However, Rollins would be one of the major reasons why the Phillies make the playoffs if they can catch the Houston Astros in the NL wild-card race.
Philadelphia, which opens a three-game set with the New York Mets, trails Houston by a game with six games remaining. The Phillies have won four of five, including Sunday’s 6-3 victory over Cincinnati.
Rollins hit a leadoff home run, extending his hitting streak to 30 games, and fell a double short of the cycle.
“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 will head to Washington for the final three games of the season. Houston will head to St. Louis for two games before hosting the Cubs for four to close out the year.
New York completed a three-game sweep of Washington on Sunday and moved out of fifth place for the first time since Sept. 2. They’ll be mathematically eliminated with one more loss.
The Mets hope to finish out the season in strong fashion and continue being a spoiler in the NL.
“This team has grinded it out for me all year. So we addressed that the last couple of weeks. I’m not surprised, I expect that from my guys,” manager Willie Randolph said. “So we still have a week to go to finish up strong.”