Rolen's 300th HR comes in front of family

Rolen's 300th HR comes in front of family

CINCINNATI -- The timing turned out just right for Scott Rolen's 300th career home run.

During the Reds' 7-3 win over the Phillies on Monday, Rolen broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning with a two-run home run against Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick that clanked off the foul pole in left field. The long ball was also Rolen's team-leading 17th of the season.

"I don't know what to say about it," Rolen said. "I'm excited about it. My family is here and they're excited about it. I guess I look at it and I wanted to hit it [Sunday] because it was my parents' 45th wedding anniversary. My whole family was here, we were going to eat dinner and I thought, 'Wow, that'd be great.' I guess when you force something, it doesn't work out all the time.

"When I reflect on it now, I realize -- or I want to realize -- it was great. We didn't talk about at all at dinner. Mom and Dad had their 45th wedding anniversary -- that was the most important thing. That achievement is bigger than this one. So let's leave that one to itself and pick another night."

Perhaps fittingly, homer No. 300 came against the Phillies, the team with which the 35-year-old Rolen started his big league career in 1996. The drive also got the Reds on the board at a time when they had been struggling against Kendrick, who retired his first 10 batters of the game until the pivotal fourth.

It's been a very strong season for Rolen, who is batting .301 with 53 RBIs while establishing himself as a worthy candidate for the All-Star Game. While dealing with injuries in recent seasons, he had hit just 11 homers in each of the past two years for the Blue Jays and Reds.

"Everybody was pulling for him saying, 'Hit the pole, hit the pole,' because that ball looked like it was going to go foul," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "Up to that point, we didn't have a lot of offense. That's a tremendous feat for a remarkable player and man. We're all very happy for Scotty."