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Wilkerson's cycle helps Nationals pick up their first victory

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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PHILADELPHIA -- A few players drank beers. Others quietly grooved to hip-hop music. Some simply showered and dressed.

The Washington Nationals have their first win. They're still working on how to celebrate.

Brad Wilkerson hit for the cycle for the second time in his career and Jose Guillen hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth inning, leading the Nationals to a 7-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night. It was Washington's second game since moving during the offseason after 36 years as the Montreal Expos.

"It's a special day to get the first victory," Wilkerson said.

Vinny Castilla was 4-for-5 with two doubles and one RBI for Washington, which hadn't celebrated a victory by a major-league team since the expansion Senators left for Texas following the 1971 season. The Nationals play their home opener at RFK Stadium on April 14 against Arizona.

"It's nice to win your first game," Nationals manager Frank Robinson said. "It's a good feeling."

Wilkerson was 4-for-4 with a walk and two RBI, completing his cycle with a ground-rule double in the eighth against Aaron Fultz. Wilkerson homered off Brett Myers in the third, singled off Myers in the fifth and tripled against Rheal Cormier in the seventh. Wilkerson's first cycle was against Pittsburgh on June 24, 2003.

He said he probably would've stopped at second had his double not bounced over the fence.

"I tweaked my ankle going to third on the triple, so I wasn't thinking about going for three," Wilkerson said.

Pat Burrell's two-run homer off Nationals starter Zach Day gave the Phillies a 3-2 lead in the sixth, but Washington rallied against Tim Worrell in the eighth.

Jose Vidro led off with a single and Guillen lined an 0-1 pitch into the right-center field seats to give the Nationals a 4-3 lead. Wilkerson capped the four-run inning with an RBI double.

Joey Eischen pitched a perfect seventh to earn the win for the Nationals, who lost their opener 8-4 to the Phillies on Monday.

"When Pat hit the homer, I liked our chances," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "We just didn't hold them."

Day held the Phillies to just two hits before Kenny Lofton singled with one out in the sixth. Lofton moved to second on a groundout and scored on Jim Thome's RBI single to right to cut the deficit to 2-1.

Burrell followed with a long drive deep into the left-field seats. A notoriously slow starter, Burrell has five hits and four RBI in the first two games.

Wilkerson gave the Nationals a 1-0 lead in the third with a long homer into the seats in the second deck.

"I put in some extra work in the cage and I felt like I got some good swings," Wilkerson said.

Nick Johnson's RBI double in the sixth drove in Guillen, who reached on an error by third baseman David Bell, to give Washington a 2-0 lead.

Myers gave up two runs -- one earned -- and five hits, and struck out seven in 6 2/3 innings. It was an encouraging outing for the right-hander, who struggled last season after winning 14 games in his first full season in 2003. Myers was 11-11 with a 5.52 ERA last year.

"I had confidence in every pitch that I threw and where I threw it," Myers said. "It just didn't work out for us."

Day allowed three runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings in his first start since he broke his right middle finger on Aug. 1.

Worrell, the Phillies' set-up man for closer Billy Wagner, retired just one hitter, allowing four runs and four hits.

Notes

  • Wilkerson's cycle was the seventh in franchise history. Vladimir Guerrero had the last on Sept. 14, 2003, against the Mets. Wilkerson is the 26th player to have more than one cycle.
  • Eagles Pro Bowl linebacker Jeremiah Trotter got a standing ovation when he was introduced during the eighth inning, inciting chants of "E-A-G-L-E-S" from the crowd of 23,435 at Citizens Bank Park. The attendance was almost 21,000 fewer than opening day.
  • Wilkerson has 12 career HRs against the Phillies in 217 at-bats.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Washington's Brad Wilkerson sees the ball very clearly, hitting for the cycle against Philadelphia. (AP)
Washington's Brad Wilkerson sees the ball very clearly, hitting for the cycle against Philadelphia. (AP)

Players of the Game
Philadelphia

P. Burrell
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Washington

B. Wilkerson
AB 4
R 1
H 4
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Washington Nationals
Brad Wilkerson, CF4142100 .556
Cristian Guzman, SS5010004 .200
Jose Vidro, 2B5220001 .300
Jose Guillen, RF5222011 .300
Nick Johnson, 1B4011121 .429
Vinny Castilla, 3B5141012 .750
Terrmel Sledge, LF4110123 .250
Brian Schneider, C5010003 .375
Zach Day, P2000010 .000
    Antonio Osuna, P0000000 .000
   a- Ryan Church, PH1000010 .000
    Joey Eischen, P0000000 .000
   b- Wil Cordero, PH1000012 .000
    Luis Ayala, P0000000 .000
   c- J.J. Davis, PH1000003 .500
    Chad Cordero, P0000000 .000
Totals4271663920 
a-struck out for Osuna in the 7th
b-struck out for Eischen in the 8th
c-hit into fielder's choice for Ayala in the 9th
Batting
2B - Brad Wilkerson (1, Fultz), Jose Vidro (1, Adams), Nick Johnson (1, Myers), Vinny Castilla 2 (2, Myers, Adams)
3B - Brad Wilkerson (1, Cormier)
HR - Brad Wilkerson (1, Myers), Jose Guillen (1, Worrell)
RBI - Brad Wilkerson 2 (2), Jose Guillen 2 (2), Nick Johnson (1), Vinny Castilla (2)
2-OUT RBI - Brad Wilkerson 2 (2)
CS - Brad Wilkerson (1, 2nd base by Myers/Lieberthal)
Team LOB - 11
Washington Nationals
Zach Day 5.2533131 4.76
Antonio Osuna 0.1000000 6.75
Joey Eischen (W,1-0) 1000000 0.00
Luis Ayala (H,1) 1000010 0.00
Chad Cordero 1100010 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Zach Day 85-51, Antonio Osuna 2-1, Joey Eischen 7-5, Luis Ayala 8-6, Chad Cordero 26-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Zach Day 10-4, Antonio Osuna 1-0, Luis Ayala 2-0, Chad Cordero 1-1
Batters Faced - Zach Day 23, Antonio Osuna 1, Joey Eischen 3, Luis Ayala 3, Chad Cordero 4
Philadelphia Phillies
Jimmy Rollins, SS3000100 .333
Kenny Lofton, CF4110012 .429
Bobby Abreu, RF4000010 .111
Jim Thome, 1B4121010 .286
Pat Burrell, LF4122000 .714
David Bell, 3B4000012 .222
Chase Utley, 2B4010011 .250
Mike Lieberthal, C3000001 .286
Brett Myers, P1000000 .000
    Rheal Cormier, P0000000 .000
   a- Jose Offerman, PH1000000 .000
    Tim Worrell, P0000000 .000
    Aaron Fultz, P0000000 .000
    Terry Adams, P0000000 .000
Totals32363156 
a-flied out for Cormier in the 7th
Batting
2B - Pat Burrell (2, Day)
HR - Pat Burrell (1, Day)
SH - Brett Myers (1)
RBI - Jim Thome (1), Pat Burrell 2 (4)
2-OUT RBI - Jim Thome (1), Pat Burrell 2 (3)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Kenny Lofton 1
E - Bobby Abreu (1, Misplayed grounder), David Bell (1, Misplayed grounder)
Philadelphia Phillies
Brett Myers 6.2721171 1.35
Rheal Cormier (H,2) 0.1100000 9.00
Tim Worrell (BS,1; L,0-1) 0.1444001 27.00
Aaron Fultz 0.2200010 0.00
Terry Adams 1211210 9.00
IBB - N. Johnson by Terry Adams, by Sledge
Pitches-Strikes - Brett Myers 86-61, Rheal Cormier 5-3, Tim Worrell 17-11, Aaron Fultz 13-9, Terry Adams 20-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brett Myers 5-7, Terry Adams 2-0
Batters Faced - Brett Myers 27, Rheal Cormier 2, Tim Worrell 5, Aaron Fultz 4, Terry Adams 7
Game Information
Attendance - 23435
Game Time - 2:39
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Larry Poncino, First Base - Mark Wegner, Second Base - Paul Nauert, Third Base - Gary Darling