Rollins powers Phillies to victory

May 9, 2008 10:36:16 PM PDT
Jimmy Rollins led the Philadelphia Phillies to victory in his long-awaited return.The reigning NL MVP came off the disabled list and hit a two-run homer, an RBI double and also singled, sending the Phillies past the struggling San Francisco Giants 7-4 on Friday night.

Carlos Ruiz drove in two runs for the Phillies, including the go-ahead score in the eighth, and Cole Hamels (4-3) struck out seven in seven innings to win his second straight decision.

The Giants lost their season-high fifth straight game and sixth in seven to drop a season-worst eight games under .500 (14-22). San Francisco is back home for 10 games on the heels of a disappointing 1-5 road trip that featured a three-game sweep at Pittsburgh after a losing series in Philadelphia.

With one out, Ruiz chopped a grounder off Tyler Walker (1-1) to second baseman Eugenio Velez, whose throw home pulled Bengie Molina off the plate and allowed Pat Burrell to score after he advanced on a wild pitch. Pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs followed with an RBI single that chased Walker.

Rollins found his stroke in a hurry. He missed hitting for the cycle by one hit for the 16th time in his career.

Batting leadoff and starting at shortstop, he grounded out in his first two at-bats before connecting for his third home run of 2008 in the fifth. His drive into the left-field seats off the first pitch from Pat Misch pulled Philadelphia within 4-3. He singled in the seventh for his fifth multihit game this year, then doubled in the eighth.

What a nice homecoming, too. He was playing back home in the Bay Area in front of many family and friends.

Rollins missed a month with a sprained left ankle. The Giants will get their star shortstop back for Saturday's game when 11-time Gold Glover Omar Vizquel makes his season debut following left knee surgery Feb. 27.

Hamels allowed four runs and six hits. Tom Gordon pitched a scoreless eighth and Brad Lidge finished for his ninth save in as many chances, striking out the side while allowing one hit.

Emmanuel Burriss hit a two-run triple as San Francisco took the lead in the fourth. He also singled twice for his first career three-hit game.

Misch, making his second start of the year, missed another chance to pick up his first major league victory. The lefty allowed four runs and six hits in six innings, struck out four and walked three in his sixth career start.

Ruiz put the Phillies up 1-0 with his second-inning RBI single. The Giants tied it in the bottom of the third when Fred Lewis singled in a run.

Pedro Feliz, who played his first eight major league seasons in San Francisco before joining the Phillies this season, had an RBI double and also singled against his old club. He parked in the Giants' players lot and made his way to the visitors' clubhouse for the first time.

But not before stopping to visit longtime San Francisco equipment manager Mike Murphy, who was like a father figure for Feliz.

"It feels good to be back," said Feliz, who had hoped to stay with the Giants. "You know me, I fit in anywhere."

San Francisco skipper Bruce Bochy was still sore after slipping and hitting his head in the dugout Thursday at Pittsburgh while moving to avoid getting hit by a foul ball.

"I'm hurting today," he said, noting his neck and back were tender after the cross-country flight.

Bochy received a gag gift in his office before Friday's game: a large black bucket with a black Giants hat on it.

"My new helmet," he said with a grin.

Notes: Lidge hasn't allowed an earned run in 18 appearances dating to his final outing of 2007. ... Giants CF Aaron Rowand will receive his 2007 Gold Glove Award before Saturday's game from his former manager, the Phillies' Charlie Manuel. ... Giants INF Kevin Frandsen, out for the season following surgery on his ruptured left Achilles' tendon, got his cast off Friday.