The Phillies found themselves in a 5-0 first-inning hole to the Nationals on Thursday and eventually were down 6-1 in the sixth before rallying for a 10th-inning win. The Phillies avoided opening the season with a three-game sweep at home for the third straight year, but have been slow starters the last few seasons.
Phils' Slow Starts Since '04
The defending NL East champions overcame a 5-0, first-inning deficit to avoid opening the season with a three-game sweep at home for the third straight year.Rollins reached on an infield single to start the bottom of the 10th against Colome (0-1). The reigning NL MVP never hesitated rounding second base and advanced all the way to third on Shane Victorino's perfect sacrifice.After Chase Utley and Ryan Howard were intentionally walked to load the bases, Werth walked on four pitches to end it.Rollins' smart baserunning forced the Nationals into a tough jam."That's just heads-up baseball," manager Charlie Manuel said. "You have to be heads-up to make a play like that and have confidence in your speed."Rollins declined to speak to reporters, who waited more than 45 minutes in the clubhouse after the game. Maybe he was still out of breath from going first to third on a bunt."He's an MVP. That's what they do," teammate Geoff Jenkins said.Clay Condrey (1-0), the seventh pitcher used by Philadelphia, tossed a perfect 10th.The Phillies got their first win while sporting a new alternate home uniform, a throwback model from the 1940s minus the customary red pinstripes the team has worn since 1950. They wore cream-colored pants and jerseys with Phillies scripted in red across the chest. The team will wear these uniforms for day games at home.Trailing 6-1 in the sixth, the Fightin' Phils rallied with seven straight singles to tie it and took a 7-6 lead on their eighth single of the inning.But the Phillies squandered two opportunities to increase their lead -- bases loaded and one out in the sixth and runners on second and third with no outs in the seventh. The Nationals tied it at 7 on Cristian Guzman's RBI single off J.C. Romero with two outs in the eighth.Shaky defense -- the Phillies made four errors -- and an ineffective performance by starter Jamie Moyer put Philadelphia in an early hole against Washington, which had three pitchers combine on a one-hitter in a 1-0 win Wednesday night.Chris Coste homered on his first swing of the season in the second inning for Philadelphia's first run, snapping a string of 13 innings in which the Phillies didn't get a batter to second base.In the sixth, Utley, Howard, Pat Burrell and Jenkins hit consecutive singles to chase Nationals starter Jason Bergmann and cut the deficit to 6-3.Pedro Feliz had a two-run single off Saul Rivera to make it 6-5. After Coste singled, pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs' RBI single tied it. Ray King replaced Rivera and hit Rollins to load the bases.Victorino followed with a base hit to right to give the Phillies a 7-6 lead. King escaped further trouble by getting Utley to ground into a home-to-first double play started by first baseman Aaron Boone.The 45-year-old Moyer allowed six runs -- three earned -- and nine hits in 3 2-3 innings. Bergmann gave up five runs and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings."You can only hold them for so long," Nationals manager Manny Acta said. "We had our chances."
Nationals C Johnny Estrada began a rehab assignment at Triple-A Columbus. Estrada is on the disabled list with a right elbow injury. ... Nationals LF Felipe Lopez played his first game in the outfield after spending his entire career in the infield. ... RHP Rudy Seanez pitched a perfect sixth in his first appearance with the Phillies. ... Philadelphia's Tom Gordon, who allowed five runs in the ninth inning of an 11-6 loss in the opener, worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth to preserve the tie.