Jimmy Rollins returned to the place that he spent the first 15 years of his big league career, but his Philadelphia reunion was rocked by a Maikel Franco grand slam, and the Phillies smashed the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-2 on Tuesday at Citizens Bank Park.
Rollins received two standing ovations during the game -- the first came during pregame warm ups as early arriving fans trickled in for a glimpse of their former shortstop—the second, when Rollins was introduced to start the game.
"It was a great moment," Rollins said of the ovation. "It went longer than I thought. I acknowledged them, got in the box, and they just kept going."
Rollins spent 15 seasons with the Phillies, and is the all-time franchise leader in hits with 2,385. Rollins played in five postseasons, won two pennants, an MVP and a World Series ring all while wearing a Phillies uniform. Frankly, he is one of the greatest players in Philadelphia sports history.
"As long as I'm playing and I still have years left I don't count those things," Rollins added. "When it gets to that point when I know this is my last year I'll probably go back and start looking at those things more carefully, but not now."
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The 36-year-old went 2-for-5 against his former team, but struck out looking with two runners on base in the bottom of the eighth inning.
"I'm trying to get hits and trying to win a ballgame," Rollins continued. "Unfortunately tonight, they got me out more times than I got hits."
Alex Wood made his first start in a Dodger uniform after being acquired by the Atlanta Braves just before the trade deadline. Wood entered the game with a 3-2 lifetime record and a 3.07 ERA in 12 career games against the Phillies.
Wood pitched well, allowing four runs on eight hits, with eight strikeouts over 6.1 innings, but ran out of gas in the seventh after he walked Odubel Herrera to load the bases.
Wood was the protagonist of a bizarre play one pitch earlier. With runners on first and second, and the count full to Herrera at the plate, the baseball slipped out of Wood's hand during his delivery like a bar of soap. It landed next to the first base line, and Carlos Ruiz, who was on second, raced home and scored on the play.
After multiple discussions by the umpires, the strange play was ruled a balk, because the ball did not cross the foul line, and the runners advanced to second and third and the run was disallowed.
Two batters later, reliever Joel Peralta, served up the grand slam to Franco and the Dodgers' goose was cooked.
Each team tacked on an extra run in the eighth inning.
Joc Pederson, who has struggled since the All-Star break, was more patient at the plate on Tuesday. Pederson received three free passes for the first time since May 10th against Colorado.
Luis Avilan who was also acquired from Atlanta with Wood and Jim Johnson at the trade deadline, made his Dodgers debut allowing one run on one hit, with one strikeout in one inning of work.
Los Angeles left 14 runners on base, squandering multiple scoring opportunities throughout the course of the game.
A.J. Ellis was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list before the game and backup catcher Austin Barnes was optioned back to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Dodgers' first-round draft pick Walker Buehler (24th overall), underwent Tommy John surgery to repair a torn UCL in his right elbow. He is expected to be out for the next 12-18 months.
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