Nats use late burst of offense to down Phils
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) – Ivan Rodriguez’s two-run single in the ninth proved to be the difference as the Washington Nationals avoided the sweep with a 7-5 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.
Ryan Zimmerman hit a pinch-hit, two-run home run while Adam Dunn added a solo homer for the Nationals, who avoided a sweep by scoring six times in their final three at-bats.
“I was just happy to be out there and be part of the game for once,” said Zimmerman, who has been bothered by a tight hamstring. “I’m just happy to be a part of it for a change and to get the win is great.”
Scott Olsen, called up before the game for the start, was charged with four runs on five hits with three walks and five strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings. Tyler Clippard (2-0) got the win for throwing 1 1/3 scoreless frames while Matt Capps earned his fourth save of the year by recording the final five outs.
Chase Utley and Shane Victorino each had a solo home run while Juan Castro went 3-for-4 with two RBI for the Phillies, who had won five straight.
J.A. Happ allowed just three hits and an unearned run with six walks over 5 1/3 innings to keep his earned-run average at 0.00. The bullpen, though, let Philadelphia down as it was charged with six runs over the final 3 2/3 innings with Danys Baez (0-1) suffering with the loss.
“I gave it everything I could,” said Happ. “I battled and this is the second game this year this has happened. I couldn’t quite find the rhythm and I need to be more consistent.”
Trailing 4-2 in the eighth and with Baez on the mound, Dunn drilled the first pitch he saw just over the right-field fence. After Josh Willingham struck out, Rodriguez walked and Zimmerman came on to pinch-hit and crushed an opposite field home run for a 5-4 lead.
Philly got a one-out single from Castro in the eighth, but Carlos Ruiz grounded out and Ross Gload popped out to end the frame.
The Nationals gave themselves some insurance in the ninth as Rodriguez punched a two-run single to left for a 7-4 lead.
Victorino led off the ninth by smacking a 2-2 pitch over the right field wall and Placido Polanco followed with a single. Utley, though, struck out, then both Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth flied out to end the game.
In the first, Utley drilled a 2-1 pitch to right center for his fourth home run in the past three games to give the Phils a 1-0 lead.
The Nationals got the run back in the third. Nyjer Morgan led off with a walk and, with Ian Desmond at the plate, Happ attempted the pickoff. Howard fielded the ball as Morgan ran to second, but Howard’s throw was off the mark and Morgan was safe at second. Desmond then moved Morgan to third on a sacrifice bunt and Cristian Guzman plated Morgan with a grounder to short.
In the sixth with one out, Josh Willingham worked a walk and Happ’s outing was done as Jose Contreras took the mound. Willingham promptly stole second, but Contreras fanned Rodriguez and Justin Maxwell to end the frame.
The Phils took the lead in the bottom of the sixth. Polanco led off with a walk, but Utley and Howard failed to advance him. Werth and Raul Ibanez, though, worked walks to load the bases and Castro hit a single to right to bring home two runs.
Clippard got the nod and walked Ruiz intentionally before Greg Dobbs worked a pinch-hit walk to force home Ibanez for a 4-1 lead.
With Antonio Bastardo on the mound in the seventh, the Nats got a run back as Alberto Gonzalez hit a leadoff single, moved to second on Willie Harris’ ground out and later came home on a Desmond single to make it a 4-2 game.
Before the game, the Phillies were given their 2009 National League Champion rings…In addition to recalling Olsen, the Nationals also recalled Maxwell, designated pitcher Jason Bergmann for assignment, placed pitcher Garret Mock on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to April 11, 2010, and optioned outfielder Roger Bernadina…Both clubs are back on the diamond Friday, as the Phillies welcome Florida for a three-game set and Washington returns home to face Milwaukee for a three-game set which will begin a lengthy homestand…The Phils were looking for their first 8-1 start since 1993.
04/15 19:31:22 ET
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