Washington at Philadelphia

W: R. Drese (7-7) L: R. Tejeda (1-2)
S: C. Cordero (31)
HR: WAS - C. Baerga (1)   PHI - None

Nationals 8, Phillies 7

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

PHILADELPHIA -- Ryan Howard seemed to leave little doubt where his deep fly ball was headed off All-Star closer Chad Cordero in the ninth inning.

"I thought it was gone when he hit it," Washington manager Frank Robinson said. "I said it was a home run."

Instead, Brad Wilkerson caught it against the 401-foot sign in center and Phillies fans headed for the exit. Philadelphia's game-tying rally was denied and Cordero saved another one-run win for the first-place Nationals.

Carlos Baerga hit a three-run homer and Matt Cepicky drove in three runs to lead Washington to an 8-7 victory over Phillies on Friday night.

"Probably in our ballpark it would have been 20 or 30 feet short," joked Wilkerson, who had three hits and started a relay throw that nailed Philadelphia's tying run at the plate in the sixth.

Washington nearly wasted a five-run lead in the middle innings, giving up three runs in the fifth and four more in the sixth.

But Gary Majewski pitched two scoreless innings of relief, and Cordero threw a scoreless ninth for his league-leading 31st save. Washington earned its major league-leading 24th one-run victory.

"It would have been kind of devastating if we let this one get away," Robinson said.

The Nationals had dropped three of four to the Mets for their first series loss at home since April. But they had 11 hits and dropped the last-place Phillies 9½ games back in the division.

"This was a huge win for us, especially after the series we just had," Cordero said.

Ryan Drese (3-1) continued to turn his season around since the Nationals claimed him off waivers in early June, allowing just one hit until he gave up three runs in the fifth.

By that time, the NL East-leading Nationals already had staked him to a 5-0 lead against Robinson Tejeda (1-2), who lasted just 3 1/3 innings in the worst of his six starts this season.

Tejeda hit two batters in the third and walked Vinny Castilla with the bases loaded. Cepicky, whose RBI double in the second made it 1-0, drove in two more runs in the third with a single for a 4-0 lead. Jose Guillen added an RBI single in the fourth.

Philadelphia got to Drese for three runs in the fifth, two on Howard's double. Howard was 2-for-5 with three RBI.

The Nationals, though, came right back in the sixth on Baerga's first homer since last August 13 against the Mets. The switch-hitting first baseman went deep from the right side off Aaron Fultz, the ball just clearing the left-field wall and landing in the flower bed.

"He got a big one there to give us a cushion that stood up for us," Robinson said.

Philadelphia scored more three more runs in the sixth on a sacrifice fly, an infield single and an RBI double from Howard that made it 8-7. Howard's hit knocked high off the center-field wall, but Pat Burrell was waved home from first by third base coach Bill Dancy and thrown out at the plate to end the rally.

"It's a judgment, timing thing," manager Charlie Manuel said. "I'll stand behind (Dancy) 100 percent. They had two good relay throws."

The Phillies threatened again in the eighth, putting runners on first and third with no out against Majewski, but failed to score.

Drese was Texas' opening-day starter and was 4-6 with a 6.46 ERA in 12 starts for the Rangers. He pitched eight innings in two of his first three starts for Washington, giving a needed and unexpected boost to the rotation.

Drese gave up six hits and struck out four in five-plus innings.


Fultz relieved Geoff Geary, who left the game after he fouled a ball into the dirt and it smashed straight up into his face, knocking off his helmet. Geary collapsed and left with his right eye shut, though not swollen. Geary was taken to a hospital for further evaluation. Pitcher Jon Lieber finished the at-bat with two strikes and took a called strike three. The strikeout was credited to Geary. ... Washington 1B Nick Johnson and OF Ryan Church are scheduled to begin rehab assignments this weekend with Double-A Harrisburg. ... Former Philadelphia player Marlon Byrd pinch hit in his first game against his former team and doubled, but he was thrown out at third trying to stretch the hit into a triple.

Copyright 2017 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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Players of the Game

C. Baerga
AB 4
R 3
H 2
HR 1

R. Howard
AB 5
R 0
H 2
HR 0

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Washington Nationals
Brad Wilkerson, CF5230010 .272
Jamey Carroll, SS3110020 .251
Jose Vidro, 2B3000110 .278
Jose Guillen, RF4221102 .313
Carlos Baerga, 1B4323014 .250
    Chad Cordero, P0000000 .000
Vinny Castilla, 3B4001115 .255
Matthew Cepicky, LF4023020 .250
    Gary Majewski, P0000000 .000
    Wil Cordero, 1B0000000 .128
Brian Schneider, C3000112 .265
Ryan Drese, P3000032 .000
    Joey Eischen, P00000001.000
    Luis Ayala, P0000000 .000
   a- Marlon Byrd, PH-LF1010000 .262
a-doubled for Ayala in the 7th
2B - Jamey Carroll (4, Tejeda), Matthew Cepicky (2, Tejeda), Marlon Byrd (6, Cormier)
HR - Carlos Baerga (1, Fultz)
SH - Jamey Carroll 2 (10)
RBI - Jose Guillen (49), Carlos Baerga 3 (10), Vinny Castilla (42), Matthew Cepicky 3 (3)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Baerga 3 (5), Vinny Castilla (24), Matthew Cepicky 3 (3)
CS - Brad Wilkerson (7, 3rd base by Fultz/Pratt)
Team LOB - 7
Outfield Assists - Brad Wilkerson 1
E - Ryan Drese (2, wild throw)
Washington Nationals
Ryan Drese (W,7-7) 5644540 5.36
Joey Eischen0222000 4.91
Luis Ayala (H,18) 1211110 3.06
Gary Majewski (H,15) 2200010 2.90
Chad Cordero (S,31) 1000010 1.17
WP - Joey Eischen (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Ryan Drese 106-61, Joey Eischen 8-4, Luis Ayala 17-10, Gary Majewski 34-22, Chad Cordero 9-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ryan Drese 6-5, Gary Majewski 3-2
Batters Faced - Ryan Drese 26, Joey Eischen 2, Luis Ayala 5, Gary Majewski 8, Chad Cordero 3
Philadelphia Phillies
Jimmy Rollins, SS2110100 .269
   a- Tomas Perez, PH-SS2111000 .255
Kenny Lofton, CF5110015 .352
    Ugueth Urbina, P0000000 .000
    Billy Wagner, P0000000 .500
Bobby Abreu, RF3001112 .308
Pat Burrell, LF4120100 .291
Chase Utley, 2B2111200 .310
Ryan Howard, 1B5023014 .250
David Bell, 3B5010001 .252
Todd Pratt, C4120120 .226
Rob Tejeda, P1000011 .000
    Geoff Geary, P1000010 .250
   b- Jon Lieber, PH0000000 .061
    Aaron Fultz, P0000000 .500
   c- Endy Chavez, PH1111000 .222
    Rheal Cormier, P0000000 .000
   d- Jason Michaels, PH-CF1000000 .301
a-singled for Rollins in the 6th
b-announced for Geary in the 4th
c-tripled for Fultz in the 6th
d-hit into fielder's choice for Cormier in the 7th
2B - Ryan Howard 2 (4, Drese, Ayala), David Bell (15, Majewski)
3B - Endy Chavez (2, Eischen)
SF - Bobby Abreu (3), Chase Utley (3)
RBI - Tomas Perez (16), Bobby Abreu (58), Chase Utley (40), Ryan Howard 3 (8), Endy Chavez (5)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Howard 3 (6)
SB - Kenny Lofton (9, 2nd base off Ayala/Schneider)
Team LOB - 10
Outfield Assists - Kenny Lofton 1
DP - Pratt-Bell, Wagner-Utley-Howard
E - Ryan Howard (1, Misplayed grounder)
Philadelphia Phillies
Rob Tejeda (L,1-2) 3.1755350 2.93
Geoff Geary 0.2000010 4.60
Aaron Fultz 2230141 2.75
Rheal Cormier 1100010 5.52
Ugueth Urbina 1000010 4.08
Billy Wagner 1100000 2.29
IBB - Schneider by Rob Tejeda, by Vidro, Guillen by Aaron Fultz
HBP - Vidro (by Rob Tejeda), Baerga (by Rob Tejeda)
Pitches-Strikes - Rob Tejeda 81-47, Geoff Geary 9-7, Aaron Fultz 37-21, Rheal Cormier 14-9, Ugueth Urbina 15-9, Billy Wagner 8-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rob Tejeda 3-2, Geoff Geary 1-0, Aaron Fultz 2-0, Rheal Cormier 1-0, Billy Wagner 1-1
Batters Faced - Rob Tejeda 22, Geoff Geary 2, Aaron Fultz 9, Rheal Cormier 3, Ugueth Urbina 3, Billy Wagner 3
Game Information
Attendance - 44688
Game Time - 3:23
Temperature - 69
Umpires - Home - Jim Reynolds, First Base - Wally Bell, Second Base - John Hirschbeck, Third Base - Kerwin Danley