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Dodgers lose to Phillies, 6-2, in Jimmy Rollins’ return

Jimmy Rollins played 15 seasons in Philadelphia, winning a World Series title, a most-valuable-player award and establishing himself as the finest shortstop in franchise history.

Tuesday he came back for the first time as a visiting player, with the Dodgers.

And he promptly got lost.

“I was glad there were some [TV] cameras hanging out around the entrance to the visitors’ clubhouse,” he said. “To actually come from the parking lot all the way around, I was like, ‘This is a pretty long walk.’”

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The night got only longer from there for Rollins and his teammates, with the shortstop striking out twice and making an error as the Phillies ended the Dodgers’ four-game winning streak with a 6-2 victory.

Before leaving Philadelphia in a December trade, Rollins set modern-day team records for hits, doubles and stolen bases. He’s second on the career list for runs, triples and games played.

But he returned hitting .216 for the Dodgers, the worst average in the National League for hitters with enough at-bats to qualify for a batting title.

Rollins received a warm welcome — several, in fact — with the fans standing and applauding when the starting lineups were announced and again when he came to bat in the first inning. On the second occasion, Rollins walked to the plate and patted catcher Carlos Ruiz on the right shoulder.

Ruiz remained standing rather than settling into a crouch, allowing the clapping — some of it coming from Ruiz and the other Phillies players on the field — to continue.

The video board in left field read “WELCOME BACK JIMMY.”

“It was cool,” said Rollins, who stepped away from the plate twice and waved his helmet to the fans. “And it went longer than I thought. It was a great moment.”

Yet it was one that ended with Rollins waving at a 2-2 pitch, striking out.

He doubled and singled in his next two at-bats, giving him consecutive multi-hit games for only the second time since mid-June, extending his modest hitting streak to five games and passing his former manager, Ryne Sandberg, on the all-time hits list.

But representing the tying run in the eighth inning, he took a full-count, 100-mph fastball from reliever Ken Giles for a called strike, stranding two of the 13 runners the Dodgers left on the night.

“I was looking for my pitch,” Rollins said. “Fouled it off, unfortunately. Then he came back and he hit his spot. And he was able to get me out.”

And so it went for the Dodgers, who had two runners in scoring position with no outs in the third, loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth, then got the leadoff man on in the sixth yet failed to score each time.

Three players — Rollins, Adrian Gonzalez and Yasmani Grandal — had two hits each, but none of them drove in a run as the Dodgers went two for 12 with runners in scoring position.

While the Phillies were welcoming someone old in Rollins, the Dodgers welcomed someone new in left-hander Alex Wood, who was making his debut in blue after coming over in a trade with the Atlanta Braves last week.

And Wood deserved a better fate. He turned in a solid six innings, then watched the Phillies load the bases in the seventh on a single, a botched double play attempt, a very strange balk, and two walks. That drove him from the game with the score tied, 1-1, but before he could find a seat in the dugout, rookie Maikel Franco hit reliever Joel Peralta’s third pitch into the left-field seats for his first career grand slam.

It was a good first impression, but for Wood and the Dodgers, it wasn’t good enough.

“At the end of the day, all I care about is winning,” he said. “I put us in a bad position there in the seventh. And they ended up capitalizing.

“It’s not the way I envisioned the first one going.”

Up next

Brett Anderson (5-6, 3.14 ERA), who hasn’t won since July 1, goes against former Dodgers right-hander Aaron Harang (5-11, 3.97), who has won once since May 14, on Wednesday at 4 p.m. PDT. TV: SportsNet LA; Radio 570, 1020.


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