|Washington (54-86) «||2||0||0||0||2||0||1||4||x||9||13||0|
Guzman set a franchise season record Wednesday night with his eighth consecutive multihit game, capping it with a bases-clearing double in the decisive eighth inning. The Nationals played spoiler by beating the Philadelphia Phillies 9-7, taking the series and allowing the New York Mets to open a three-game lead in the NL East.
Guzman went 3-for-5, scored twice and had three RBI. He is batting .538 (21-for-39) during a streak that has made him first Washington-based player to get at least two hits in eight consecutive games in one season since Joe Cronin of the old Senators in 1933.
The Nationals are unbeaten when Guzman is in the lineup during his remarkable run. They won seven straight before manager Manny Acta gave him a day of rest Tuesday, when the Nationals were beaten 4-0 by the Phillies.
"If he needs a night off every now and then to hit triples and doubles, to drive in three, we'll give it to him," third baseman Ryan Zimmerman said. "He's been outstanding. It's nice to see him the whole year pretty much healthy. The first couple of years we didn't see the real Guz, and now you can see the kind of player he actually is."
Ryan Howard hit his 38th and 39th home runs for the Phillies, but reliever Chad Durbin (5-4) had a bad night as Philadelphia failed to keep pace with the Mets ahead of their crucial three-game series at Shea Stadium starting Friday. New York beat Milwaukee 9-2 on Wednesday afternoon.
"I think Friday is the most important game for us because we don't want to get ahead of ourselves," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "We've got to win some games. I think if we keep falling back we're going to get in trouble."
The Phillies led 5-4 when Durbin entered the game with two outs and nobody on in the seventh. Manuel wanted a righty-righty matchup against Zimmerman, but the move backfired when Zimmerman deposited Durbin's third pitch to straightaway center field for his 11th home run.
"We've been asking a lot out of him," Manuel said. "But at the same time he's been so good, he's the guy we kind of have to go to and ride him. And why shouldn't we? He's been so good this year."
Durbin allowed three hits in four batters in the eighth, capped by pinch-hitter Ronnie Belliard's RBI single that gave the Nationals a 6-5 lead. J.C. Romero entered and walked Emilio Bonifacio, loading the bases for Guzman's three-run double that hit the base of the wall in left and made it 9-5.
"I was just trying to put the ball in play," Guzman said. "I saw the ball go into the gap, so 'Thank you.' "
The Phillies rallied for two runs in the ninth off reliever Joel Hanrahan, but they wound up losing their first series in Washington since 2006.
Saul Rivera (5-5), one of seven Nationals pitchers, threw a scoreless eighth to get the victory to finish an 8-1 homestand.
"We're playing well. We're confident," Zimmerman said. "We're doing all the little things right. And we're having fun. That's almost the most important thing. The new guys are filling in nice, and it's just a lot of fun when you're playing like this. You can't explain it. There's nothing that we did different, it's just you're rolling and you want to keep the momentum."
|Cristian Guzman delivers the double that hands the Phillies another frustrating defeat. (US Presswire)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Jimmy Rollins, SS||5||1||2||0||0||0||2||.273|
|Chase Utley, 2B||3||1||1||2||0||1||2||.293|
|Jayson Werth, CF-RF^LF||5||1||1||0||0||3||3||.278|
|Ryan Howard, 1B||4||2||2||4||0||1||1||.236|
|Pat Burrell, LF||4||0||2||0||0||0||0||.256|
|Greg Golson, PR-RF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|J.C. Romero, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Clay Condrey, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.333|
|Pedro Feliz, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||0||2||.250|
|Chris Coste, C||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.275|
|a- Greg Dobbs, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.291|
|Carlos Ruiz, C||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.221|
|Eric Bruntlett, RF||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.218|
|b- Shane Victorino, PH-CF||2||1||1||0||0||0||1||.281|
|Joe Blanton, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||.083|
|Ryan Madson, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Mike Cervenak, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.250|
|Scott Eyre, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Chad Durbin, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.111|
|Matt Stairs, RF||1||1||1||1||0||0||0||.251|
|a-grounded out for Coste in the 8th|
|b-flied out for Bruntlett in the 6th|
|c-singled for Madson in the 7th|
|2B - Matt Stairs (12, Hanrahan)|
|3B - Chase Utley (4, O. Perez)|
|HR - Ryan Howard 2 (39, O. Perez, M. Estrada)|
|SF - Chase Utley (7)|
|RBI - Chase Utley 2 (90), Ryan Howard 4 (119), Matt Stairs (45)|
|2-OUT RBI - Ryan Howard 2 (49)|
|SB - Greg Golson (1, 2nd base off Rivera/Nieves)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|Scott Eyre (H,6)||0.2||0||0||0||0||1||0||4.05|
|Chad Durbin (BS,6; L,5-4)||0.2||5||4||4||0||1||1||2.69|
|WP - Chad Durbin (3)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Joe Blanton 84-50, Ryan Madson 27-23, Scott Eyre 10-6, Chad Durbin 25-16, J.C. Romero 10-4, Clay Condrey 9-6|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Blanton 5-5, Ryan Madson 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Joe Blanton 21, Ryan Madson 6, Scott Eyre 2, Chad Durbin 7, J.C. Romero 2, Clay Condrey 3|
|Emilio Bonifacio, 2B||3||2||1||0||2||1||0||.256|
|Cristian Guzman, SS||5||2||3||3||0||1||1||.311|
|Ryan Zimmerman, 3B||4||2||2||2||1||0||1||.283|
|Lastings Milledge, CF||5||0||2||1||0||0||1||.263|
|Elijah Dukes, RF||4||0||1||1||1||2||3||.271|
|Kory Casto, 1B||4||0||2||1||0||1||2||.203|
|Pete Orr, PR||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||.224|
|Aaron Boone, 1B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.254|
|Wil Nieves, C||4||0||0||0||0||1||3||.246|
|Roger Bernadina, LF||4||1||1||0||0||2||0||.133|
|Odalis Perez, P||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.156|
|Marco Estrada, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jesus Colome, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Ryan Langerhans, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.222|
|Michael Hinckley, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Steven Shell, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Saul Rivera, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Ronnie Belliard, PH||1||1||1||1||0||0||0||.280|
|Joel Hanrahan, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-struck out for Colome in the 6th|
|b-singled for Rivera in the 8th|
|2B - Emilio Bonifacio (5, Blanton), Cristian Guzman (33, Romero), Ryan Zimmerman (20, Blanton), Elijah Dukes (13, Blanton)|
|HR - Ryan Zimmerman (11, Durbin)|
|RBI - Cristian Guzman 3 (45), Ryan Zimmerman 2 (42), Lastings Milledge (53), Elijah Dukes (30), Kory Casto (11), Ronnie Belliard (46)|
|2-OUT RBI - Ryan Zimmerman (12), Kory Casto (5)|
|SB - Elijah Dukes (13, 2nd base off Madson/Coste), Roger Bernadina (1, 3rd base off Romero/Ruiz)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|Marco Estrada (BS,1)||0||3||2||2||0||0||1||7.11|
|Saul Rivera (W,5-5)||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||3.52|
|HBP - Utley (by Odalis Perez)|
|WP - Odalis Perez (4)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Odalis Perez 93-65, Marco Estrada 10-6, Jesus Colome 3-3, Michael Hinckley 9-5, Steven Shell 5-3, Saul Rivera 16-11, Joel Hanrahan 15-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Odalis Perez 4-6, Saul Rivera 2-1, Joel Hanrahan 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Odalis Perez 20, Marco Estrada 3, Jesus Colome 3, Michael Hinckley 3, Steven Shell 1, Saul Rivera 4, Joel Hanrahan 5|
|Attendance - 23122|
|Game Time - 3:23|
|Temperature - 90|
|Umpires - Home - Brian Gorman, First Base - Gerry Davis, Second Base - Bruce Dreckman, Third Base - Scott Barry|