Saturday: Countdown to the Playoffs, Game # 14: The Phils hurt the Nats with the long ball as they win, 5-2.

The Phils hits three home runs as they go on to defeat the Nats, 5-2, staying three games ahead of the Braves in the NL East.

The Nats took the lead in the first as, with one man on, and with nobody out, Ian Desmond hits an RBI triple, knocking in Danny Espinosa, who had earlier singled, giving the Nats a 1-0 lead. The Nats tried to add to their lead latter that inning, as they loaded up the bases via Ryan Zimmerman being hit by the pitch, and then a walk to Michael Morse, moving Zimmerman up to second base, and now with two men out, but Kyle Kendrick got out of the inning by getting Wilson Ramos to ground out, 4-3, to end the inning. The Phils then tied it up at one-all in the second as Jayson Werth hits a lead-off home run, his twenty-third home run of the season. Three batters later, with two men on, and with still nobody out, Wilson Valdez hits an RBI double, scoring Raul Ibanez, who had earlier singled, and moved up to second on Carlos Ruiz’s single, giving the Phils a 2-1 lead, while sending Ruiz, who had just singled, up to third base. The Phils increased their lead in the third as, with a man on, and with nobody out, Ryan Howard hits a two-run home run, his thirtieth home run of the season, establishing a new club record as he now has hit 30 or more home runs and driven in 100 or more RBIs in five straight seasons, breaking the old record held by both him and Hall of Famer Chuck Klein, as he knocks in Chase Utley, who had just walked, making it a 4-1 Phils’ lead. Two batters later, with one man out, Ibanez hits a solo home run, his fifteenth home run of the season, giving the Phils a 5-1 lead. The Nats get a run back in the sixth as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Morse hits an RBI single, knocking in Zimmerman, who had earlier doubled, making it a 5-2 Phils’ lead. That would be the final score as the Phils’ bullpen would handle the Nats for the last three innings, with Brad Lidge recording his twenty-third save of the season as he pitches a 1-2-3 ninth, getting Desmond to end the game by grounding out softly to the pitcher, 1-3.

Kyle Kendrick gets the win as he pitches six innings, giving up two runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out three. His record is now 10-9 with a 4.78 ERA. Chad Durbin collects his fifteenth hold of the season as he pitches a scoreless inning, walking a batter, while striking out two. Ryan Madson pitches his thirteen hold of the year as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and two walks, while striking out one. Brad Lidge would record his twenty-third save of the year as he pitches a 1-2-3 ninth. Jordon Zimmermann took the lost as he pitches only three innings, giving up five runs on nine hits and a walk, while striking out three. His record is now 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA. Craig Stammen, Ross Detwiller, Tyler Clippard and Collin Balester combine for five scoreless innings, giving up three hits, (Detwiller (2), Balester (1)) and three walks (Detwiller (1), Clippard (1), Balester (1)) between them.

The Phils had twelve hits in the game, with Raul Ibanez and Wilson Valdez both leading the team with three hits each, with Ibanez’s hits being two singles and a solo home run, knocking in a run, while Vladez’s hits were two singles and a double, also knocking in a run. Shane Victorino followed with two hits, both singles. Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth and Carlos Ruiz had the other four Phils’ hits, with Utley and Ruiz’s hits being singles, while Howard’s hit was a two-run home run, and Werth’s hit was a solo home run. The Phils’ offense continue to gets hit, as they now head for a sweep with the Nats, while keeping a three-game lead over the Braves, as they defeat the Mets in an afternoon game.

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