Rollins' two-run triple in 14th helps Phillies beat Nats

WASHINGTON (AP) -- In danger of losing more ground in the NL

wild-card race, the Philadelphia Phillies kept coming up with ways

to blow this game -- until Jimmy Rollins finally won it.

They fell behind 4-1. They gave away a 5-4 lead in the bottom of

the ninth inning when closer Tom Gordon walked in the tying run.

They squandered a 6-5 lead in the 10th. Even what became the

go-ahead rally almost was cut short when a runner was thrown out at

the plate. And a two-run lead in the 14th hardly seemed safe.

Still, in the end, the Phillies did scrape out an 8-7 victory

over the Washington Nationals on Rollins' two-run triple with two

outs in the 14th Wednesday night.

"I don't know what to say about it, but we won," Philadelphia

manager Charlie Manuel said. "I'll remember this game. ... This

was a mental-stress game. I aged tonight."

The Phillies -- who ended a two-game skid -- stayed one game

behind the Dodgers in the wild-card standings with four to play.

Los Angeles beat Colorado 6-4 in a game that began 1½ hours later

than Philadelphia-Washington but finished first.

Chase Utley got his 200th hit and 100th RBI of the season, and

Clay Condrey (2-2) earned the win with two innings of perfect

relief. Fabio Castro pitched the ninth for his first career save,

but not before loading the bases with none out and allowing

Washington to cut it to a one-run game.

But with two on and only one out, Castro -- making his first

appearance in 20 days -- got Brian Schneider on a hard-hit, 4-6-3

double play to end it.

Chris Coste doubled leading off the 14th against Jason Bergmann

(0-2), who was working his fourth inning.

"I was just giving everything I've got for as long as I

could," Bergmann said.

Michael Bourn followed with an infield single -- his first major

league hit -- and the runners moved to second and third on Abraham

Nunez's groundout. Pinch-hitter Jose Hernandez grounded to

shortstop Felipe Lopez, who juggled the ball before throwing home

to barely get a sliding Coste.

But Rollins lined a sinker down the right-field line to put

Philadelphia ahead 8-6.

"It was a big moment for us," said Rollins, who also singled

and doubled and finished with four RBI. "I love being up in that

situation. I've always had confidence in myself."

As he arrived at third base, his teammates lined the top step of

the dugout, pointing at Rollins.

Before Rollins stepped to the plate, Manuel asked his shortstop

whether he'd want to grab a drink after the game.

"He said, 'Not really. I want to go to sleep," Manuel said.

It was a topsy-turvy game that lasted 4 hours, 53 minutes, and

in which the teams used a combined 47 players, including 17

pitchers. Gordon could have ended things in the ninth with his 34th

save. But he instead blew a save for the fifth time this season,

intentionally walking Alfonso Soriano to load the bases, then

walking Ryan Zimmerman to tie the score.

Zimmerman earlier tied Brad Wilkerson's franchise rookie record

by hitting his 20th homer in the second inning. Zimmerman reached

base in each of his first six plate appearances, with a bunt hit,

three walks and an error.

Ryan Howard was walked intentionally in each of his last three

plate appearances. The player batting behind him, outfielder Jeff

Conine, went 0-for-7, leaving nine runners on base.

The Phillies went back up 6-5 in the top of the 10th on Nunez's

RBI double against Washington closer Chad Cordero.

And Philadelphia wasted that lead, too. Geoff Geary allowed a

bunt single to Nook Logan, who advanced on a groundout, then scored

on Schneider's single, tying the game at 6. After a strikeout,

Lopez hit a bouncer to shortstop Rollins, who bobbled the ball and

then underhanded it wide of the bag at second for his second error

of the game.

That put runners on first and second for Soriano, who earlier

this month became the first major leaguer in history with 40

homers, 40 steals and 40 doubles in one season. But Geary struck

him out; Soriano went 0-for-6 and has zero hits in his last 14


Utley's three hits included his 32nd homer and a double. His

run-scoring double in the first gave him 100 RBI for the second

consecutive season; his single to center in the sixth gave him 200

hits for the first time.

Game notes
The Nationals left 14 runners on base, the Phillies 15.

They went a combined 7-for-37 (.189) with runners in scoring

position. ... Washington's Pedro Astacio left his final start of

2006 after five innings with tightness in his right forearm.