Rollins gets a bonus as Phils outlast Diamondbacks

Domonic Brown belts a two-run homer in the 7th inning, his 7th of the season. He had three RBIs in the win. RON CORTES / Staff
Domonic Brown belts a two-run homer in the 7th inning, his 7th of the season. He had three RBIs in the win. RON CORTES / Staff
Posted: July 27, 2014

The Phillies billed Friday's game at Citizens Bank Park against the Arizona Diamondbacks as Christmas in July, and the person getting the perfect stocking stuffer was shortstop Jimmy Rollins.

With his second plate appearance in the 9-5 Phillies win, Rollins guaranteed his $11 million option for 2015, so long as he is not on the disabled list at the end of the year. He now has 437 plate appearances after going 0 for 5.

While Rollins reached a financial mark, a number of his teammates came up big in helping the Phillies earn their second consecutive win.

Grady Sizemore led off the bottom of the first inning with a single to center field, his 1,000th career hit. Sizemore would add hits 1,001 and 1,002, both doubles.

"It is exciting," Sizemore said of reaching the milestone. "I am happy to have a chance to get there, and I hope there's a lot more."

After not playing in 2012 and 2013 because of injuries and then batting .216 before being released by Boston on June 18 this season, Sizemore is batting .341 in 11 games for the Phillies.

Sizemore is so focused on each at-bat that he wasn't originally aware that he had reached the 1,000-hit milestone.

"I knew coming into the year I was close, but I had no clue where I was at," he said.

Domonic Brown was among the other major contributors with a double, his seventh home run, and three RBIs.

Darin Ruf, starting for the third straight game at first base for slumping Ryan Howard, produced a sacrifice fly to deep center field, scored a run, and crushed a double to left.

There were a few rough patches.

Kyle Kendrick, who entered the game with a 10.80 ERA in the first inning, was coasting until the sixth inning.

Holding a 6-0 lead with two outs and the bases loaded, Kendrick was lifted for Antonio Bastardo. The lefthander yielded a grand slam to pinch-hitter Alfredo Marte, his first major-league home run.

After Bastardo allowed singles to the first two batters in the seventh inning, he was replaced by Justin De Fratus. The righthander struck out three of the four batters he faced while allowing a walk to keep the score 6-4.

"Antonio has picked me up a few times this year, so to be able to pick him up was huge," DeFratus said.

As for Rollins, this has surely been a bounce-back season on a personal scale and a major disappointment for his last-place team. Earlier this season, he became the Phillies' all-time hits leader, breaking Mike Schmidt's mark of 2,234.

For the 35-year-old Rollins, it has been a rebirth after his worst statistical season. In 660 plate appearances in 2013, he hit .252 with career lows in home runs (6), RBIs (39), and OPS (.667).

While Rollins' average remains low this year, he is up in many other areas. He is hitting .240 with 13 home runs and 45 RBIs, and he entered the game with a .715 OPS.

"I see a lot of improvement," manager Ryne Sandberg said before the game. "I think he's playing shortstop about as good as I would expect."

Sandberg said Rollins has benefited from more patience in the box.

"He's added a good eye to his approach at home plate," Sandberg said. ". . . Overall, he has been a consistent threat and force at the top of the order."

Rollins has appeared in 99 of the Phillies' 103 games, and his durability has impressed general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.

"When we made that part of the contract, we were hopeful he would be able to be durable enough to vest," Amaro said. "To his credit, he has been a very durable player."

And for at least another year, a secure player as well.


BY THE NUMBERS

1,103

Plate appearances over the last two seasons for Jimmy Rollins. He needed 1,100 to trigger his contract for next year.

$11M

The value of Rollins' contract next season.

.320

Rollins' on-base percentage over the last two years.


mnarducci@phillynews.com

@sjnard

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