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Rollins gets big hit as Phillies outlast Nationals

Sep 28, 2006 - 4:31 AM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Jimmy Rollins came through to finally give the Philadelphia Phillies a lead they could not squander. Not that they didn't try.

Rollins ripped a two-run triple in the 14th inning and the Phillies held on for a crucial 8-7 victory over the Washington Nationals.

Philadelphia (83-75) avoided a three-game losing streak with the victory and remains one game behind the Los Angles Dodgers in the National League wild card race. The Dodgers posted a 6-4 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday.

"I aged tonight," Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said. "I'll remember this game. This was a mental-stress game. I don't know what to say about it, but we won."

"I was thinking if we lose, we lose another game. It wasn't about the Dodgers," Rollins said. "I love the big moment. I always love the chance to drive in runs."

The Phillies had one-run leads in the ninth and 10th but allowed the Nationals to tie the game each time. Closer Tom Gordon squandered the lead in the ninth, walking in the tying run, and Geoff Geary allowed a run and two hits in the 10th after Abraham Nunez gave the Phillies a 6-5 lead with an RBI single in the top of the frame.

"I felt we had the game won a couple of times," Manuel said.

"I don't know how many innings it was, 14 or 15, I lost track," Philadelphia catcher Chris Coste said. "If we lost, it would have been tough. This game was our season, a roller coaster."

Rollins, who was 3-for-8 with four RBI, gave the Phillies an 8-6 lead with a triple to the right field corner. Jose Hernandez and Michael Bourn scored and Fabio Castro was able to make the two-run advantage hold up - barely.

The Nationals loaded the bases in the 14th on two singles and a throwing error by Castro, the ninth pitcher of the game for Philadelphia. Ryan Church cut the deficit to 8-7 with a sacrifice fly to center but Brian Schneider hit into a 4-6-3 double play to end the game.

Clay Condrey (2-2) pitched two scoreless innings to pick up the win. Castro recorded his first save despite allowing two hits and a run in one inning.

It was Castro's first appearance in 20 days, but the rookie said he still felt strong.

"My main concern was to throw strikes," Castro said. "I was always confident, even with the bases loaded."

Jason Bergmann (0-2) allowed two runs and five hits with two walks and a strikeout for the Nationals.

"They did all they could tonight," Washington manager Frank Robinson said. "That's what we're going to do. (Bergmann) battled as hard as he can."

"I just tried to hold on as long as I could," Bergmann said.






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