Lidge escapes another bases-loaded jam, Phillies beat Rockies 5-4 for 4-game sweep

Brad Lidge escaped another bases-loaded jam in the ninth inning and the Philadelphia Phillies held off the Colorado Rockies 5-4 Monday to complete a four-game sweep.

Backup catcher Brian Schneider's two-run triple sent the Phillies toward their fifth straight win. The two-time NL champions, still minus injured All-Star second baseman Chase Utley, pulled within 4½ games of idle East-leading Atlanta.

The Rockies lost their sixth in a row and limped home after a 2-9 road trip.

Seth Smith hit a two-out, two-run homer off Lidge in the ninth and Colorado went on to load the bases, but Ryan Spilborghs hit a tapper to the left side of the plate. Lidge came in and made a strong throw to first base for the final out, getting his 10th save in 13 chances.

On Sunday, Lidge struck out Ian Stewart with the bases loaded to preserve a 4-3 victory.

Joe Blanton (4-6) won for the first time since beating Cleveland on June 24. He gave up two runs in the first, but allowed only three more hits before leaving after six innings with a 5-2 lead.

The Phillies took the lead for good by scoring three times in the second. Ross Gload singled off Jason Hammel (7-6), Greg Dobbs doubled and Schneider hit his first triple since Sept. 22, 2007.

Colorado first baseman Jason Giambi then made errors on consecutive plays. First, he dropped Hammel's throw on Blanton's comebacker. Next, Giambi fielded a grounder by Jimmy Rollins but threw low to shortstop Clint Barmes trying to get a forceout, letting Schneider score.

Philadelphia scored twice in the sixth after Dobbs led off with a single and Schneider walked. A sacrifice by pinch-hitter Cody Ransom set up RBI singles by Placido Polanco and Raul Ibanez.

Phillies relievers Chad Durbin and J.C. Romero each pitched a scoreless inning. Lidge took over to start the ninth and Miguel Olivo led off with a double. Smith hit his 14th homer with two outs, and a walk, a single, a wild pitch and an intentional walk to Giambi brought up Spilborghs.

NOTES: Charlie Manuel won his the 500th game as Phillies manager. Only Gene Mauch (645) and Danny Ozark (594) have more victories. ... Phillies slugger Ryan Howard went 0 for 3 with three strikeouts and a walk, snapping his 11-game hitting streak.