Rollins, Victorino come up big; Myers saves it
SAN FRANCISCO – Two of the biggest men in baseball, Barry Bonds and Ryan Howard, got upstaged by the two smallest men on the field. Jimmy Rollins' two triples and Shane Victorino's three singles, two RBI and two stolen bases led the Phillies' 9-7 win, mainly the result of a four-run second inning and a five-run fourth.
SAN FRANCISCO – Two of the biggest men in baseball, Barry Bonds and Ryan Howard, got upstaged by the two smallest men on the field.
Jimmy Rollins' two triples and Shane Victorino's three singles, two RBI and two stolen bases led the Phillies' 9-7 win, mainly the result of a four-run second inning and a five-run fourth.
"Outstanding," manager Charlie Manuel said.
Their production would have been less so had the Phillies blown the 9-2 lead they took into the sixth, when the Giants rallied for five runs.
"That would have put a damper on things," Manuel said.
Former No. 1 starter Brett Myers helped keep that from happening. He converted his first save opportunity since he went to the bullpen April 18 with a perfect ninth. He pitched in place of Tom Gordon, whose stiff shoulder will land him on the 15-day disabled list today.
Myers shrugged at the chance. He has been unfazed by the conversion, and remained unfazed by last night's situation – at least, by the site.
"Maybe at home it will be [more unnerving]," Myers said.
Bonds was long gone by the time Myers entered.
The Phillies challenged slugger Barry Bonds, who singled in the Giants' first run, in the first inning, and grounded out in the third. The game was out of hand by the time the fifth rolled around and, with a chilling, steady rain falling, the 42-year-old who is 12 homers shy of Hank Aaron's record 755 was removed in favor of Todd Linden.
Bonds' heir apparent, reigning MVP Ryan Howard, was intentionally walked in the first, flied out in the second ... then struck out four times, falling to .205 for the season. His four whiffs came against lefties, against whom he is 5-for-37 with 21 strikeouts.
With the Goliaths muzzled, the Davids thrived.
Rollins, the 5-8, 174-pound leadoff hitter who led the National League with nine in home runs in April, erased a 1-0 deficit in the second inning when he launched a two-out, two-run triple over the head of centerfielder Dave Roberts. He scored on Victorino's single, part of a four-run inning that set up the worst start of Matt Cain's season.
The Giants got one back off Adam Eaton in the third but Rollins, Victorino and the Phillies responded again with six hits and five runs, both season bests.
Rollins led off the fourth with a triple off the rightfield wall at AT&T Park, the fourth game in his career in which Rollins has tripled twice. Victorino singled to left and drove in Rollins. He scored on Chase Utley's double.
That ended Cain's night after just three-plus innings, the briefest, worst start of his short, promising career.
Jonathan Sanchez supplied virtually no relief.
Jonathan Sanchez supplied virtually no relief.
Victorino's size – 5-9, 180 pounds – and his continuous effort led manager Charlie Manuel to believe that he needed the previous 2 days to rest, a strategy Victorino disagreed with. Perhaps it was brilliant, after all.
Victorino entered last night on a 3-for-28 slide. He appeared well-rested.
"That's what Charlie wanted with those 2 days off," Victorino said. "I did feel fresher."
With three singles and a walk, Victorino reached base in all four plate appearances. Manuel pinch-ran for Victorino in the fifth – his balky back was going through a normal tightening episode – for pinch-runner Michael Bourn. Afterward, Victorino said coach Davey Lopes misunderstood his indication of back pain and that he did not need to leave the game.
Coincidentally, Bourn fielded the last ball pitched by Eaton, who logged another disappointing start and let the Giants back into the game.
Eaton loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth before Omar Vizquel ripped a two-run double off the rightfield wall.
Eaton (3-2), the club's key free-agent addition, finished with five innings pitched, six runs charged and a 8.18 earned run average, almost a half-run worse than the ERA he began with.
"He's having trouble getting out of jams," Manuel said.
Ryan Madson relieved Eaton and allowed both inherited runners to score in the Giants' five-run sixth.
Madson let in one of his own when heavy-legged backup catcher Eliezer Alfonzo tripled under the glove of diving centerfielder Aaron Rowand, who reached base for the 24th straight game with a second-inning single.
Neither team managed another run, leaving the Phillies at 2-2 on their 10-game road trip.
"We hung in there," Manuel said.
And their little guys got them there.