Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Posted: 10 p.m. Updated: 11:48 p.m.
By Jim Salisbury
MIAMI Late Wednesday night in the visiting managers office at Sun Life Stadium, Charlie Manuel talked about one of the beautiful nuances of baseball.
You can take one swing in baseball and be a hero, the Phillies manager said. With one cut, you can save a bad night.
Jimmy Rollins lived by those words in Wednesday nights game.
Twenty-four hours after making a costly error at shortstop that led to a loss Tuesday night, Rollins rebounded with a timely hit that helped lift the Phillies to a 5-3 win over the Florida Marlins.
Rollins two-run single off Marlins closer Leo Nunez with two outs in the top of the ninth broke a 3-3 tie. Rollins' only hit in five at-bats capped a five-run surge over the final three innings as the Phillies rallied after being down, 3-0.
For Rollins, the hit was personally satisfying. He had grounded out with runners in scoring position to end the top of the fifth and top of the seventh. And the night before, he threw away a ball in the bottom of the eighth inning the led to a 2-1 loss with Roy Halladay on the mound.
It was definitely a good time to be up there in the right spot, Rollins said of his tie-breaking hit, which scored Dane Sardinha and Pete Orr, both of whom had one-out hits after starting the night on the bench. Last night I was in the spot and I didnt come through. Tonight I was in the spot and came through and it felt good.
Rollins laughed in recalling the dialogue hed had with first-base coach Sam Perlozzo after his groundouts in the fifth and seventh innings.
Sam told me we had to stop meeting like this, Rollins said. Until then he was just taking the helmet. In the ninth inning I was able to keep it.
The victory improved the Phillies to 24-12, the best mark in the National League. In the win, however, the Phils suffered another loss. Catcher Brian Schneider is likely headed to the disabled list after he strained his left hamstring running the bases in the fifth inning. He will be evaluated on Thursdays off day. Carlos Ruiz, who will test his injured back in a minor-league game at Clearwater on Thursday night, is likely to be activated on Friday.
Schneider hurt himself rounding third on what was shaping up to be an RBI single by Cliff Lee. The left-hander has been a victim of poor run support in his last four starts so he took matters into his own hands and almost drove in the Phils first run.
That base hit did not buy Lee the chance to hit again in the seventh. Orrs pinch double drove in a run to make it a two-run game and put runners at second and third with one out. Manuel pulled Lee from the batters box for pinch-hitter Ross Gload, who had a strong at-bat, fouling off several pitches before delivering a run with a right-side ground out.
Cliff wanted to hit, Manuel said. But I told Gload he was hitting all the way. That might have been our only chance.
The Phillies came all the way back when Shane Victorino led off the eighth with a solo homer against lefty Mike Dunn. In a tie game, Manuel bypassed Antonio Bastardo and Mike Stutes for Kyle Kendrick. The right-hander walked the first batter he faced and allowed a one-out single before getting John Buck on an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play.
Why did Manuel use Kendrick in that situation?
Because Im the manager, he said.
He added, I had a hunch. I liked Kendrick against their right-handed hitters.
Sardinha, who had replaced Schneider, and Orr, who had pinch-hit in the seventh, both had one-out hits in front of Rollins in the decisive ninth inning. Both of Orrs hits were doubles. He seemed to bring a spark to a lifeless lineup when he entered the game.
For six innings we were kind of dead then the momentum shifted to our side, Manuel said. Things started happening. In this game, you never give in. Even if youre getting the crap beat out of you, you have to fight. Thats character and resilience and fight and determination. Thats what weve been for several years and I want to keep that.
E-mail Jim Salisbury at firstname.lastname@example.org