Five-run second helps Phils gain ground
Club pulls to within a half-game of first-place Atlanta in NL East
PHILADELPHIA -- Exactly when Charlie Manuel decided to shake up the lineup is something only the Phillies manager knows for sure.
The only thing that mattered Monday night was that at some point, Manuel donned his evil genius cap and constructed a lineup that had Jimmy Rollins in the five-spot, and if game results mean anything, Rollins may need to get comfortable in the five-hole.
"I don't know," Manuel said. "I just put him in there. I figured we had a lot of left-handers in there and Jimmy would fit well after [Ryan] Howard. He's got some power and he's a switch-hitter that I wanted to use."
The Phillies' bats awoke in time to beat Florida, 7-4, in the second game of the Labor Day doubleheader after the Marlins routed the Phils, 7-1, earlier in the day. With the win, the Phillies (79-60) pulled within a half-game of the Braves -- a 3-1 loser in Pittsburgh earlier in the day -- in the National League East.
Down 1-0 in the second inning, Rollins led off with a line-drive single into left field off Marlins starter Anibal Sanchez. The knock moved Rollins into sole possession of sixth place in franchise history with 1,706 hits, one better than Chuck Klein.
Raul Ibanez followed with a sharp single into right field before Domonic Brown worked a full count off Sanchez. Sanchez came in with an 85-mph changeup that brushed the top of the strike zone in his view. Home-plate umpire Ted Barrett disagreed, and Brown went to first with a walk as Sanchez hid his face in his glove in disgust.
Sanchez then walked Carlos Ruiz on four pitches to force in a run. After an out, Shane Victorino singled to give the Phils the lead, and Placido Polanco hit a two-run double for a 4-1 lead. Chase Utley hit an RBI single, and the Phillies had a 5-1 lead for starter Roy Oswalt.
"[Manuel] didn't say anything," said Victorino, who went 3-for-5 with a run scored out of the leadoff spot. "I just saw that I was leading off.
"You are looking way too far into it. I mean, you are looking too much at the details. I'm going to hit wherever Charlie puts me. I think that we should not get too far ahead ourselves. We had one inning and that's what tonight was about. [Sanchez is] tough, and that one inning he got wild and we capitalized."
Oswalt, now 5-1 since joining the Phillies in a trade with Houston on July 29, pitched a solid seven innings to get the win but allowed three home runs to left field for a combined four runs.
"We've been very aggressive with him, because he's always around the plate," Florida manager Edwin Rodriguez said. "He's very aggressive, so we have to stay very aggressive at the plate. It paid off today, although he battled out there and he got the win."
For his part, Oswalt wasn't happy with his pitch selection on solo home runs by Mike Stanton in the second and Cameron Maybin in the fifth. But a two-run shot by Hanley Ramirez in the third, which pulled the Marlins (70-67) within 5-3, was another story.
"I knew Hanley hit it fair, but I didn't think it was going out of the park," said Oswalt, who has been cursed by low run support all year, especially during his time in Houston. "I thought it was going to be at the warning track.
"You have hitters in our lineup one through eight that can really hit. These guys can really swing it. I think this was the first game all year that I've won giving up four runs."
Something he can thank Manuel and a revamped lineup for.
Mike Radano is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.