Rollins hit a leadoff home run, extending his hitting streak to 30 games, and fell a double short of the cycle as the Phillies gained a game in the NL wild-card race with a 6-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday.
The Phillies have won four of five and are a game behind Houston, which lost 3-2 to the Chicago Cubs. Both teams have six games left.
"I don't think about the streak too much, maybe a couple of times in the hotel room," Rollins said. "I told myself to not get caught up in it. I have to go out and do it. It helps me not think about it."
Chase Utley added his first career inside-the-park homer and Cory Lidle turned in his longest outing in seven starts as the Phillies improved to 39-39 on the road this season, including 6-3 on the trip that ended Sunday.
"We don't think about what Houston is doing while we're on the field at all," Lidle said. "We're scoreboard watching, but not during the game. Then, it's all about us."
Rollins' 11th home run of the season, off Reds left-hander Randy Keisler, matched St. Louis first baseman Albert Pujols for the longest hitting streak in the majors since Vladimir Guerrero hit in 31 straight for the Montreal Expos in 1999.
The leadoff homer was Rollins' third of the season and 12th of his career.
"He's the key player right now," Lidle said. "He's getting on base, he's stealing bags, he's making the pitchers think about something other than the hitters. It's fun to watch."
The Phillies added another first-inning run on David Bell's single, then went up 3-0 in the third when Bell walked with two outs and scored on Ryan Howard's double to right.
Utley increased the lead to 4-0 in the fifth with his 25th homer of the season and third of the series. Center fielder Ryan Freel lunged for Utley's drive to left-center and kicked it toward left, and Utley beat the relay threw from shortstop Felipe Lopez with a dive over catcher Jason LaRue that reminded Phillies manager Charlie Manuel of Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams.
"He looked like he was diving into the end zone," Manuel said. "He wasn't going to let anything stop him."
The inside-the-park homer was Philadelphia's first since Rollins hit one at San Diego on Aug. 5, 2004.
Lidle (12-11), facing the team that traded him to Philadelphia last August, allowed eight hits and three runs -- two earned -- while improving to 3-1 in his last four starts. He walked one and had four strikeouts while giving some rest to Manuel's bullpen with seven innings, his longest outing since he went eight innings in Philadelphia's 3-1 loss to Milwaukee on Aug. 5.
"That seven innings was big," Manuel said. "Our bullpen's been pretty well-worked."
Billy Wagner pitched the ninth for his 36th save in 39 opportunities.
Keisler (2-1) gave up eight hits and four runs with three walks and five strikeouts. His two wins were in relief.
Edwin Encarnacion hit his eighth homer of the season with one out in the fifth for the Reds' first run. Lopez reached on an error and scored on Rich Aurilia's groundout in the sixth, and Austin Kearns doubled and scored on a double play in the seventh.
"We had a couple of at bats that could have turned the game around, but (Lidle) didn't give in," Reds interim manager Jerry Narron said.
"We won the series," Manuel said. "Hopefully, it'll be good enough. We have to find a way to make up two games somehow."
|Jimmy Rollins' leadoff homer extends his hitting streak to 30, the majors' longest run since '99. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|Jimmy Rollins, SS||5||2||3||1||0||0||0||.287|
|Jason Michaels, CF-LF||4||1||1||0||1||0||1||.304|
|Bobby Abreu, RF||5||1||1||1||0||0||2||.292|
|Pat Burrell, LF||5||0||2||1||0||2||1||.284|
|Endy Chavez, CF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.216|
|Chase Utley, 2B||4||1||2||1||1||1||2||.283|
|David Bell, 3B||3||1||2||1||2||0||2||.248|
|Ryan Howard, 1B||5||0||1||1||0||2||2||.288|
|Mike Lieberthal, C||3||0||0||0||1||0||3||.254|
|Cory Lidle, P||4||0||0||0||0||3||2||.145|
|Ugueth Urbina, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Billy Wagner, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.500|
|2B - Bobby Abreu (35, Standridge), Pat Burrell (26, Standridge), Ryan Howard (16, Keisler)|
|3B - Jimmy Rollins (11, Keisler)|
|HR - Jimmy Rollins (11, Keisler), Chase Utley (25, Keisler)|
|RBI - Jimmy Rollins (50), Bobby Abreu (97), Pat Burrell (113), Chase Utley (96), David Bell (59), Ryan Howard (57)|
|2-OUT RBI - Bobby Abreu (38), Pat Burrell (53), David Bell (28), Ryan Howard (13)|
|PK - Chase Utley (1, Hancock)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|Outfield Assists - Bobby Abreu 1|
|DP - Bell-Howard, Lidle-Utley-Howard, Utley-Rollins-Howard|
|E - Chase Utley (14, misplayed grounder)|
|Cory Lidle (W,12-11)||7||8||3||2||1||4||1||4.65|
|Ugueth Urbina (H,17)||1||1||0||0||0||2||0||3.45|
|Billy Wagner (S,36)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||1.48|
|WP - Cory Lidle (6)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Cory Lidle 104-63, Ugueth Urbina 23-16, Billy Wagner 14-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cory Lidle 7-7, Ugueth Urbina 1-0, Billy Wagner 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Cory Lidle 27, Ugueth Urbina 4, Billy Wagner 3|
|Ryan Freel, CF||3||0||0||0||1||1||0||.269|
|Felipe Lopez, SS||4||1||1||0||0||2||2||.286|
|Adam Dunn, LF||4||0||2||0||0||1||2||.250|
|Rich Aurilia, 2B||4||0||1||1||0||1||1||.279|
|Javier Valentin, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.282|
|Austin Kearns, RF||4||1||1||0||0||0||1||.242|
|Jason LaRue, C||4||0||1||0||0||1||0||.264|
|Edwin Encarnacion, 3B||3||1||1||1||0||0||0||.223|
|Randy Keisler, P||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.308|
|a- Aaron Holbert, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.227|
|Jason Standridge, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Allan Simpson, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Jacob Cruz, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.246|
|Josh Hancock, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-popped out for Keisler in the 5th|
|b-struck out for Simpson in the 7th|
|2B - Austin Kearns (24, Lidle), Randy Keisler (2, Lidle)|
|HR - Edwin Encarnacion (8, Lidle)|
|RBI - Rich Aurilia (65), Edwin Encarnacion (25)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|DP - F. Lopez-Aurilia-Valentin|
|E - Rich Aurilia (9, misplayed grounder)|
|Randy Keisler (L,2-1)||5||8||4||4||3||5||2||5.98|
|IBB - Lieberthal by Randy Keisler, Utley by Jason Standridge|
|Pitches-Strikes - Randy Keisler 93-54, Jason Standridge 31-15, Allan Simpson 13-7, Josh Hancock 35-20|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Keisler 7-3, Jason Standridge 2-1, Allan Simpson 1-0, Josh Hancock 1-3|
|Batters Faced - Randy Keisler 26, Jason Standridge 7, Allan Simpson 3, Josh Hancock 7|
|Attendance - 23072|
|Game Time - 3:03|
|Temperature - 78|
|Umpires - Home - Tim McClelland, First Base - Chuck Meriwether, Second Base - Mike Everitt, Third Base - Tim Timmons|