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HowardBatting.jpgBig uplift for the Phillies today, as not only did Chooch return behind the plate, but Jimmy Rollins finally made his return off of the DL from his calf injury. Kind of surprising to see him back with only one rehab start in Clearwater, but he seemed to be more than fine during the game.

Lot’s of contributions from up and down the roster as the Phillies put a whooping on the Bucs, winning 12-2.

In J-Roll’s first game at CBP this season, he went 2-4 with 2 runs scored and knocked in a run to top it off. He seemed to be running at full speed after he hit his double early in the game, so it seems as if his calf is fully healed. Great to have J-Roll back, not just from an offensive standpoint, but his defense is a strong point as well, and he showed that on a few plays during the game.

Carlos Ruiz made his return after a short stint away and he seemed to help Kyle Kendrick go 8 strong innings. Kendrick gave up 5 hits and 2 runs in a solid start. Nice to see KK come up with a strong outing out of what is basically the five hole in the rotation. J.A. Happ won’t be back for at least another month, so Kendrick will be counted on to keep the rotation going.

Ryan Howard let loose with a grand slam in the 9th inning to get 4 of his 6 RBIs with one swing. He went 3-5 in the game with 1 strikeout. Always a good thing when Howard is swinging the bat like he is now. He beat the shift on an infield single as well. Howard as gotten faster as the years go by, and I know I wouldn’t get in his way once he gets going.

Jayson Werth also knocked in 4 RBIs before being replaced by formerly MIA Ben Francisco. Good to see the reserve getting some time. Definitely something that needs to happen more often. As good as the starting 8 have been, they could all use a break at some point.

WIth short series against the Pirates and Cubs this week before heading into interleague play against the Red Sox this weekend, it’s good to see the Phillies on a hot streak. With the largest division lead and a 4 game win streak, the Phillies seem to be hitting their annual late summer hot streak a bit early this year.

(Photo Credit: AP)

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