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Phillies win, but Rollins benched for not hustling

The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- Kyle Kendrick's fourth straight masterful performance was overshadowed by Jimmy Rollins getting benched.

Kendrick continued his impressive run with another excellent start, helping the Philadelphia Phillies avoid a three-game sweep with a 3-2 victory over the New York Mets on Thursday afternoon.

But the talk afterward was centered on Rollins, the former NL MVP, being pulled by manager Charlie Manuel for not hustling again.

"I got two rules: be on time and hustle," Manuel said. "Running balls out is part of it. I just got to a place where it's a reflection on myself, on who doesn't do it, on our team and on our organization. My frustration grows anytime I see someone not hustle, even someone on another team."

Rollins got in trouble in the sixth after Kendrick ripped a ground-rule double to straightaway center to start the inning. Kendrick went to third on a passed ball by catcher Josh Thole.

Rollins followed with an infield popup. There was confusion among the Mets infielders and pitcher Jonathon Niese dropped the ball for an error. Rollins didn't run hard down the and only reached first on the play. He stole second base, but then got tagged out in a rundown after Kevin Frandsen hit a grounder to second.

Manuel yanked Rollins after the inning. Rollins angered Manuel earlier in the month when he failed to hustle on an infield groundout.

"The problem is supposed to be handled," Manuel said.

Rollins declined comment.

"Charlie took care of it. He did what he needed to do," Ryan Howard said.

Mike Baxter and Scott Hairston hit solo homers for the Mets, who finished 7-2 at Citizens Bank Park this season.

Frandsen had four hits and an RBI for the Phillies.

"I know who I am. I'm a base-hit guy," Frandsen said. "I play the game hard. It's easy to come here and play the way I always have."

Kendrick (8-9) gave up two runs and seven hits in 7 2-3 innings to outpitch Niese (10-8). Niese gave up three runs and nine hits in six innings.

Kendrick bounced back and forth between the bullpen and the starting rotation most of the season, but he's made a dramatic turnaround since rejoining the rotation after Joe Blanton was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier this month.

Kendrick is 4-0 with a 1.24 ERA in four starts. He's allowed just 19 hits in 29 innings, and has 22 strikeouts with only three walks in that span.

"When you pitch like that and continue and be consistent, he has a good chance to stay in the rotation," Manuel said.

Raul Valdes retired one batter on one pitch after replacing Kendrick in the eighth, and Jonathan Papelbon worked the ninth for his 250th career save and 30th in 33 tries this year.

Papelbon hit Justin Turner in the front of the helmet with a 94 mph fastball with two outs in the ninth. Turner appeared be OK and left the game for a faster pinch runner, Andres Torres. Papelbon then retired Thole to end it.

"I'm OK," Turner said. "I got up and ran to first. I'm fine."

Down 2-0, the Phillies got single runs in three straight innings to take the lead. Rollins hit a double with two outs in the third, and Frandsen followed with an RBI single to cut the margin to 2-1.

John Mayberry Jr. led off with a single in the fourth and scored when Ty Wigginton smoked a double to center.

The Phillies used small ball from their sluggers to get the go-ahead run in the fifth. Frandsen started with a line-drive double to left. Chase Utley advanced him on a groundout, and Howard followed with a sacrifice fly to center to make it 3-2.

The Mets had jumped on top early when Baxter led off the game with a homer to right-center to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. Both of his homers this year came in this series.

Hairston put the Mets up 2-0 when he connected on a shot to left with one out in the second inning.

NOTES: The Phillies are 16-12 in August. They've won at least 16 games in August in eight straight seasons. ... Wigginton has 15 of his 40 RBIs this season vs. the Mets. ... Phillies catcher Steven Lerud singled for his first major league hit. ... Hairston has six homers and nine RBIs vs. Philadelphia in 14 games. He has nine homers and 35 RBIs against the rest of the majors. ... The Phillies have won six straight day games at home. ... New York is 10-5 vs. the Phillies. ... The Mets extended their affiliation with Double-A Binghamton through the 2016 season.
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