Coming to life

PHILADELPHIA — Jimmy Rollins was in a rut.

Calf and hamstring problems limited the former National League Most Valuable Player to 88 games in the regular season. He was 1-for-15 in the postseason.

But the Giants got him started.

Jonathan Sanchez helped him drive in his first run of the postseason by walking him with the bases loaded. Third baseman Mike Fontenot gifted him a hit by letting a popup plop onto in the infield.

Then Rollins drove a down-the-middle fastball by Santiago Casilla to the top of the wall in right-center for a bases-clearing double that blew open the game and sent the Phillies on their way to a 6-1 victory on Sunday night in Game 2 of the NLCS.

The best-of-seven series, which is tied 1-1, will resume Tuesday in San Francisco.

"Hopefully, I can take what I did today and just keep it going," Rollins said. "I was glad I was the person up there at the moment and able to come through."

Rollins' fortunate resurgence and Roy Oswalt's brilliant eight-inning effort allowed the Phillies to overcome the fourth home run in three games by baseball's are-you-kidding-me man of the moment, Cody Ross.

Ross' fifth-inning home run tied the game 1-1.

The long ball also broke up Oswalt's no-hit bid. Home runs by Ross in the Giants' two previous games also counted as the team's first hit, as he took Derek Lowe deep in the sixth inning of the NL Division Series and did the same to Roy Halladay in the third inning here Saturday.

Ross, claimed off waivers in August, has either tied the game or given the Giants the lead with each of his last five hits.

His two home runs in Game 1 of this series made him familiar to the fans of Philadelphia, who cheered when Oswalt threw a 93-mph fastball near his head in the second inning.

The Giants ran into trouble immediately, as Sanchez had one of his wild spells.

Sanchez struck out the side in the first inning but also walked three batters, including Rollins, who pushed in the first run of the game to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead. Sanchez threw 35 pitches that inning.

With Oswalt cruising — the only blip being the homer by Ross — the Phillies reclaimed the advantage in the bottom of the fifth inning, which Shane Victorino led off with a double to left. Victorino scored on a single by Ryan Howard.

The Phillies put the game out of reach in the seventh inning.

Sanchez was pulled after giving up a leadoff single to Oswalt and gave way to Ramon Ramirez. Victorino moved Oswalt to second on a sacrifice, prompting Ramirez to intentionally walk Chase Utley. Placido Polanco singled, driving in Oswalt.

Oswalt pitched eight innings and held the Giants to a run and three hits. He struck out nine.

"I thought Oswalt was very aggressive with his fastball," Phillies manager Charie Manuel said. "… Games like tonight (are) exactly what we got him for.

dhernandez3@tribune.com

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