Philadelphia at Washington

W: L. Hernandez (8-10) L: J. Blanton (9-7)
S: R. Villone (1)
HR: PHI - M. Stairs (5)   WAS - A. Dunn (36), I. Desmond (1)

Desmond's big debut powers Nationals past Phillies wire reports

WASHINGTON -- Charlie Manuel was angry. It didn't matter that the Philadelphia Phillies nearly pulled off an impressive ninth-inning comeback. No, his club had again lost to a team he felt they should have beaten.

The Phillies lost to the woeful Washington Nationals 8-7 on Thursday night when Ryan Howard hit into a game-ending double play with runners on the corners after Philadelphia scored five runs in the ninth.

Manuel didn't want to take about the comeback. The manager wanted to vent.

"We've been getting outplayed by second division teams," Manuel said. "We don't put nobody away."

It hasn't been a good time on the road for the defending world champions. In their last three road series, the Phillies lost two of three in Pittsburgh and absorbed a four-game sweep in Houston. After the Astros' sweep, Manuel chewed out his team. After winning the first two against a team that's lost 92 games, Manuel thought his team's play was unacceptable.

 Lidge, Manuel meet about closer's role

"The guys who've been on this team the last couple of years -- they know exactly what they've got to do," Manuel said. "We've got to have a little more get up and go to us."

Philadelphia's lead in the NL East was cut to five games over Florida, which routed the New York Mets 13-4. The Phillies had won nine straight against Washington.

"We're the best team in this division," Manuel said. "Nobody's going to give us nothing."

Manuel watched Ian Desmond homer and drive in four runs in his major league debut and Livan Hernandez pitch effectively into the eighth inning.

Adam Dunn hit his 36th homer for the Nationals, who nearly blew the game in the ninth. Matt Stairs snapped an 0-for-30 skid with a pinch-hit grand slam and Shane Victorino doubled in a run in the Phillies' rally.

The last-place Nationals won for only the second time in 12 games overall.

"We're better than they are," Manuel said. "We've got to get after them more -- like we used to."

Victorino denied that his team was complacent, which Manuel implied. He did say the Phillies are making it harder on themselves.

"We're letting these teams have confidence," Victorino said. "We're not putting teams away like we should. We're not dictating what's happening in the game."

Desmond, a 24-year-old shortstop who was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse on Tuesday, doubled in a run in the fourth and his three-run homer keyed a five-run fifth. He narrowly missed a home run in his first at-bat, flying out to deep center field.

Hernandez (8-10), signed by the Nationals on Aug. 25 after he was released by the Mets, improved to 1-5 with a 6.36 ERA in his last eight starts. He allowed two runs and six hits in 7 1/3 innings.

Philadelphia led 2-0 after one but Pete Orr tied with a two-run triple in the third and Desmond put the Nationals ahead with a run-scoring double off Joe Blanton (9-7) in the fourth.

Dunn and Desmond connected in the fifth. Desmond sprinted around the bases so quickly that he nearly caught Elijah Dukes, who had been on first. Desmond had to be coaxed by his teammates into a halfhearted curtain call.

"I've never had anything like that happen before, you know? I didn't know if they were being serious or not, so I didn't want to look like a dummy," Desmond said. "[Coach Tim] Foli told me to step up on the first step. The other guys were saying, 'They want you, they want you."'

Blanton gave up eight runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings, ending his streak of 11 straight quality starts.

Stairs connected in the ninth off rookie Zack Segovia to make it 8-6, ending the longest hitless stretch of his career. It was Stairs' 19th pinch-hit homer and 12th career slam.

Ron Villone yielded an infield single to Chase Utley before earning his first save this season.

Struggling Phillies closer Brad Lidge pitched a scoreless eighth with two strikeouts.


  • Philadelphia LHP Scott Eyre had an MRI on his ailing left elbow that revealed a "loose body." The Phillies have shut him down for several days while they consider methods of treatment.
  • Philadelphia shortstop Jimmy Rollins made two errors. He had gone 87 games without an error and has made five this season.
  • Washington claimed LHP Jesse English off waivers from San Francisco.
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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Ian Desmond isn't intimidated in his big league debut, homering and driving in four runs.  (AP)
Ian Desmond isn't intimidated in his big league debut, homering and driving in four runs. (AP)

Players of the Game

I. Desmond
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

C. Utley
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 0

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Philadelphia Phillies
Jimmy Rollins, SS5120003 .243
Shane Victorino, CF5121002 .297
Chase Utley, 2B5121000 .293
Ryan Howard, 1B4001012 .273
Raul Ibanez, LF4000000 .278
Jayson Werth, RF4110010 .270
Pedro Feliz, 3B4110001 .268
Carlos Ruiz, C2110200 .254
Joe Blanton, P1010000 .106
    Tyler Walker, P0000000 .000
   a- Andy Tracy, PH1000001 .000
    Chad Durbin, P0000000 .200
    Brad Lidge, P0000000 .000
   b- Matt Stairs, PH1114000 .198
a-flied out for T. Walker in the 7th
b-homered for Lidge in the 9th
2B - Shane Victorino (34, MacDougal)
3B - Chase Utley (2, Hernandez)
HR - Matt Stairs (5, Segovia)
SF - Ryan Howard (6)
SH - Joe Blanton (8)
RBI - Shane Victorino (56), Chase Utley (86), Ryan Howard (117), Matt Stairs 4 (17)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Ruiz-Utley-Blanton
E - Jimmy Rollins 2 (5, Throwing)
Philadelphia Phillies
Joe Blanton (L,9-7) 4.2788442 4.11
Tyler Walker 1.1000010 1.71
Chad Durbin 1100110 4.73
Brad Lidge 1100020 6.97
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Blanton 99-57, Tyler Walker 17-11, Chad Durbin 22-13, Brad Lidge 24-19
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Blanton 6-4, Tyler Walker 1-3, Chad Durbin 1-1
Batters Faced - Joe Blanton 25, Tyler Walker 5, Chad Durbin 5, Brad Lidge 4
Washington Nationals
Willie Harris, CF-LF4220100 .233
Pete Orr, 2B5012042 .324
    Mike MacDougal, P0000000 .000
    Ron Villone, P0000000 .000
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B5000023 .294
Adam Dunn, 1B4112011 .281
    Mike Morse, 1B0000000 .286
Josh Willingham, LF3110100 .281
    Justin Maxwell, PR-CF0000000 .195
Elijah Dukes, RF2210210 .259
Ian Desmond, SS4124003 .500
Wil Nieves, C3110102 .254
Livan Hernandez, P1000003 .133
    Sean Burnett, P0000000 .000
   a- Jesus Flores, PH1000000 .304
    Zach Segovia, P0000000 .000
    Alberto Gonzalez, 2B0000000 .259
a-popped out for Burnett in the 8th
2B - Willie Harris (17, Blanton), Josh Willingham (29, Durbin), Ian Desmond (1, Blanton)
3B - Willie Harris (4, Lidge), Pete Orr (1, Blanton)
HR - Adam Dunn (36, Blanton), Ian Desmond (1, Blanton)
SH - Livan Hernandez 2 (11)
RBI - Pete Orr 2 (6), Adam Dunn 2 (96), Ian Desmond 4 (4)
2-OUT RBI - Adam Dunn 2 (29), Ian Desmond 3 (3)
SB - Josh Willingham (4, 2nd base off Blanton/Ruiz)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Gonzalez-Desmond-Morse
E - Ian Desmond (1, Throwing)
Washington Nationals
Livan Hernandez (W,8-10) 7.1622120 5.30
Sean Burnett 0.2000000 2.88
Zach Segovia 0.1243101 81.00
Mike MacDougal0211000 3.55
Ron Villone (S,1) 0.2100000 4.20
WP - Mike MacDougal (10)
Pitches-Strikes - Livan Hernandez 106-71, Sean Burnett 9-5, Zach Segovia 20-10, Mike MacDougal 5-4, Ron Villone 10-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Livan Hernandez 9-11, Sean Burnett 2-0, Zach Segovia 1-1, Ron Villone 1-0
Batters Faced - Livan Hernandez 29, Sean Burnett 2, Zach Segovia 5, Mike MacDougal 2, Ron Villone 2
Game Information
Attendance - 18706
Game Time - 3:03
Temperature - 66
Umpires - Home - Dale Scott, First Base - Mike Estabrook, Second Base - Jerry Meals, Third Base - Ron Kulpa