Rollins homers and Phils top Twins 5-1

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 23, 2014 at 7:42 pm •  Published: March 23, 2014
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CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — Philadelphia shortstop Jimmy Rollins homered for the second straight day and the Phillies cruised to a 5-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday.

Rollins finished 2 for 2 with two RBIs and a walk. Rollins is 6 for 13 since snapping out of a 0-for-23 slump this spring on Wednesday.

"He's had very good at-bats," manager Ryne Sandberg said. "And good plays in the field, too."

Rollins is hitting .211 (8 for 38) in 14 games in the exhibition season.

Rollins, the longest-tenured player on the Phillies, entering his 14th season with team, led the offense.

Domonic Brown and Marlon Byrd each had two hits and Ryan Howard finished 1 for 3 with a walk and an RBI.

The Phillies had been struggling to score runs this spring. Following Sunday's game, the team's .657 OPS is the lowest of any of teams

"It's a good sign," Sandberg said. "And good timing for it."

The Phillies chased Minnesota right-hander Phil Hughes after five innings.

Hughes, in his first season with the Twins after signing a three-year, $24 million free agent deal, allowed five runs and nine hits. The former Yankees pitcher struck out three and walked one.

"I got my pitch count up, obviously I would have liked to do it over more innings," Hughes said. "I was going in and out of my mechanics a little inconsistent, missing my spots."

Philadelphia starter Kyle Kendrick held the Twins to one run and five hits in six innings. Kendrick struck out six while walking one.

"I knew today was going to be my last outing before we get up north, so just wanted to work on everything, be aggressive, kind of throw everything," Kendrick said. "I worked on my curveball and felt pretty good."

STARTING TIME

Philadelphia: Kyle Kendrick is entering his walk year; he's a free agent for the first time in his career following the season. He looked like a pitcher prepared for a prosperous season on Sunday against the Twins, when he limited Minnesota to one run and five hits in six innings. He struck out six and walked just one. "You always want to finish strong," Kendrick said of his final start in Florida. "Even if it's spring training, you always want to go out on a good note into the season. It was a good note to finish on and I'm feeling strong and excited to get the season underway." Kendrick is likely to start one of the Phillies exhibition games in Philadelphia next weekend.