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Phillies beat Rockies and wrestle the tarp

July 09, 2007|From the Associated Press

DENVER — Colorado Rockies groundskeeper Keros Johnson was trapped in the middle of an out-of-control tarp.

When he finally crawled out, the wide-eyed Johnson was greeted by a sight he didn't expect: Shane Victorino and the Phillies attempting to get the tarp under control.

Victorino helped wrangle the tarp before a rain delay and then hit a two-run homer after the break in Philadelphia's 8-4 win over the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.

The win puts a dubious Phillies milestone on hold until after the All-Star break. They've lost 9,999 games in franchise history.

Most of the Phillies' bench emptied onto the field during the seventh-inning delay, rescuing members of the grounds crew from underneath the whipping tarp. A strong burst of wind caught hold of it as the crew tried to roll it over the infield.

Victorino grabbed a corner and pulled it as hard as he could toward left field. Ryan Howard held a section down with a knee. Michael Bourn started heaving sandbags onto the tarp to weigh it down.

"One guy flew 10 feet in the air," said Adam Eaton, who also pitched in. "We were just hoping they're not hurt."

Head groundskeeper Mark Razum had never seen anything like the wind gust in 29 years.

"The wind was so strong, we couldn't hold it," Razum said. "When it draped over the guys, I was worried that somebody might suffocate. It was really cool the Phillies came out and gave us a hand."

The lone Rockies player to help out was LaTroy Hawkins. The rest were already back in the clubhouse.

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