Pat Burrell and Aaron Rowand homered, and J.D. Durbin allowed three runs and four hits in six innings for his fifth win, as the Phils rolled over the Buccos in the series opener.
All aboard the Jimmy Rollins for MVP bandwagon. J-Roll set the table with a 3-for-6 night, which included a pair of doubles and three runs scored. The Phillies shortstop also executed a highlight-reel defense play. Rollins is five triples away from the rare feat of 20 or more triples, doubles, homers and stolen bases in a season. Only Willie Mays has done it. Detroit’s Curtis Granderson is working on the same feat. J-Roll may not be the front-runner for MVP, but he's certainly churning up some buzz.
Durbin (5-2, 5.36 ERA) made it work in place of damaged starter Adam Eaton, although the offense again supplied the Real Deal with plenty of wiggle room. The Phillies received multi-hit performances from J-Roll, Tadahito Iguchi, Burrell, Rowand, Jayson Werth and Chris Coste. Burrell and Rowand knocked in three, while Iguchi and Coste pushed across two. Ryan Howard was the only starter held hitless.
With the win, the Phillies (65-56) tied San Diego for the NL Wild Card lead. Lance Berkman went deep twice as Houston edged Jake Peavy and the Padres 3-1.
In other news, Freddy Garcia could pitch as many at two innings today in his Gulf Coast League rehab. The injured veteran still has an outside shot to rejoin the club for the playoff race. Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano signed a five-year, $90 million extension, thus keeping him away from the Mets, who defeated the Nationals 6-2. The Phillies remain three back in the division.