Philadelphia, PA—Coming back from the DL is a tough thing to do, especially if you've spent all but 14 games of the season away from your team.
Jimmy Rollins proved that his almost two months away from the Phillies was an afterthought with a two-run, walk-off home run to vault the Phillies over the Cleveland Indians 7-6, in Game Two of their three-game set at Citizens Banks Park on Wednesday night.
Rollins made up for his 1-for-5 night with the home run, which is not only his first hit since returning to the club but also the first walk-off homer of his career.
His shot, which was his third of the season, was the climax of a back-and-forth struggle between the Phillies and Indians and the second consecutive game that was decided by one run.
Neither team benefited from good starting pitching as Kyle Kendrick only lasted four innings and allowed five runs—four of them earned—on six hits and one strikeout.
Kendrick got knocked around early as Indians outfielder Shin-Soo Choo had a two-run homer of his own in the top of the first to put the Indians up early in the first.
Cleveland suffered from the mound as well as starter Jake Westbrook allowed four runs on seven hits in five innings to get the no decision.
The Phillies got on the board in the bottom of the first when Ryan Howard grounded into a double play that scored Placido Polanco. The run was scored because of heads-up baserunning by Chase Utley, who slowed his attempt to second so that Polanco could score from third.
The Phillies tied things up in the bottom of the second when Jayson Werth had a leadoff homer, his 13th of the year, to tie things up at two apiece.
After Trevor Crowe led off the third with a double for Cleveland, Carlos Santana scored him from third one out later on a sacrifice fly to center to give the Indians a 3-2 lead.
Raul Ibanez went 1-for-4 with a two-run double in the fourth inning that scored Werth and Howard.
Choo, fresh off his first innings shot, sent Kendrick to the shower in the fifth with his second two-run homer of the game to put the Indians back up 5-4.
The Phillies bullpen held the game steady as David Herndon and Mike Zagurski both pitched 1.1 innings of scoreless ball and Danys Baez closed out the seventh inning for the Phillies.
The Phillies added another run in the bottom of the seventh when catcher Brian Schneider hit his first home run of the season off Frank Herrmann to tie the game at five. That shot gave Herrmann his first blown save of the season.
Chad Durbin pitched a scoreless eighth inning but faced only one batter in the ninth after sustaining a right leg injury following an Anderson Hernandez leadoff single.
J.C. Romero (1-0) finished the top of the ninth, only allowing one hit and a walk. The one hit scored Crowe when Rollins overthrew second base on a fielder's choice. The error gave the Indians a one-run lead heading into the bottom of the ninth.
After a Brian Schneider leadoff walk, pinch-hitter Ben Francisco advanced him to second on a groundout, which brought Rollins to the plate.
Rollins' walk-off home run to right field gave the Phillies a guaranteed series win, which they haven't had in interleague play in over a month, and put Cleveland at 4-10 in interleague play this season.
The two teams will finish off the three-game set tonight as the Phillies will pitch Joe Blanton (2-5) against Fausto Carmona (6-5).