHP Michael Stutes on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation and recalled RHP Michael Schwimer from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Schwimer, 1-0 with a 1.04 ERA and two saves in seven appearances, is expected to arrive before Wednesday's game. ... Wiggington extended his hitting streak to 10 games. ... The Diamondbacks have homered in 17 consecutive home games against the Phillies. ... Before the game, the Diamondbacks recalled right-hander Joe Martinez and selected Zagurski's contract from Triple-A. To make room on the roster, the Diamondbacks optioned left-hander Joe Patterson to Reno and designated for assignment right-hander Jonathan Albaladejo. Patterson allowed 11 runs on 15 hits in 2 2/3 innings and did not retire any of the final seven hitters he faced across two outings.
The Associated Press News Service
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