CINCINNATI — Jimmy Rollins nibbled at an ice cream cone in front of his locker, thinking about what his latest hit meant.
He had reached a nice, round number and joined a small and impressive group in Phillies history.
Impressive? Not yet.
The shortstop doubled for his 2,000th career hit on Tuesday night, but the Cincinnati Reds used Jay Bruce’s two-run homer to get a 2-1 win that left Rollins to think about his place in Philadelphia history.
“It was great, but 3,000 is better,” Rollins said. “That’s the one that’s celebrated. It’s another milestone in a career, but it’s not the one that’s celebrated. So it’s just another hit.”
He’s only the fourth Phillies player to reach 2,000 hits, joining Mike Schmidt (2,234), Richie Ashburn (2,217) and Ed Delahanty (2,207).
“That’s pretty cool,” Rollins said. “But I still have work to do.”
Those other three Phillies who got to 2,000 hits all eventually made it to the Hall of Fame.
“That’s big,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “Jimmy’s career speaks for itself. For the position he plays, if you look at run production, stolen bases, defense, his career definitely jumps out at you like a lot of Hall of Famers and big star players in the game. It’s right there in front of you.”
Rollins’ double in the fifth inning off Mat Latos (12-4) wasn’t enough to slow the Reds on a big night of their own. First baseman Joey Votto was activated off the disabled list, though his left knee still isn’t back to full strength after two operations to fix damaged cartilage.
Cincinnati went 32-16 without him, taking control of the National League Central. Manager Dusty Baker said he’ll decide what to do with Votto on a daily basis, depending upon how his knee feels.
The Reds didn’t need him on Tuesday, thanks to Bruce. The right fielder got two days off on Cincinnati’s recent road trip to try to clear his head in the middle of a slump. He has responded by hitting homers in three straight games and four of his last five.
Kyle Kendrick (8-10) had his four-game winning streak snapped because Bruce latched onto a changeup with two outs in the sixth for his 31st homer.
“Bruce was swinging at changeups all night,” Kendrick said. “He put a good swing on it and got it out. He’s been swinging it well.”
Aroldis Chapman gave up a walk and fanned two while getting his 35th save in 39 chances. The left-hander has converted 27 straight save opportunities since June 24, a franchise record.
The win evened the season series at three games apiece. Philadelphia has been one of Cincinnati’s toughest opponents, winning nine of their last 12 games. The Phillies have won their season series each of the past seven years.
Cincinnati’s surge into playoff position has attracted bigger crowds to Great American Ball Park. The Reds topped 2 million in season attendance on Tuesday night, the fastest they’ve reached the mark since the ballpark opened in 2003.
Latos, the Reds’ biggest offseason acquisition, was in the middle of all the early action. He got picked off third base by catcher Erik Kratz in the third inning, ending a rally. He then helped the Phillies pull ahead 1-0 in the fourth because of his control problems.
Philadelphia loaded the bases when Chase Utley doubled, Latos hit Ryan Howard on the arm, and John Mayberry Jr. walked with one out. Latos then walked Domonic Brown — in an 0-for-18 slump — on four pitches to force in a run.
Nate Schierholtz followed with a sinking liner that center fielder Drew Stubbs appeared to catch on the short hop. The Phillies saw first base umpire Chris Guccione immediately rule it a catch, confusing the runners. Stubbs threw to second base to complete a double play.
“Basically our runners, they got all messed up,” Manuel said. “They got all confused. They didn’t know where to go.
“It was a bad break. We could have had a hit there and a run for sure. It’s kind of how things go for us, huh?”
Notes: Rollins’ double also gave him a seven-game hitting streak. ... The Reds recalled RHP Todd Redmond and RHP Pedro Villarreal from Louisville, promoted LHP Tony Cingrani from double-A Pensacola, and outrighted INF Chris Valaika and RHP Jordan Smith to Louisville. ... The Phillies called up INF/OF Pete Orr from triple-A Lehigh Valley. ... Bengals QB Andy Dalton threw a ceremonial pitch to WR A.J. Green. ... Latos failed to get a hit, snapping his career-high six-game hitting streak.