Victorino contributes immediately

Victorino contributes immediately

CINCINNATI -- The day after an injury to Aaron Roward thrusted him into the starting job in center field, Shane Victorino came through Friday night for the Phillies.

"It's tough to see a teammate go down," said Victorino, who went 4-for-4 in an 8-4 Phillies win over the Reds. "But sometimes that's how opportunities open. I hope [for] a speedy recovery for Aaron ... but I'm just going out there and doing the best I can."

For Victorino, he might have plenty of opportunities to show what he can do. Rowand is on the 15-day disabled list after fracturing his nose in a collision with the right-center field wall at Citizens Bank Park.

His injury meant opportunity, and Victorino seized it.

"Victorino had a big night offensively," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "He looked real good tonight, hit the ball hard, played center field good."

Victorino called his career night against the Reds a continuation of how he'd been hitting the ball lately.

"I wouldn't say I'm seeing the ball any differently," he said. "I'm just confident at the plate."

Yet as well as the night went for him, Victorino expressed a little disappointment afterward for a play he didn't make.

In the fifth inning, he made a diving attempt at a ball that Reds shortstop Felipe Lopez hit into shallow right-center field. The ball bounced just before Victorino could snag it with his glove. Lopez's double ended rookie Cole Hamels' no-hit bid.

"I was a little frustrated that that one hit came where I could have made a play," Victorino said. "I did my best to make a play, but came up short."

Still, Victorino had a good night, and it seemed to get better as he went along. In the top of the ninth, he finished off his performance with a two-run homer off Reds reliever Brian Shackelford.

"I wasn't saying, 'What pitch is he going to throw?'" said Victorino, who raised his batting average to .424. "I was just going up there and swinging the bat."

Much like Victorino, the Phillies have caught fire at the right time, and the center fielder believes there's a reason for the team's success.

"It all goes back to confidence," he said. "Early on, we never doubted ourselves, and look at where we're at right now. We've won 11 out of 12, and we're still going to stay confident and go out and work."

Victorino has replaced an injured player once before. The last time he saw significant playing time was as a Padre, taking over for Brian Giles. Victorino contributed immediately. Coincidentally, that also began in Cincinnati.

Is there something about Great American Ball Park?

"I'm just going out there and playing," Victorino said. "I'm not saying it's got to be Cincinnati itself, but, hopefully, I can have that success somewhere else. It's just a matter of going out there and playing."

William S. Hupp is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.