Roy Halladay pitches his first complete game of 2011, after holding off a ninth inning Nats’ rally, as the Phils defeat the Nats, 3-2.

Roy Halladay pitches his first complete game of the 2011 season, as the Phils hold off a late inning rally by the Nats, as the Phils win, 3-2.

The Phils took the lead in the fourth as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Ben Francisco hits an RBI ground out, 6-3, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who had reached first base on Ian Desmond’s fielding error, moved up to second on Ryan Howard’s slow ground out, 5-3, then was given third on Desmond’s interference error as Rollins and Desmond bump into each other as Rollins was heading towards third base, since no one was covering third, thanks to the shift on Howard. The Phils then took a 2-0 lead in the fifth as, with runners on the corners, and with two men out, Placido Polanco hits an RBI single, scoring Wilson Valdez, who had earlier walked, had moved up to second base on Roy Halladay’s fail bunt attempt,1-6, as Carlos Ruiz, who had earlier singled, and had moved up to second base on Valdez’s walk, was out at third, then went to third on Shane Victorino’s fly out, scored, while sending Halladay, who was safe at first on his failed bunt attempt, stopped at second base. Two batters later, after Rollins had loaded the bases with a single, moving up both Halladay and Polanco, the Phils took a 3-0 lead as Howard was hit by the pitch, forcing in Halladay, while moving up a base both Polanco and Rollins. That would remain as the score until the bottom of the ninth, when the Nats finally put together a rally. With runners on the corners, and with one man out, Laynce Nix hits an RBI single, scoring Rick Ankiel, who had earlier doubled, then stopped at third on Jayson Werth’s single, cutting the Phils’ lead to 3-1, while sending Werth, who had earlier singled, on to third base. The Nats then cut it down to a 3-2 Phils’ lead, as Danny Espinosa hits an RBI single, scoring Werth, while sending Nix on to second base. But that would be the final score, as Halladay would buckle down and get the last two outs, by first striking out pinch hitter Matt Stairs for the inning’s second out, before ending the game by striking out Ivan Rodriguez, both on called third strikes.

Roy Halladay (2-0, 1,23) got the win as he pitched a complete game, giving up two runs on six hits and two walks, while he had struck out nine. John Lannan (1-1, 3.38) took the lost as he pitched six innings, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, on six hits and three walks, striking out three. Chad Gaudin, Doug Slaten and Brian Broderick combined for three scoreless innings, giving up a walk (Guadin), while striking out two batters (Guadin and Slaten one batter each), between them. Halladay performed the Phils’ staff first complete game, as he missed pitching a shut out by giving up the first of two runs in the ninth, before striking out the last two batters to end the ballgame.

The Phils had only six hits in the game, with Placido Polanco leading the team with two hits, both singles, as he knocked in a run. Shane Victorino (Double), Jimmy Rollins (Single), Carlos Ruiz (Single) and Wilson Valdez (Single), had the other four Phils’ hits. Ryan Howard and Ben Francisco had the other two Phils’ RBI, Francisco via a ground out and Howard as he was hit by the pitch with the bases loaded. The Phils’ offense did not have many hits in the game, but they were able to score enouigh run to win behind Halladay.

The Phils (8-3, 1st) will conclude their three-game series with the Nationals (5-6, 3rd) later tonight. The game will be played at Nationals Park and will start at 7:05 pm EDT. Cliff Lee (1-1, 7.84), will pitch for the Phils as he is coming off a lost against the Braves on April 8, as he went only three and a third innings, giving up six runs on ten hits and a walk, while striking out three, in the Phils’ 6-3 lost. Lee will be trying to come back from his previous bad start against the Braves, while trying to give the Phils their fourth series win. The Nats will counter with Jordan Zimmermann (1-1, 3.18), who is coming off a win against the Mets, as he lasted five and one thirds innings, giving up two runs on six hits, while striking out four, in the Nats’ 6-2 win. He will be trying for his second win of the season, while also trying to give the Nats the series win. The Phils will be trying to come back to Philly with a winning record.

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