Jimmy Rollins was hidden behind a throng of reporters and cameras when Shane Victorino entered the clubhouse.
“Can you stand up and talk? I can’t see you,” said Victorino, only an inch taller than the 5-foot-8 Rollins.
For a little guy, Rollins can drive the ball a long way.
Rollins hit a go-ahead grand slam and had a career-high five RBIs, Victorino went 4 for 4 with a homer and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the St. Louis Cardinals 14-6 Saturday in a matchup of division leaders.
“Shane’s had a great year. It’s a testament to his teacher,” Rollins said, taking some credit for Victorino’s success.
Rodrigo Lopez (3-0) allowed four runs – three earned – and 10 hits in six innings. The veteran right-hander likely would be the odd man out when recently signed Pedro Martinez is ready to join the Phillies‘ rotation.
Cardinals center fielder Rick Ankiel hit a solo homer and robbed Jayson Werth of a two-run shot with an outstanding catch. Ryan Ludwick also went deep for the NL Central leaders.
Rollins connected off reliever Jason Motte (3-4) in the sixth to give Philadelphia a 7-4 lead. Victorino followed with a homer.
The NL East-leading Phillies have won 16 of 19.
Matt Holliday went 2 for 4 with a walk after getting four hits in his debut with St. Louis. The three-time All-Star outfielder was acquired from Oakland on Friday for three minor league prospects.
Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse allowed three runs and four hits in four innings. He threw 90 pitches in his shortest outing since returning from the disabled list on July 12.
Trever Miller pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings, but was removed for Motte with one out in the sixth. Motte loaded the bases on two walks and a single.
With two outs, Rollins drove an 0-1 pitch into the seats in right for his second career slam and first hit in nine at-bats with the bases full this season. The 2007 NL MVP got a curtain call from the sellout crowd after circling the bases.
“He’s driving the ball,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “He hits with a short, explosive swing. Right now he’s swinging much better.”
Rollins, batting just .237, lined an RBI double in the eighth. Victorino followed with a two-run single and Ryan Howard doubled in two more to make it 14-5.
Rollins is batting .341 this month after hitting .207 over the first three.
“I can’t mention my secrets,” he said when asked about making adjustments.
The game was delayed a few minutes in the seventh because a fan pointed a green laser toward Albert Pujols in the batter’s box. Security workers tried to identify the fan, and Pujols singled after play resumed. Holliday followed with an RBI double off Chan Ho Park to cut it to 8-5.
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa spoke to umpires after the game and said other players besides Pujols were targeted by the laser.
“It’s very dangerous,” La Russa said.
Julio Lugo, who came up before Pujols, was scared for his life.
“You think somebody is going to shoot you,” he said.
Rollins called the fan “immature.”
Ankiel saved two runs in the third by leaping about 2 feet above the 6-foot wall in center to catch Werth’s drive. Ankiel hit one into the second deck in right to give the Cardinals a 4-3 lead in the sixth.
The Phillies jumped on Lohse for three two-out runs in the first. Raul Ibanez had an RBI single and Pedro Feliz hit a two-run single.
Ludwick led off the second with a homer to left. Holliday started the fourth with a double, moved to third on Ludwick’s bloop single and scored on a throwing error by first baseman Howard.
Throwing to second base has been problematic for Howard throughout his career, but he’s drastically improved his all-around defense this season. The errant toss was only his fifth error. Howard made a fielding error in the seventh that led to another unearned run.
Martinez will make his first rehab start for the Phillies at Class-A Clearwater on Sunday. The three-time Cy Young Award winner signed a one-year contract this month after sitting out the first half of the season. … RHP Clay Condrey (oblique) became the third member of Philadelphia’s bullpen to go on the disabled list this week. … St. Louis’ Skip Schumaker has a 10-game hitting streak. … The Phillies have eight slams this season, tying a team record. … Victorino has five four-hit games this year.