Eight shutout innings from Kendrick? Kendrick and Herndon combine on a shutout? Check. Check.

The Phils went into last night’s game with a problem at the back of their bullpen. Bastardo and Madson had each thrown three straight days and their starter, Kyle Kendrick, didn’t seem like a great candidate to go deep into the game.

So much for that. The Phils barely needed their pen at all. Kendrick held the Rockies to four hits over eight shutout innings in Colorado, Howard pounded two home runs and the Phils won 5-0.

For Kendrick it was arguably the best start of his career. He was about as good on April 20, 2010 against the Braves and on June 25, 2008 against Oakland.

The Phillies are 70-39 on the year after beating the Colorado Rockies 5-0 last night. They have won five games in a row and are 31 games over .500 for the first time on the year. They are eight games ahead of the second-place Braves in the NL East.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went eight shutout innings, allowing four hits and two walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out seven.

He started the bottom of the first with a 2-0 lead. Dexter Fowler doubled with one out, but Todd Helton flew to center behind him for the second. Kendrick walked Troy Tulowitzki on five pitches, putting men on first and second for Seth Smith. Kendrick struck Smith out looking 2-2 to end the inning.

Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 second.

Eric Young reached on an infield single with one out in the third on a ball deflected by Kendrick. Young stole second before Kendrick struck Fowler out looking for the second out on a 3-2 pitch for the second out. Helton flew to left for the third out.

Up 4-0, Kendrick set the Rockies down in order in the fourth.

Chris Iannetta singled to right with one out in the fifth. Jonathan Herrera was next and he grounded to third for the second out, with Iannetta moving up to second. Young grounded to second to leave him there.

Kendrick walked Fowler to start the sixth. Helton was next and he hit a line drive, but at Howard who took it and stepped on first to double Fowler off easily. Tulowitzki grounded to short for the third out.

With one out in the seventh, righty Ryan Spilborghs hit for pitcher Edgmer Escalona and singled to right. Mark Ellis flew to right for the second out and Kendrick struck Iannetta out looking 0-2 to leave Spilborghs at first.

Kendrick struck Young and Fowler out in a 1-2-3 eighth with the Phils up 5-0.

Herndon pitched the ninth with a five-run lead and set the Rockies down in order.

Over his last seven appearances, Herndon has allowed one run in 7 1/3 innings on five hits and a walk, dropping his ERA from 5.14 to 4.33. He threw 12 pitches in the game and has not thrown more than one day in a row.

The Phillies lineup against righty Aaron Cook went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Pence (6) Ibanez (7) Polanco (8) Schneider. Schneider catches against the righty with Ruiz on the bench and a day game this afternoon.

Rollins led off the game and walked on four pitches. He moved to third when Victorino followed with a single to right. Utley was next and he grounded to short, with Rollins scoring to put the Phils up 1-0 and Victorino moving up to second with one out. Howard moved Victorino to third with a ground out to Ellis before Pence doubled to the gap in left center, plating Victorino and putting the Phils up 2-0. Ibanez struck out swinging to leave Pence at second.

The Phils went in order in the second and again in the third.

Howard led off the fourth and hit an 0-1 pitch out to right center. 3-0. Pence flew to right for the first out before Ibanez and Polanco singled back-to-back, putting men on first and third with one down for Schneider. Schneider hit a fly ball to center deep enough for Ibanez to tag and score, putting the Phillies ahead 4-0. Kendrick grounded to third for the third out.

Victorino walked with one out in the fifth, but Utley and Howard went down behind him.

Pence led off the sixth and doubled to left. Ibanez flew to left for the first out before Polanco hit a soft ground ball between first and second. Helton made a nice play to get an out, fielding the ball and shoveling to the pitcher as Pence went to third. Schneider flew to center to leave him at third.

No run for the Phils after the leadoff double by Pence. Ibanez can’t move him to third with the first out.

Kendrick started the seventh with a single to center, but Rollins flew to left, Victorino grounded out on a ball fielded by the catcher with Kendrick taking second and Utley flew to center.

Howard led off the eighth against righty Matt Lindstrom and hit a 1-2 pitch out to left, putting the Phillies on top 5-0. Pence walked behind him, but Ibanez, Polanco and Schneider all went down to keep the Phils from getting any more.

Two homers on the day for Howard. He has now hit 23 on the year against righties and none against lefties.

The Phillies went in order in the ninth. Mayberry hit for Kendrick and flew to center for the first out. He was facing lefty Matt Reynolds.

Rollins 0-for-4 with a walk. He’s 0-for-8 in the series so far.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a walk. 356/442/622 over his last 53 plate appearances.

Utley 0-for-4 with an RBI. 2-for-8 in the series so far.

Howard 2-for-4 with two home runs. He’s hitting 261/360/561 against righties for the year and 234/295/320 against lefties.

Pence 2-for-3 with two doubles and an RBI. 5-for-17 with three doubles and two walks with the Phillies so far.

Ibanez 1-for-4 with a strikeout. He’s 5-for-his-last-12 with four extra-base hits.

Polanco 1-for-4. 4-for-13 with four singles since his return.

Schneider 0-for-3 with an RBI. He’s 1-for-his-last-12.

Halladay (13-4, 2.44) faces righty Jason Hammel (6-10, 4.65) this afternoon. Hammel has thrown to a 7.00 ERA over his last starts. Opponents have hit .325 against him in those starts with six home runs in 27 innings. The Colorado native Halladay has made three career starts against the Rockies, going 2-0 with an 0.77 ERA and an 0.86 ratio.