Ryan Howard’s two-homer night help rocket the Phils into a 9-6 victory over the Nats, back into first place in the NL East.

Ryan Howard’s two massive home runs, a solo shot and a team record setting grand-slam home run, help leads the Phils to a 9-6 win over the lowly Nationals. The Phils, meanwhile, regain first place from the Mets.

The Nationals took the lead in the second as, with two men on, and one man out, Wil Nieves hits a two run double, knocking in Josh Willingham, who had earlier singled, and had moved up to second on Alberto Gonzalez’s single, and Gonzalez, who had just singled, giving the Nats a 2-0 lead. Two batters later, with Nieves still on second, and now with two men out, Anderson Hernandez hits an RBI single, knocking in Nieves, who beat the throw to the plate, giving the Nats a 3-0 lead, while Hernandez would move up to second on the throw. The Phils would get a run back in their half of the second as Ryan Howard hits a lead-off home run, his thirteenth home run of the year, cutting the Nats’ lead to 3-1. In the third, with a runner on second, and one man out, Jimmy Rollins hits an RBI single, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who had earlier walked, and had moved up to second on Cole Hamels’ sacrifice bunt, making it a 3-2 Nats’ lead. After Rollins stole second base, the Phils loaded the bases on a Shane Victorino walk and a Chase Utley infield single. Ryan Howard then clears them with a 475-ft monster to right for a grand-slam home run, his fourteenth home run of the year, his third grand-salm of the season, and the eighth grand-slam of his career, setting a new franchise record, as he scored Rollins, Victorino and Utley before him, giving the Phils a 6-3 lead. In the fourth, the Nats would get one of the runs back, as, with one man on, and nobody out, Gonzalez hits an RBI triple, knocking in Austin Kearns, who had earlier walked, making it a 6-4 Phils lead. The Phils would get the run back in their half of the inning as, with a runner on second, and one man out, Hamels hits an RBI double, knocking in Ruiz, who had earlier doubled, giving the Phils a 7-4 lead. In the sixth, with a man on, and two men out, pinch hitter Ronnie Belliard hits a pinch hit two-run home run, scoring Kearns, who had earlier singled, had gone to second when Gonzalez was hit by the pitch, and had gone over to third on Nieves’ double play, 5-4-3, wiping out Gonzalez at second, making it 7-6 Phils. The Phils would get those two runs back in their half of the sixth as, with the bases loaded, via a walk to pinch hitter Greg Dobbs, a double by Victorino, which sent Dobbs to third, and a walk to Utley, with two men out, Howard would reach base on a fielding error by second baseman Hernandez, allowing both Dobbs and Victorino to score, and Utley to reach third, as the Phils take a 9-6 lead. That would be the final score as the Phillies’ bullpen shut down the Nats for the final three innings, with Brad Lidge notching his eleventh save of the year as he pitched a scoreless ninth.

Cole Hamels got the victory as he pitched six innings, giving up six runs on eight hits, a walk and a hit batter, while he struck out seven. His record is now 3-2 with a 5.21 ERA. Scott Eyre recorded his ninth hold of the year as he pitched a third of an inning, giving up two hits. Clay Condrey pitched two-thirds of an inning, recording his fourth hold of the season, as he struck out a batter. Ryan Madson recorded his eleventh hold of the year as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two. Brad Lidge recorded his eleventh save of the season as he gave up only a hit, while striking out a batter. Shairon Martis took the lost as he pitched only four innings, giving up seven runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out only one. His record is now 5-1 with a 5.62 ERA. Jason Bergmann pitched a scoreless inning. Mike MacDougal pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on a hit and a walk. Ron Villone, Julian Taverez, Kip Wells and Jesus Colome combined for two and a third scoreless innings, giving up two hits (Tavarez (1), Colome (1)), a walk (Villone) and two hit batters (Tavarez (1), Colome (1)), while striking out four (Tavarez (1), Colome (3)) between them.

The Phillies had ten hits, with Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Ryan Howard leading the way with two hits each, with both of Howard’s hits being home runs. Chase Utley, Jayson Werth, Carlos Ruiz and Cole Hamels had the Phils’ other four hits. Besides Howard’s five RBIs, Hamels and Rollins both knocked in a run. The Phils had six extra-base hits, four doubles and two home runs. The Phils also stole five bases, with Utley, Rollins, Victorino, Ruiz and Werth each stealing a base. The win gives the Phils a series win, as they now go for the series sweep against the Nationals.

The Phillies (27-20, 1st) will conclude their three-games home stand with an afternoon game against the Nationals (13-35, 5th) that will be played at Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 1:35 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound Jamie Moyer (3-5, 7.42), who is coming off a lost against the Marlins on May 25, where he went six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out five, in the Phils’ 5-3 lost. He is still looking for his 250th career win, and for his first victory in over a month. The Nationals will counter with John Lannan (2-4, 4.11), who is coming off a lost on May 25 to the Mets, as he pitched five innings, giving up five runs on eight hits and four walks, in the Nats’ 5-2 lost. He will be trying to keep the Phils from sweeping the Nats. The Phillies will be trying to leave home with a winning home stand before going back onto the road, where they have the best record in baseball.



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