Phillies rally for win off Holland, Royals

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Kevin Frandsen
rounded first after his big hit, looked up to see all the runners
circling the bases and prepared himself for a celebration.

Frandsen hit a bases-clearing,
three-run double with two outs in the ninth off closer Greg Holland to
lift the Phillies to a 4-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on
Saturday night in front of the smallest crowd in Philadelphia in four
years.

The Phillies had just two hits and
trailed 3-1 to start the inning. Holland (0-1) walked Chase Utley, Ryan
Howard and Michael Young to load the bases. He then struck out Domonic
Brown swinging and fanned John Mayberry Jr. looking.

But Frandsen ripped a first-pitch
fastball to right-center to knock in all three runners. Young slid in
safely well ahead of the throw and the dugout emptied as players mobbed
Frandsen.

“When you see Ryan Howard run at you
full speed, that’s weird and you get scared,” said Frandsen, who pinch
hit for Humberto Quintero. “It’s a surreal moment, one that you hope to
repeat.”

Frandsen dodged the 6-foot-4, 250-plus pound Howard, by the way.

Royals starter Luis Mendoza threw six
stellar innings, and the Royals’ bullpen went into the ninth with seven
hitless innings in the series.

Antonio Bastardo (1-0) pitched a
scoreless ninth to earn the win. John Lannan was sharp in his Phillies
debut. He allowed three runs and five hits, striking out five in seven
innings.

“New team, new season. I had some
butterflies,” Lannan said. “I did my best to control it. I’m trying
every game to keep the team in the game.”

Mendoza allowed one run and two hits, striking out seven.

The Phillies are 2-3 and were looking
more like the team that went 81-81 last year after winning five
straight NL East titles from 2007-11.

Then came the ninth-inning rally. There weren’t many fans left to witness it, however.

A crowd of 39,475 at Citizens Bank
Park was the first under 40,000 since April 29, 2009, when 36,351 came
out for a game against Washington. The Phillies led the majors in
attendance each of the last two seasons.

“You don’t want to start 0-2 at home, especially in front of these fans with the energy they bring,” Frandsen said.

Lannan was cruising along with a
no-hitter until the fifth. He hit Lorenzo Cain with a pitch to start the
inning and Jeff Francoeur followed with a double down the left field
line. Miguel Tejada drove in a run with a groundout to second base and
Elliot Johnson singled in a run for a 2-0 lead.

Making just their third-ever trip to
Philadelphia, the Royals will try to win the rare interleague series
Sunday afternoon. They last played here in 2004.

The Phillies beat Kansas City to win
the 1980 World Series and claim the franchise’s first of two
championships. They clinched the title with a victory in Game 6 at old
Veterans Stadium.

Lannan retired the first nine batters
he faced before Alex Gordon reached on second baseman Utley’s fielding
error in the fourth. Lannan spent his first six seasons with Washington.
He was signed as a free agent by the Phillies not for his performance
against them. Lannan was 3-13 with a 5.53 ERA against the Phillies. He
entered the game 39-39 with a 3.80 ERA against the rest of the majors.

The Phillies cut it to 2-1 when Ben
Revere lined an RBI single off third baseman Tejada’s glove with two
outs in the bottom half.

Francoeur led off the seventh with a
double to right-center and Tejada followed with a double down the
right-field line to make it 3-1.

“We shot ourselves in the foot,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “We walked four guys and they scored.”

NOTES: Billy Butler started at first
base instead of Eric Hosmer, who was 4 for 5 with three RBIs on Friday.
Yost planned to start Butler, the team’s DH, against Lannan instead of
the left-handed hitting Hosmer. … Francoeur is 15 for 28 off Lannan
with six doubles. … Phillies SS Jimmy Rollins received his fourth NL
Gold Glove Award before the game. … RHP James Shields (0-1) faces LHP
Cole Hamels (0-1) in the series finale. Shields is going for his first
win with the Royals.