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Philadelphia (6-1) «00025000x781

Phillies win home opener, off to best start since 1993

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PHILADELPHIA -- Losing Jimmy Rollins right before first pitch didn't ruin the Philadelphia Phillies' day.

Placido Polanco hit a go-ahead single, Chase Utley had a two-run homer and the Phillies overcame an early deficit to beat the Washington Nationals 7-4 in their home opener Monday.

Column

Danny Knobler
Early bumps don't stand a chance of slowing the Phils. Their strong start shows this season's version of the Phils has little to worry about. Read more

The two-time defending NL champions are off to a 6-1 start, their best since opening the 1993 pennant-winning season 7-1.

But now they might be without Rollins. The three-time All-Star shortstop and 2007 NL MVP strained his right calf while running in the outfield during pregame warmups. He already had been introduced in the starting lineup.

Rollins will have an MRI on Tuesday. Teammates Shane Victorino and Greg Dobbs have missed significant time with calf injuries in recent years.

"I think a calf takes a while to heal," manager Charlie Manuel said. "He seemed in pretty good spirits."

All-Star right fielder Jayson Werth also left in the sixth because of soreness in his left hip.

"I'll be fine, more precautionary than anything," Werth said.

Cole Hamels (2-0) earned the win despite another so-so effort. He allowed four runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings. The lanky left-hander is trying to bounce back following an inconsistent year after a dominant postseason in 2008.

"Unfortunately I wasn't able to go as deep as I'd like," Hamels said.

Despite losing Rollins, their leadoff hitter and catalyst, the Phillies continued their torrid hitting. They're averaging 7.1 runs and 11 hits per game.

The Phillies celebrated the franchise's seventh pennant during a pregame ceremony, then earned their first victory in a home opener since 2005.

Led by the Phanatic, their furry green mascot, players entered the field from Ashburn Alley behind the stands in left-center field. They walked through the crowd and onto a red carpet that stretched from the warning track to the infield.

Manuel raised the 2009 NL championship flag on the concourse behind the brick batter's eye. Players were introduced to rousing ovations and the U.S. Navy parachute team delivered the first balls.

Josh Willingham hit a solo homer and losing pitcher Jason Marquis had a two-run double for the Nationals.

"We had them on the ropes, but when you have a chance to put a team away and don't do it, it's tough," Nationals first baseman Adam Dunn said.

Marquis (0-2) allowed seven runs -- six earned -- and six hits in 4 1/3 innings. The right-hander, who signed a $15 million, two-year contract with Washington as a free agent, was an All-Star with Colorado last season.

The Phillies came back from a 4-0 deficit, scoring twice in the fourth and chasing Marquis during a five-run fifth. Carlos Ruiz started the fifth with a single. Hamels tried to sacrifice and reached safely when catcher Ivan Rodriguez's throw to second bounced into center field for an error.

Juan Castro, filling in for Rollins, hit an RBI double to deep left-center. Polanco followed with a two-run single to right-center to put the Phillies ahead 5-4, and Utley added a two-run shot off the foul pole in right.

"I thought we had some pretty good at-bats," Utley said.

Chad Durbin, Jose Contreras, Danys Baez and Ryan Madson combined for 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief for Philadelphia. Madson earned his second save in two tries.

Willingham homered leading off the second, and Washington added three runs with two outs in the fourth.

Hamels nearly escaped trouble after giving up a single to Cristian Guzman and nicking Dunn's jersey with a pitch. He struck out Willingham on a 3-2 pitch, painting the outside corner with a 92 mph fastball. He blew a fastball past Ian Desmond for the second out, but Rodriguez followed with an RBI single to make it 2-0.

After Adam Kennedy walked to load the bases, Marquis lined a two-run double out of the reach of leaping third baseman Polanco.

The Phillies answered with two in the bottom half. Polanco hit a one-out single, Utley walked and Ryan Howard hit an RBI single.

Nationals manager Jim Riggleman went out to talk to Marquis and was ejected by plate umpire Paul Schrieber, who went to the mound to speed up the conversation. Werth drove in a run with a grounder to third to cut it to 4-2.

Hamels helped the Phillies win their second World Series title in '08, earning MVP honors in the NLCS and World Series. But he struggled to match that success last year, going 10-11 in the regular season and 1-2 in the postseason.

Notes

  • The Phillies had their 43rd consecutive sellout in the regular season.
  • Phillies first base coach Davey Lopes rejoined the team following the death of his brother earlier this month.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Chase Utley likes playing at home as he watches his two-run blast leave the ballpark.  (AP)
Chase Utley likes playing at home as he watches his two-run blast leave the ballpark. (AP)

Players of the Game
Washington

I. Rodriguez
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
Philadelphia

P. Polanco
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Washington Nationals
Nyjer Morgan, CF5000002 .172
Willy Taveras, RF4000020 .143
Cristian Guzman, 2B4120010 .300
Adam Dunn, 1B2100111 .111
Josh Willingham, LF4111023 .391
Ian Desmond, SS4000012 .190
Ivan Rodriguez, C4121001 .421
Adam Kennedy, 3B3000120 .136
Jason Marquis, P2012000 .250
    Jesse English, P0000000 .000
   a- Alberto Gonzalez, PH1000002 .000
    Tyler Walker, P0000000 .000
    Sean Burnett, P0000000 .000
    Miguel Batista, P0000000 .000
   b- Willie Harris, PH1000000 .154
Totals3446429  
a-grounded out for English in the 6th
b-fouled out for Batista in the 9th
Batting
2B - Cristian Guzman (2, Hamels), Ivan Rodriguez (3, Hamels), Jason Marquis (1, Hamels)
HR - Josh Willingham (2, Hamels)
RBI - Josh Willingham (8), Ivan Rodriguez (1), Jason Marquis 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Ivan Rodriguez (1), Jason Marquis 2 (2)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Dunn-Desmond
E - Ivan Rodriguez (1, Throwing)
Washington Nationals
Jason Marquis (L,0-2) 4.1676211 12.96
Jesse English 0.2100010 7.71
Tyler Walker 1.2000000 5.40
Sean Burnett 0.1100000 5.40
Miguel Batista 1000110 10.13
IBB - Ibanez by Miguel Batista
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Marquis 80-46, Jesse English 12-9, Tyler Walker 11-8, Sean Burnett 6-4, Miguel Batista 15-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Marquis 8-4, Jesse English 1-0, Tyler Walker 3-2
Batters Faced - Jason Marquis 21, Jesse English 3, Tyler Walker 5, Sean Burnett 2, Miguel Batista 4
Philadelphia Phillies
Jimmy Rollins, SS0000000 .391
    Juan Castro, SS4111000 .250
Placido Polanco, 3B4222000 .484
Chase Utley, 2B3212100 .346
Ryan Howard, 1B4021000 .375
Jayson Werth, RF3011000 .357
    Ben Francisco, RF1000011 .000
Raul Ibanez, LF3000112 .222
Shane Victorino, CF4000012 .161
Carlos Ruiz, C3110102 .294
Cole Hamels, P2100001 .250
    Chad Durbin, P0000000 .000
   a- Ross Gload, PH1000000 .333
    Jose Contreras, P0000000 .000
    Danys Baez, P0000000 .000
    Ryan Madson, P0000000 .000
Totals3278733  
a-grounded out for Durbin in the 6th
Batting
2B - Juan Castro (1, Marquis), Ryan Howard (4, Burnett)
HR - Chase Utley (2, Marquis)
RBI - Juan Castro (1), Placido Polanco 2 (10), Chase Utley 2 (6), Ryan Howard (11), Jayson Werth (4)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
E - Juan Castro (1, Misplayed grounder)
Philadelphia Phillies
Cole Hamels (W,2-0) 5.2644161 5.06
Chad Durbin (H,3) 0.1000000 0.00
Jose Contreras (H,1) 1000020 0.00
Danys Baez (H,2) 1000100 2.45
Ryan Madson (S,2) 1000010 2.70
HBP - Dunn (by Cole Hamels)
Pitches-Strikes - Cole Hamels 109-70, Chad Durbin 4-3, Jose Contreras 14-9, Danys Baez 16-8, Ryan Madson 10-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cole Hamels 8-4, Chad Durbin 1-0, Jose Contreras 1-0, Danys Baez 3-0, Ryan Madson 1-1
Batters Faced - Cole Hamels 26, Chad Durbin 1, Jose Contreras 3, Danys Baez 4, Ryan Madson 3
Game Information
Attendance - 44791
Game Time - 2:45
Temperature - 67
Umpires - Home - Paul Schrieber, First Base - Rob Drake, Second Base - Joe West, Third Base - Angel Hernandez