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Rollins benched after basepath blunders in win over Mets

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Associated Press
8/30/2012 5:15:41 PM
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PHILADELPHIA -- Jimmy Rollins' latest jog toward first earned him a spot where he won't have to hustle.

On the bench.

Rollins was benched after a pair of baserunning blunders Thursday in Philadelphia's 3-2 win over the New York Mets. It was the second time in two weeks the 2007 NL MVP was scolded for not hustling on the basepaths.

Rollins was pulled for the start of the seventh inning after a pair of mistakes in the sixth.

He failed to run hard on a dropped popup that could have put him on second base. He stole second base, then was caught in a rundown on a grounder and was tagged out.

Rollins drew the ire of Phillies fans earlier this month when he jogged down the line on a grounder in a game at Milwaukee. He met privately with manager Charlie Manuel the next day. Manuel refused to bench his All-Star shortstop then. He had no hesitation against the Mets.

Manuel said Rollins' missing hustle was a poor reflection on the franchise.

"My frustration grows any time I see anybody not hustle," Manuel said. "It grows if I see the other team not hustle."

Manuel declined to say if Rollins would start Friday at Atlanta.

Manuel talked to Rollins about the blunder in the dugout. Manuel did not expound on Rollins' response.

"He already told you what happened. There you go," Rollins said as he left the clubhouse.

Manuel, who led the Phillies to the 2008 World Series title, said he has only two rules: Be on time. Hustle.

"You want guys to be able to go out and hustle," first baseman Ryan Howard said. "He knows better. He knows better. It's simple, be on time, hustle. That's it. That's two things that you can control. Go out there and do it. Charlie took care of it."

Kyle Kendrick (8-9) allowed solo homers in the first two innings to Mike Baxter and Scott Hairston, but did not permit another run before leaving with two outs in the eighth.

Jonathan Papelbon tossed a scoreless ninth for his 30th save as the Phillies avoided a three-game sweep.

Kendrick retired 13 straight starting in the fourth inning and won his fourth straight start. Kendrick has more wins than Cliff Lee (3) and as many as Roy Halladay (8). Kendrick struck out six and walked none.

"He stayed right in there and toughed it out," Manuel said.

Rollins got fans talking after his latest baserunning gaffes. He popped up, put his head down and appeared to be making a turn toward the dugout until pitcher Jonathon Niese dropped the ball for an error and Rollins dashed to first.

With Kendrick on third and Rollins on second, Kevin Frandsen hit a grounder to second. Rollins took off for third with Kendrick staying on the base and was tagged out.

It was the latest blunder in a disappointing season for the Phillies. Rollins has been chewed out and benched by Manuel in the past for not hustling. When he did it twice in one inning, Manuel saw enough and yanked him.

The Phillies are far removed from the franchise that won the last five NL East titles. Their lineup against Niese (10-8) seemed more appropriate for spring training. Ty Wigginton in left and Michael Martinez in right were the starting corner outfielders. Catcher Steven Lerud made his major league debut and Frandsen started at third.

Frandsen had four hits and is trying to force himself into position to start in 2013.

Kendrick left to a standing ovation with runners on first and second in the eighth.

Raul Valdes needed one pitch to retire Ike Davis on a grounder.

Baxter connected on the second pitch of the game for his first career leadoff homer. Hairston hit a solo shot, his 15th, in the second.

Frandsen had an RBI single in the third and Wigginton tied it with a double in the fourth. Ryan Howard's sacrifice fly in the fifth put the Phillies up 3-2.

Niese gave up three runs and nine hits in six innings.

He said he took his eye off of Rollins' popup.

"It's got to be somebody's ball," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "There's got to be somebody taking charge. Nobody was policing it."

Lerud's bloop single in the fourth was his first career hit after nine years in the minors. The 27-year-old catcher was originally Pittsburgh's third-round draft pick in 2003. He bounced around before getting the call when Brian Schneider went on the disabled list.

"The more nerve-wracking part was wondering even two weeks ago if I was ever going to get here," Lerud said. "I think it was more of a relief when I was finally out there and playing in a big league ballgame."

Lerud gave the ball from his first hit to his mother, who burst into tears. Phillies rookie pitcher Tyler Cloyd said Wednesday night he heard his dad cry on the phone for the first time when he was called up to the majors.

NOTES: Phillies INF Hector Luna was outrighted off the 40-man roster and elected free agency. The Phillies are now at 39 players on the 40-man roster. ... The Phillies are 2-7 at home against the Mets this season. ... Papelpon has 30-plus saves in each of his last seven seasons. ... The Mets bullpen has pitched 16 1-3 scoreless innings.

Jimmy Rollins (Photo: Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
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