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Rollins gets five hits as Phillies bounce back

8/12/2002

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- After embarrassing himself twice on the
basepaths, Jimmy Rollins distinguished himself at the plate.

Rollins capped the first five-hit game of his career with a
tiebreaking RBI single in the eighth inning, and the Philadelphia
Phillies bounced back from two crushing losses to beat the Los
Angeles Dodgers 6-3 Sunday.

``My confidence hasn't been down, but you can't say that a
five-hit game doesn't make you happy,'' Rollins said. ``I don't
know if it'll give me any more confidence, but maybe I'll be able
to relax a little more.''

Rollins, who played in his second All-Star Game last month after
being voted onto the starting team at shortstop, raised his season
average to .247. He has singled in each of his last seven at-bats _
after getting only one in his previous 19 career at-bats at Dodger
Stadium.

``It wasn't a problem with mechanics, it was a timing problem,''
he said. ``I was working on getting my front foot down in time, but
for some reason, it wasn't clicking. But one of my teammates said
something yesterday, and it made sense. I got two hits yesterday,
and today I got great results.''

Things were different after Rollins got on base. He was erased
twice on rundown plays, squandering scoring chances. In the third
inning, Rollins was tagged out by shortstop Cesar Izturis after
pitcher Odalis Perez noticed Rollins breaking for third and threw
to Adrian Beltre.

``I was trying to catch him sleeping,'' said Rollins, who has
known Perez since their days in Class A ball. ``He had his head
down looking at the catcher, and Beltre had his head down. But
Izturis was paying attention. So as soon as I took off, he was
yelling. And they got me.''

Mark Grudzielanek and Marquis Grissom each homered for the third
time in three games, but the Dodgers tied a season high with four
errors and saw their wild card lead over San Francisco cut to a
half-game. They also slipped seven games behind first-place Arizona
in the NL West.

Alex Cora, a defensive replacement at second base for
Grudzielanek, opened the door for Philadelphia's three-run eighth
with a throwing error. Cora took a relay throw from right field on
a single by Tomas Perez and tried to nail him as he rounded the
bag.

``When you beat yourselves, that's a little bit tougher to
take,'' Dodgers center fielder Dave Roberts said. ``At this time of
year, things are more magnified.''

Tomas Perez scored from third on Rollins' single to left, as the
throw from a charging Grissom bounced over the shoulder of Paul Lo
Duca as Rollins continued to third. Paul Shuey (1-2) then walked
Bobby Abreu and allowed a two-run single to Pat Burrell.

Shuey has a 10.80 ERA in nine appearances with the Dodgers since
a July 28 trade from Cleveland -- allowing 12 hits and 11 walks in
only 6 2-3 innings. In his last nine outings before the trade, he
allowed one earned run and no walks in 10 innings.

``It's going to be awful hard on me, dealing with this one
because we had a good chance to sweep the series,'' said Shuey, who
was traded for Terry Mulholland and has replaced him as the Dodger
Stadium crowd's favorite target for boos.

``It's been a while since I've struggled like this. I just don't
feel like I've been making bad pitches, but I'm not making the key
pitch when I have to get out of a jam. Maybe I'm just in too many
jams to start with. But I've got to get it turned around.''

Mike Timlin (4-4) worked a hitless eighth, and Jose Mesa got
three straight outs for his 33rd save in 41 attempts.

Perez pitched seven innings for the Dodgers, allowing three runs
-- two earned -- and nine hits, including four consecutive singles by
Rollins. The left-hander is 0-4 in six starts since beating St.
Louis on July 5.

The Dodgers' pitcher led off the fifth with a double and scored
on Beltre's sacrifice fly for a 3-2 lead against Randy Wolf. The
Phillies tied it in the seventh on Abreu's RBI double, but left two
more runners in scoring position when Travis Lee grounded out.

Grudzielanek, who had only four errors in his previous 103
starts this season, committed two on one play to help the Phillies
score two runs in the second.

With runners at the corners and one out, Grudzielanek mishandled
Marlon Anderson's grounder toward the hole -- then compounded the
mistake with a horrible throw past first base as Tomas Perez scored
behind Mike Lieberthal.

Grudzielanek got one of the runs back in the bottom half with a
first-pitch homer to center field, his eighth this season.

Grissom, starting in left field for the third straight game
because of Brian Jordan's sore lower back, hit his 13th homer in
the first inning.

Wolf allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings.

Game notes
The Phillies, coming off 7-6 and 10-8 losses the previous
two nights, haven't lost three straight games when scoring at least
six runs since Aug. 28-31, 1996. ... Odalis Perez got all four of
his strikeouts in succession after Rollins led off the fifth with a
single. ... Lieberthal, who homered in three consecutive plate
appearances Saturday, had two hits and finished the series 9-for-13.