Rollins gets best of Phils as LA takes opener
LOS ANGELES -- Jimmy Rollins came through in the clutch against his old team and the Dodgers held on for a hard-fought 10-7 victory over the Phillies on Monday night at Dodger Stadium in a game that took four hours and 13 minutes to complete.
Rollins came to the plate with two outs in the seventh inning with the score tied at 7, and drove in a pair of runs to give the Dodgers a lead they wouldn't surrender. Rollins was 2-for-4 in his first game against Philadelphia after spending 15 years with the Phillies. Howie Kendrick chipped in four hits for Los Angeles.
"When you get a hit like that, it feels good, no matter who you're playing against," Rollins said. "If you don't, it's like 'damn it.' I definitely didn't want to have a 'damn it' moment against my former team, but it wasn't something extra.
"You put me in situations where it counts, I've just had a knack for getting it done lots of times."
Both teams had hot bats and struggled on the mound. Sean O'Sullivan lasted 5 1/3 innings as the starter for the Phillies, but allowed seven runs (six earned). Reliever Yimi Garcia made his first career start for the Dodgers, although he went just two innings by design. J.P. Howell earned the win as Los Angeles used seven pitchers in the game.
"I wasn't really surprised," Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard said about Rollins' late-inning heroics. "He's always been that kind of guy. Big-game situations, it doesn't matter what uniform he is wearing. He's always been that guy that wants to be up there in that situation. He's always been a guy who wants to be in that moment."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Infield issues: In the sixth inning, the Phillies had a chance to end a Dodgers rally before it even began. With Rollins on first, Joc Pederson grounded into what could've been an inning-ending double play, but Cesar Hernandez bobbled the ball and could only record one out. The next hitter, Kendrick, singled to left to put the Dodgers up, 7-6.
Rough start in relief: The Phillies got to Eric Surkamp in his Dodgers debut almost immediately once he entered the game in the third inning. Hernandez reached on a bunt single, then Maikel Franco walked on four pitches before Howard blasted a 2-2 curveball into the bleachers for a 5-3 Phillies lead. Surkamp pitched 3 1/3 innings, allowing four hits, four runs and struck out four. Although there was no roster move made Monday night, Surkamp was cleaning out his locker after the game.
"We wanted to take some of the pressure off Eric from the standpoint of not starting the game," manager Don Mattingly said. "Other than the rough first inning, he actually was not so bad."
O'Sullivan can't hold it: The Phillies' rotation struggles continued. The Phillies gave O'Sullivan a 6-3 lead in the fourth, but he served up a three-run home run to Yasmani Grandal in the fifth to tie the game. O'Sullivan (1-6, 6.08 ERA) allowed eight hits, and seven of them were for extra bases (four doubles, one triple, two home runs).
The Phillies outrighted him to Triple-A after the game. He has not decided if he will accept his assignment or become a free agent. The Phillies will announce a corresponding move Tuesday. It is likely to be a relief pitcher until O'Sullivan's turn in the rotation comes up Saturday.
"I told him this is a bottom-line business at this level," Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said. "You've got to perform. He said, 'I get it. I understand. It's not a big surprise to me.' We've got to get some length out of those starters."
Galvis shines: Before Rollins' heroics, his replacement in Philadelphia had a headline-worthy game. Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis hit a two-run home run in the second inning to tie the game at 2. He then hit a sacrifice fly in the seventh to tie the game at 7. Galvis entered the night hitting .378 (17-for-45) with three doubles, three RBIs and an .884 OPS in 12 games since June 21.
"Under normal circumstances, very often what is happening is the pitcher gets into the fifth, and I don't really want to send the guy back out in the sixth, because he hasn't looked sharp, but I'm crossing my fingers and hoping we can, so that I don't abuse the bullpen." -- Mackanin, on Phillies starters' inability to pitch deep in games, which has taxed the bullpen. Phillies starters have been unable to complete at least six innings in 15 of the last 20 games.
"I told [hitting coach Mark McGwire], it's only fitting Jimmy is the guy up right now. It didn't take him long to deliver," -- Mattingly on Rollins in the seventh.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Kendrick recorded his third four-hit game in his past 10 games, all of which have come from the No. 2 spot in the lineup. Kendrick is hitting .452 in 10 games as the No. 2 hitter this season.
Phillies: Phillies right-hander Chad Billingsley faces his former team for the first time Tuesday night against the Dodgers at 10:10 p.m. ET. Billingsley spent his entire career with the Dodgers before joining Phillies in the offseason. Billingsley spent the final two years of his Dodgers career recovering from a pair of right elbow surgeries.
Dodgers: Brett Anderson takes the mound for the Dodgers for the 7:10 p.m. PT start. He's looking for his fourth straight win and has allowed just three runs in his last 20 innings pitched. Anderson leads the Majors with a 69.2 percent ground-ball rate.
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