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 NEW YORK (AP) -Jimmy Rollins was missing from the Philadelphia Phillies' starting lineup for the second consecutive game Thursday night because of a sprained left ankle.
``Lateral movement. It's tender,'' the 2007 NL MVP said. ``Hopefully, tomorrow night. We'll see.''
Rollins ran the bases gingerly and took a few light swings from both sides of the plate during batting practice before Philadelphia's game against the New York Mets. Eric Bruntlett was slated to start at shortstop again in place of Rollins.
``I didn't want to play him,'' manager Charlie Manuel said. ``He said it was better than yesterday, but he said when he goes to his left it was still bothering him.''
Rollins said he could be available as a pinch hitter.
``I could hit, though. I could run to first - I could limp to first,'' he said. ``Crunch time, adrenaline, I'll be ready.''
Shane Victorino moved up to Rollins' regular leadoff spot and Bruntlett batted second again.
The Phillies played a sloppy game without Rollins on Wednesday night, losing 8-2 to the Mets. Bruntlett committed two of the team's four errors - both in a six-run third inning.
Rollins was in the original starting lineup Wednesday but was removed about 50 minutes before the first pitch after testing his ankle during batting practice. He played in 230 consecutive games before Wednesday, a streak that began in the second game of a doubleheader on July 30, 2006.
He left Tuesday's game in the eighth inning after tweaking his ankle while scrambling back to second base on a pickoff play.
The speedy Rollins played in all 162 regular-season games last season, leading Philadelphia to the NL East title and its first playoff berth since 1993. He batted .296 with 30 homers, 94 RBIs, 20 triples, 41 stolen bases and an NL-high 139 runs.
In other news, the Phillies and left-handed reliever Steve Kline agreed to a minor league contract. Kline will work out at the club's spring training complex in Clearwater, Fla., before reporting to Triple-A Lehigh Valley in about a week.
Kline was 1-2 with a 4.70 ERA and two saves in 68 games for the San Francisco Giants last season. He also has pitched for Cleveland, Montreal, St. Louis and Baltimore during an 11-year major league career.

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