Three solo home runs help power the new look Phils into a two-game winning streak against the first-place Nats, defeating Washington, 3-2.
The Nats took the lead in the first as, with the bases loaded, via a single by Bryce Harper, a walk to Chad Tracy, sending Harper to second base, and a fielding error by third baseman Kevin Frandsen on a Michael Morse grounder to third, allowing both runners to move up a base, and Morse to safely reach first base, and with one man out, Adam LaRoche hits an RBI single, knocking in Harper, giving the Nats a 1-0 lead, while moving up a base both Tracy and Morse, leaving the bases loaded. The Nats then took a 2-0 lead as Danny Espinosa hits into a 4-6 force out, for the inning’s second out, as LaRoche is wiped out at second base, while Tracy scores, and Morse moves up to third base. The Nats then tried to increase their lead in the second as, with a man on second base, and with two men out, Edwin Jackson, who had earlier singled, then moved up to second base on Steve Lombardozzi’s ground out, 5-3, tried to score on Harper’s single to left, but is gun down on a strong, one-hop throw by left fielder Dom Brown, as catcher Erik Kratz blocked the plate before applying the tag for the inning’s final out, keeping it a 2-0 Nats’ lead. The Phils then made it a 2-1 Nats’ lead in the third as, with two men out, Jimmy Rollins hits a solo home run, his eleventh home run of the season, and his second home run in as many games. The Phils tied the game up at two-all in the fifth as Rollins strikes again, as he hits a lead-off home run, his twelfth home-run of the year and his third home run in two days. The Phils then took the lead one batter later as Nate Schierholtz followed with a solo home run of his own, his sixth home run of the season, and his first as a Phil, giving the Phils a 3-2 lead. That would be the final score, as the pitching staff held off the Nats, until Jonathan Papaelbon recorded his twenty-third save of the season by pitching a 1-2-3 ninth.
Vance Worley (6-6, 3.63) got the win as he pitched seven strong innings, giving up two unearned runs on six hits and a walk. Antonio Bastardo received his eighteenth hold of the season as he pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only batter that he would face. Josh Lindblom recorded his sixteenth hold of the year, his first as a Phil, as he also threw a third of an inning, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter. Jeremy Horst recorded his first hold of the season as he went a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Jonathan Papelbon collected his twenty-third save of the season as he threw a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. Edwin Jackson (6-7, 3.57) took the lost as he went five and two-thirds innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and four walks, while striking out six. Michael Gonzalez pitched one and one-third scoreless innings, striking out three. Ryan Mattheus and Sean Burnett combined for two scoreless innings, giving up a hit (Burnett) between them, while striking out two (one batter each), as the Phils’ pitching staff combined for two straight good games since the trade deadline.
The Phils had nine hits in the game, with Jimmy Rollins (Home Runs, 2 RBIs), Nate Schierholtz (Single, Home Run, RBI) and Chase Utley (Single, Double) all leading the team with two hits each. John Mayberry, Jr., Erik Kratz and pinch hitter Ty Wigginton had the other three Phils’ hits, all singles, while the offense was unable to pick up the first three batters, who had gone six for thirteen, with two walks, after they had gotten on base.
The Phils (47-57, 5th) will conclude their series with the Nats (61-42, 1st) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Nationals Park and is to start at 7:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Cole Hamels (11-5, 3.31) who is coming off a lost against the Braves on July 27, as he got tagged for five runs, three of which were earned, on four hits and six walks, as he struck out seven, in the Phils’ 6-1 lost. He will be out to redeem himself after such a bad performance, and lead the Phils to a sweep of the Nats. The Nats will counter with Ross Detwiler (5-4, 3.24), who is coming off a lost to the Brewers on July 27, as he went just four and two-thirds innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out five, in the Nats’ 6-0 lost. He will be trying to keep the Nats from being swept. The Phils will be out to sweep the first-place Nats.