Aaron Rowand is quickly making an impression on his new team—and on their division rivals.
Rowand was acquired from the Chicago White Sox in an offseason trade for slugger Jim Thome, a disappointment last season in Philadelphia. Rowand hit .400 in the playoffs last season, helping lead the White Sox to their first World Series title in 88 years.
Rowand hit his first homer for the Phillies (2-6) on Wednesday, a two-run shot that helped boost Philadelphia to a 7-5 win over the Braves.
Rowand, coming off a 3-for-5 performance in Tuesday’s 5-3 loss to Atlanta (4-5), also hit a blistering grounder in the second inning Wednesday that was booted by Atlanta shortstop Edgar Renteria, letting in two runs.
“It was great to get it out of the way,” Rowand said of his first homer.
However, Rowand was most pleased with his defensive play on Wednesday. In the bottom of the second, he fielded a ball off the wall and hit the cutoff man, who threw out Brian McCann at the plate for the third out.
“Defensive plays are momentum-swingers. It was a big play at the time, and it turned out to be a bigger play,” Rowand said.
Jimmy Rollins went 2-for-5 with a run and has hit safely in five straight games since his 38-game streak ended April 6, going 10-of-21 during that span.
Brian McCann homered and Wilson Betemit hit three doubles for the Braves, who have lost three of their last four.
Jeff Francoeur singled in the eighth inning for his third hit of the season, boosting his average to .081. He batted .300 with 14 homers and 45 RBIs in only 70 games last year.
Kyle Davies will look to give the Braves a better outing. He allowed three earned runs, all in the first inning, and five hits over five innings of Atlanta’s 14-6 win over San Francisco on Friday without receiving a decision.
He made his only career appearance against the Phillies on Sept. 21, and took the loss after allowing three runs, two walks and one hit while recording just one out in relief of the Braves’ 10-6 loss.
Floyd, making just his 10th career start, hasn’t had much luck with the Braves. In four career appearances, including three starts against Atlanta, he is 0-1 with a 12.46 ERA.
“I’m confident in myself, and I have no question that I’m going to give it my all in my next start,” he said.