"I was up second, so I was like 'I need a bat. I need batting gloves,'" the rookie reliever said with a smile. "I was just getting stuff and throwing it on. Grabbed a bat and went out there."
Using the bat of injured reliever Jose Contreras, Rosenberg laid down a sacrifice bunt and reached base on an error. An inning later, facing Washington's John Lannan, he picked up the first hit and RBI of his career with a seeing-eye single up the middle. But his rare pair of plate appearances aside, where Rosenberg really impressed in Wednesday's 8-4 loss to the Nationals was on the mound. The right-hander tossed three no-hit innings to improve his scoreless streak to 10 consecutive innings.
After struggling earlier in the year, Rosenberg (1-2, 6.86 ERA) has pitched much better as of late. He entered Thursday having not allowed a run since giving up a home run to Atlanta's Martin Prado on Sept. 1, and he had given up only two hits in 30 at-bats since Sept. 4.
Rosenberg's recent success is not a coincidence. Shortly after his third recall from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Aug. 3, All-Star closer Jonathan Papelbon approached Rosenberg about throwing a splitter. The two began to work on the pitch while playing catch. What has resulted is a third pitch -- Rosenberg also throws a fastball and a slider -- that has helped him be more effective.
"He's a pretty good teacher to have when you're talking about throwing a split, so I was just fortunate that I was able to throw with him," Rosenberg said before Thursday's series finale against the Nationals.
"He's taught me a lot with it. I think it's been something that's kind of got hitters off my fastball a little bit. It's been a good pitch, especially the last couple outings, against the Braves [on Saturday] and this last one [on Wednesday against the Nationals], I was throwing it a lot more than I had been. It's been pretty good."