Washington at Philadelphia

W: L. Ayala (8-6) L: U. Urbina (4-4)
S: C. Cordero (39)
HR: WAS - None   PHI - C. Utley (17)

Nats stay half-game behind Phillies in wild-card chase

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

PHILADELPHIA -- One timely hit at a time, Washington wiped out a four-run deficit. The bullpen took care of the rest, using a near-flawless effort to help the Nationals keep pace in the NL wild-card race.

Carlos Baerga's go-ahead single in the eighth inning lifted Washington to a 5-4 victory and a split of a day-night doubleheader with the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday.

"When you're able to come back in the fashion that we did, it breeds confidence," said Preston Wilson, who had the game-tying single in the eighth.

In the opener, Vicente Padilla kept up his recent run of outstanding starts and Bobby Abreu delivered a key two-RBI double in Philadelphia's 2-1 win.

The Nationals had been shut down twice in the late innings by Philadelphia's bullpen the last two games only to rally against Ugueth Urbina (3-1) in the eighth.

Urbina pitched a scoreless eighth the last two games against the Nationals -- including one stint only hours earlier -- but blew a 4-3 lead and wasted a chance for the Phillies to build on their wild-card lead.

Jose Guillen opened the eighth with a double and scored on Wilson's game-tying single to left. Then Baerga followed with the single to center and helped the Nationals gain a split of the four-game series.

"If we can do that more often, we're going to win our share of games," Nationals manager Frank Robinson said.

The Phillies began the day tied for the wild-card lead with Houston -- which lost 5-2 to Milwaukee on Thursday night -- and a half-game ahead of the Nationals.

Luis Ayala (8-6) earned the win for Washington with two scoreless innings of relief. John Halama threw one scoreless inning and Mike Stanton got one out in the eighth. Chad Cordero pitched the final 1 2/3 innings for his 39th save.

"We just had to go out there and do what we were supposed to do," Cordero said. "We try not to put too much pressure on ourselves and it came out pretty good."

Chase Utley gave the Phillies a 3-0 lead with a sacrifice fly in the first and his 17th homer of the year in the third, a two-run shot off starter Ryan Drese. David Bell added an RBI double in the fourth.

The Nationals rallied against Phillies starter Cory Lidle, who has only one win in his last eight starts. Lidle gave up six hits and three runs in five innings.

"Lidle got a little tired. He lost command of his pitches," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.

Lidle's trouble started in the fifth. Baerga and Jamey Carroll singled to open the inning and both scored on Jose Vidro's double. Nick Johnson followed with an RBI double to make it 4-3.

Then Washington's bullpen took over, pitching three-hit ball and striking out four over five scoreless innings.

"They came in and did the job for us," Robinson said.


  • A rainout Tuesday caused the doubleheader.
  • Manuel said he'll likely give LHP Eude Brito the start against Pittsburgh on Sunday. Manuel said it was still too early in the season to bring back Wednesday night's starter Jon Lieber on three days' rest.
  • This was the fourth doubleheader in the two-year history of Citizens Bank Park. Padilla won the first game in two others.
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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Nationals outfielder Preston Wilson slides home with the decisive run after a Carlos Baerga single. (AP)
Nationals outfielder Preston Wilson slides home with the decisive run after a Carlos Baerga single. (AP)

Players of the Game

C. Utley
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1

J. Vidro
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0

Related Video

Washington Nationals
Brad Wilkerson, CF-LF4000112 .251
Jose Vidro, 2B4132100 .285
Nick Johnson, 1B5011015 .306
Jose Guillen, RF5110022 .301
Brian Schneider, C4000011 .288
Ryan Church, LF2000000 .289
   a- Preston Wilson, PH-CF2111000 .259
Carlos Baerga, 3B3121110 .271
    Mike Stanton, P0000000 .000
    Chad Cordero, P0000000 .000
Jamey Carroll, SS-3B3120101 .241
Ryan Drese, P0000000 .067
   b- Vinny Castilla, PH1000002 .241
    John Halama, P0000000 .000
   c- Tony Blanco, PH1000012 .220
    Luis Ayala, P0000000 .333
   d- Cristian Guzman, PH-SS1000001 .191
a-popped out for Church in the 6th
b-lined out for Drese in the 5th
c-struck out for Halama in the 6th
d-flied out for Ayala in the 8th
2B - Jose Vidro (19, Lidle), Nick Johnson (28, Lidle), Jose Guillen (26, Urbina)
SH - Ryan Drese (5)
RBI - Jose Vidro 2 (30), Nick Johnson (56), Preston Wilson (66), Carlos Baerga (16)
2-OUT RBI - Jose Vidro 2 (11), Nick Johnson (19)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Carroll-N. Johnson, Vidro-Carroll-N. Johnson, Guzman-N. Johnson
Washington Nationals
Ryan Drese 4544121 5.78
John Halama 1100000 6.04
Luis Ayala (W,8-6) 2100120 2.63
Mike Stanton (H,8) 0.1100000 4.91
Chad Cordero (S,39) 1.2000020 1.01
HBP - Howard (by Ryan Drese)
WP - Ryan Drese (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Ryan Drese 67-41, John Halama 10-6, Luis Ayala 24-17, Mike Stanton 8-5, Chad Cordero 14-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ryan Drese 5-5, John Halama 1-1, Luis Ayala 2-1, Mike Stanton 1-0, Chad Cordero 1-1
Batters Faced - Ryan Drese 19, John Halama 3, Luis Ayala 7, Mike Stanton 2, Chad Cordero 4
Philadelphia Phillies
Jimmy Rollins, SS4000011 .268
Jason Michaels, CF4220000 .305
Chase Utley, 2B3123000 .298
Bobby Abreu, RF4020001 .296
Pat Burrell, LF3000102 .280
Ryan Howard, 1B2110110 .281
David Bell, 3B4011001 .249
Todd Pratt, C4000013 .254
Cory Lidle, P2000021 .167
    Aaron Fultz, P0000000 .333
    Rheal Cormier, P0000000 .000
   a- Endy Chavez, PH1000010 .223
    Ugueth Urbina, P0000000 .000
    Geoff Geary, P0000000 .250
a-struck out for Cormier in the 7th
2B - Jason Michaels (11, Drese), David Bell (24, Drese)
HR - Chase Utley (17, Drese)
SF - Chase Utley (6)
RBI - Chase Utley 3 (72), David Bell (41)
2-OUT RBI - Chase Utley 2 (33)
Team LOB - 4
DP - Rollins-Utley-Howard
Philadelphia Phillies
Cory Lidle 5633230 4.64
Aaron Fultz (H,1) 1100120 2.39
Rheal Cormier (H,17) 1000010 5.49
Ugueth Urbina (BS,6; L,4-4) 1322000 3.56
Geoff Geary 1000110 4.39
Pitches-Strikes - Cory Lidle 78-52, Aaron Fultz 22-12, Rheal Cormier 8-8, Ugueth Urbina 17-12, Geoff Geary 16-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cory Lidle 4-7, Rheal Cormier 2-0
Batters Faced - Cory Lidle 22, Aaron Fultz 5, Rheal Cormier 3, Ugueth Urbina 6, Geoff Geary 4
Game Information
Attendance - 34492
Game Time - 2:43
Temperature - 85
Umpires - Home - Bob Davidson, First Base - James Hoye, Second Base - Paul Schrieber, Third Base - Jeff Kellogg