TB@BAL: Nix hits a solo homer to the left field seats

ARLINGTON -- Jayson Nix didn't have to travel far to join the Phillies for Opening Day on Monday.

Nix lives about 30 minutes outside Dallas, so when the Rays traded him to the Phillies on Friday for cash considerations, he flew home from Port Charlotte, Fla., where the Rays hold Spring Training. 

Nix had an out clause in his contract that said he could ask for his release if he was not on Tampa Bay's Opening Day roster. He was not going to make the Rays, but the Phillies needed a backup shortstop while Freddy Galvis is on the disabled list recovering from MRSA.

"I thought they might be a possibility," Nix said. "I talked to them a little bit in the offseason, so I knew it was possible. But you never know about those things."

Nix's brother, Laynce, played for the Phillies from 2012-13, so the newest Phillie is somewhat familiar with the organization.

Rollins hits HR No. 200 in 14th straight opener start

PHI@TEX: Rollins blasts a grand slam

ARLINGTON -- Jimmy Rollins on Monday made a record-setting 14th consecutive Opening Day start at shortstop for the Phillies.

Rollins set a National League record for shortstops with 14 consecutive Opening Day starts for the same franchise. Cincinnati's Dave Concepcion held the previous mark with 13. Rollins also tied Baltimore's Cal Ripken Jr. for the big league record. Ripken started 14 straight from 1983-96.

"It's cool," Rollins said after a 14-10 victory over the Rangers at Globe Life Park. "I don't think too much of it. If I'm on the team, I expect to be out there." 

Rollins also hit the 200th homer of his career in the second inning, a grand slam to hand the Phillies a six-run lead. He is the 19th player in baseball history to have 400 or more doubles, 100 or more triples and 200 or more home runs in a career. Fifteen of the first 18 players are in the Hall of Fame, including Babe Ruth, Rogers Hornsby, Lou Gehrig, Al Simmons, Jimmie Foxx, Stan Musial, Roberto Clemente, Willie Mays, George Brett, Robin Yount and Paul Molitor.

"Oh yeah, I knew that," Rollins said of the milestone. "I remember growing up, going to Oakland A's games and looking at the size of Mark McGwire, and I was like, 'I'm not going to hit too many home runs. I'll hit a few, but I could play there [in the big leagues].' Going back to that, I guess I proved myself wrong." 

Rollins' next homer will be his 200th as a shortstop, as one of his homers came as a pinch-hitter.

Some wondered if Rollins would make the Opening Day lineup. He is on baby watch, with his wife expecting their second child in the coming days. Rollins did not travel with the team from Philadelphia to Texas on Saturday, instead arriving Sunday night. If Rollins' wife goes into labor, he is expected to leave the team. Major League Baseball allows players three days of paternity leave, which Rollins used with the birth of his first child in May 2012.

"I stayed an extra day because I didn't want to fly here and fly back if something happened," Rollins said. "I wanted to be there. The baby let me go out there and play ball for a few more days."

Mike Schmidt holds the Phillies' record for consecutive Opening Day starts at any position, with 16 at third base from 1974-89.

Hamels' next step is to work in Minors game

Cole Hamels chats with Joe Magrane from Phillies camp

ARLINGTON -- Cole Hamels joined the Phillies for Opening Day on Monday at Globe Life Park, but he will be back to work Tuesday.

Hamels said he plans to pitch in a Minor League game Tuesday at Carpenter Complex in Clearwater, Fla., which will be his second start of the spring since falling behind schedule because of inflammation in his left shoulder. Hamels, who opened the season on the disabled list, figures he will need six starts before he is ready to rejoin the Phillies' rotation.

If he continues on his current schedule, Hamels could rejoin the team in the final week of April.

"I feel normal now," Hamels said. "That's the best thing. I can go to sleep at night and have the understanding I'm not going to wake up sore, as I would if something was wrong."

Brown at DH, Gwynn in left for Phils in opener

BOS@PHI: Gwynn homers to put the Phillies on board

ARLINGTON -- The Phillies opened a season for the first time against an American League team when they began play against the Rangers on Monday.

It meant the team needed a designated hitter. Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg chose Domonic Brown to DH, with Tony Gwynn Jr. playing left field.

Sandberg opted to upgrade the outfield defense, which made sense. The Phillies picked up just six hits and scored zero runs in their final three Spring Training games. 

The Astros' move to the AL West prior to the 2013 season resulted in two 15-team leagues, meaning there is at least one Interleague series happening throughout the course of the season.