WASHINGTON (AP) — Doug Fister pitched effectively into the seventh inning, Yunel Escobar and Michael A. Taylor each hit a homer, and the Washington Nationals beat the Philadelphia Phillies 5-2 on Thursday night.
Ryan Zimmerman added a two-run double for Washington which, after averaging 2.4 runs through its first seven games, has 22 runs and 28 hits over its last three.
Fister (1-0) allowed two runs on four hits in 6 2-3 innings, striking out four and walking four.
Drew Storen pitched the ninth for his third save.
Cole Hamels (0-2) gave up five runs and five hits in six innings. He walked four and struck out seven. The left-hander had allowed three earned runs or fewer in each of his last 15 starts against Washington.
With his team having lost four straight and averaging just 2.4 runs per game this year, Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg tinkered with his lineup, moving struggling first baseman Ryan Howard from fourth to seventh.
It was Howard’s first time batting seventh April 2006. He went 1 for 3 with an intentional walk. Jeff Francouer slipped into the 4-hole and went 1 for 3 with a walk.
Matt Thornton relieved Fister with two outs in the seventh and the bases loaded and got Chase Utley fly out to center field.
Taylor dropped a flyball in center field in the fourth, leading to a run for Philadelphia. An inning later he got the run back, hitting Hamels’ 2-0 pitch into the Phillies’ bullpen to start the fifth and giving Washington a 3-2 lead.
Zimmerman made it 5-2 with a two-run double in the sixth.
Escobar homered to left-center off Hamels first pitch in the bottom of the first.
Philadelphia tied it on an RBI triple by Freddy Galvis in the third, and took a 2-1 lead when Darin Ruf hit a sacrifice fly after Taylor’s error.
Wilson Ramos singled home Bryce Harper in the bottom of the fourth to make it 2-all.
Phillies: OF Domonic Brown (left achilles tendinitis) is expected to join Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Friday as he continues a rehab assignment. He went 4 for 14 with a homer in five games with Class A Clearwater.
Nationals: Manager Matt Williams said RHP Craig Stammen, who went on the DL with right forearm stiffness Wednesday, will need surgery to repair a torn flexor. … OF Denard Span (right core muscle surgery) played seven innings for Class A Hagerstown Thursday night in his second rehab game, going 3 for 4 with a homer and two RBIs.
Nationals free-agent acquisition Max Scherzer (0-1, 0.66) makes his third start in a rematch of Sunday’s starters. The right hander has allowed four runs, one earned, on 10 hits over 13 2-3 innings. Philadelphia’s Sean O’Sullivan (0-0, 3.00 ERA) makes his first career start at Nationals Park.
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