Jayson Werth help to defeat his former club, as the Phils lose to the Nationals in Washington, 7-4.
The Phils took the lead in the second as Ryan Howard hits a lead-off home run, his third home run of the season, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Nats tied the game up at one-all in their half of the second as, with two men on, and with one man out, Danny Espinosa hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Wilson Ramos, who had earlier singled, then went to third on Laynce Nix’s single. The Nats then took the lead in the fourth as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Ramos hits an RBI double, knocking in Jayson Werth, who had earlier doubled, then went to third on Matt Stairs’ ground out, 6-3, giving the Nats a 2-1 lead. The Nats then increased their lead as, now with the bases loaded, after an infield single by Nix, sending Ramos to third, and a walk to Espinosa, sending Nix up to second base, and with still one man out, Jerry Hairston hits an RBI single, scoring Ramos, giving the Nats a 3-1 lead, while moving up both Nix and Espinosa, leaving the bases loaded. The Nats then took a 4-1 lead as Livan Hernandez performed a successful suicide squeeze, 1-3, for the inning’s second out, scoring Nix, while sending Espinosa on to third base, and Hairston to second base. The Nats then took a 5-1 lead in the fifth as, with one man out, Werth hits a solo home run, his second home run of the season. The Phils tried to get back into the game in the seventh as they loaded the bases, via a single by Raul Ibanez, a single by Carlos Ruiz, sending Ibanez up to second base, and an infield single by Wilson Valdez, moving Ibenez to third base, and Ruiz to second base, with one man out, before they were turned back as Hernandez struck out pinch hitter John Mayberry, Jr., for the inning’s second out, before handing the ball over to reliever Tyler Clippard, who ended the threat by striking out Shane Victorino. The Nats then increased their lead in their half of the seventh as, with the bases loaded, via a single by Rick Ankiel, a walk by Werth, sending Ankiel to second base, a double steal by Ankiel and Werth, and a walk by pinch hitter Michael Morse, and with two men out, Ramos received an RBI walk, forcing in Ankiel, making it a 6-1 Nats’ lead, while sending Werth to third base, and Morse to second base. The Phils would finally get a run back in the eighth as, once again with the bases loaded, via a single to Jimmy Rollins, a walk to Howard, moving Rollins up to second base, and a walk to Ben Francisco, moving up both runners, and with one man out, Ibanez hits into an RBI force out, 4-6, scoring Rollins, to make it a 6-2 Nats’ lead, and sending Howard to third base, as Francisco is wiped out at second base, while upsetting shortstop Ian Desmond enough to allow Ibanez to reach first base before the throw. The Phils then cut the lead to 6-3 as, with runners now on the corners, and now with two men out, Howard would score on Sean Burnett’s wild pitch, while Ibanez would move up to second base. The Nats got a run back in their half of the eighth as, with a runner on second, and with one man out, Alex Cora hits an RBI single, knocking in Espinosa, who had earlier walked, then went to second base on Ivan Rodriguez’s ground out, 6-3, making it a 7-3 Nats’ lead, before moving up to second base on the throw to the plate. The Phils then made it a 7-4 Nats’ lead in the ninth as, with one man on, and with two men out, Placido Polanco hits an RBI single, scoring Valdez, who had earlier singled, then went to second on pinch hitter Michael Martinez’s ground out 5-3. That would be the final score as Burnett recorded his third save of the season by getting Rollins to line out to Desmond for the final out.
Joe Blanton (0-1, 10.45) took the lost as he pitched six innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and walk, while he struck out four. David Herrndon pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on one hit and one walk, while striking out two. Antonio Bastardo pitched a third of an inning, walking two batters. Danys Baez pitched an inning, giving up a run on a hit and a walk. Livan Hernandez (1-1, 3.50) got the win as he pitched six and two-thirds innings, giving up a run on seven hits, while striking out six. Tyler Clippard recorded his third hold of the year as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on a hit and two walks, while striking out a batter. Sean Burnett received his third save of the season as he pitched one and two-thirds innings, giving up a run on two hits. The Phils’ relief corps did not do well last night, as they allowed two runs to score, thanks in part to four walks coming back to haunt them, with three of them coming in a row in the seventh, forcing in a run with the bases loaded.
The Phils had ten hits in the game, with Placido Polanco (RBI), Jimmy Rollins and Wilson Valdez all leading the team with two hits each, all singles. Ryan Howard (HR, RBI), Ben Francisco (Single), Raul Ibanez (Single, RBI) and Carlos Ruiz (Single), had the other four Phils’ hits. The fourth Phil run came in on a wild pitch. The offense was not able to go to work on Livan Hernandez because he messed them up with his slow pitches, mixed in with some faster stuff.
The Phils (7-3, 1st) will continue their three-games series with the Nats (5-5, T-2nd) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Nationals Park, and will start at 7:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound their ace Roy Halladay (1-0, 0.69), who is coming off a win against the Mets on April 6, as he went seven innings, giving up no runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out seven, in the Phils’ 11-0 rout of the Mets. He will be going for his second win, while trying to even up the series between the two teams. The Nats will try to counter with John Lannan (1-0, 3.60), who is coming off a no-decision against the Marlins on April 7, as he pitched only five innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and three walks, while striking out seven, in the Nats’ 5-3 extra-innings win. He will be trying to give the Nats the series win over the Phils. The Phils will be out to even up the series behind the pitching arm of Roy Halladay, while hoping that the offense will be out to once again score runs in bunches.