Washington at Philadelphia

Scoreboard
Washington (26-17) «0041000005100
Philadelphia (21-23)010000010291

Nats move into first place in NL East

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PHILADELPHIA -- Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals continued their domination of the Philadelphia Phillies.

The big surprise is they did it against ace Roy Halladay.

Jordan Zimmermannpitched six solid innings, and Ian Desmond and Rick Ankiel homered to lead the Nationals to a 5-2 victory Tuesday night.

Harper tripled, singled and drove in two runs for the Nationals, who won their third straight overall and beat the Phillies for the sixth straight time in Philadelphia -- something that never had been done in the franchise's 43-year history. Washington has defeated Philadelphia in four of the five meetings this season and 13 of the last 16 overall.

Halladay (4-4) continued his indifferent season with his second-worst start of the season, going six innings and allowing five runs and nine hits with six strikeouts and one walk.

It was especially surprising against the Nationals, a franchise Halladay has dominated with an 11-1 record and 2.28 ERA in 16 career starts. His last loss to the Washington franchise came on June 28, 2002 as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays against the then-Montreal Expos.

"You've got to be aggressive against him because he'll throw strikes," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said of Halladay. "He's a Hall of Famer, you better be up there swinging."

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Harper did just that by belting the first pitch he saw, a 79 mph curveball, to right-center for a two-run triple in the third inning that put the Nationals in front for good, 2-1.

"He hung a curveball to the kid and he smoked it," Johnson said. "It was a turning point in the game as far as I'm concerned."

Said Harper, "I was looking for a first-pitch curveball and I got it. I was just trying to hit something up the middle and score some runs."

Erik Kratz homered for Philadelphia, which lost its season-worst fourth straight game while struggling once again with runners in scoring position. The Phillies have scored three runs in their last three games and are 5 for their last 38 with runners in scoring position.

"We do it about every night," Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said. "It gets to the point where you're just trying to get somebody in. Our starting pitching, they're going to give up some runs. They're only human, too.

"We should be able to come back and win some games every now and then. How many times have we come back and won games being behind? We just don't put together enough. We don't hit the ball good enough to win the game."

Halladay's only worse start this season was May 2 at Atlanta when he gave up eight runs and 12 hits in 5 1-3 innings. After winning his first three decisions, Halladay is 1-4 with a 4.75 ERA in his last seven starts.

Manuel said the lack of run support could be having a negative effect on his ace.

"When you don't score enough runs or [a pitcher's] not getting very many runs, he thinks that he has to be too good and too fine," Manuel said. "He thinks that every batter is urgent to him. I've heard guys say they don't let it bother them. At times, it may not. At other times, it can."

Halladay admitted that he may have been trying to do too much, saying that all of the Phillies need to approach the game in a more relaxed manner.

"A lot of guys, including myself, are trying to carry the weight of the team. You can't do that," he said. "A lot of us need to go out there and have fun playing the game. You start pressing and it makes things worse."

Zimmermann (3-4) earned his first win in five career starts against Philadelphia, surrendering one run and seven hits in six innings. He entered 0-3 with a 6.00 ERA against the Phillies.

"I kept the fastball down and the slider was exceptionally good tonight," he said. "I was just going after them, attacking. I threw the ball a little more inside than I usually do."

Tyler Clippard, who was taking the place of demoted closer Henry Rodriguez, pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his first save in two chances. Johnson told reporters before the game that Rodriguez no longer would be the team's closer after converting 9 of 12 save opportunities this season. Johnson said he would go with a closer-by-committee approach.

The Phillies took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on Hector Luna's grounds-rule double to center before the Nationals scored four runs in the third.

After consecutive singles to open the inning by Zimmerann and Steve Lomardozzi, Harper tripled to deep right-center to give the Nationals a 2-1 lead. Harper scored on Adam LaRoche's sacrifice fly, and Desmond homered to left to put Washington up 4-1.

It was Desmond's eighth homer of the season and fourth in his last seven games.

Philadelphia catcher Carlos Ruiz was ejected by home-plate umpire Gary Cederstrom in the frame when he argued a called ball on the second pitch to Danny Espinosa, the final batter of the inning.

"He said he just told the umpire that that was a strike," Manuel said. "He said when he looked up at him, the guy threw him out of the game."

Said Halladay, "I didn't see anything wrong with what he did. He didn't turn around. He simply said the pitch was a strike. I've never seen one like that before. Unfortunately he's our best player and he gets run out of the game."

The Nationals tacked on a run in the fourth when Ankiel drove the first pitch he saw from Halladay over the fence in center.

As they have during the losing streak, the Phillies continued to struggle with runners in scoring position. The most glaring example Tuesday came in the third inning when Placido Polanco singled and Shane Victorino doubled to put runners on second and third with one out. But Zimmermann got Hunter Pence to strike out and Brian Schneider to fly out to center.

"I think it's him thinking that he definitely has to knock a run in and he's more apt to be kind of amped up," Manuel said of Pence, who is 1 for his last 21 with runners in scoring position. "When you're overanxious and stuff, you're definitely subject to chase balls out of the strike zone. That's what being overanxious and trying too hard is."

Philadelphia left two runners on base in the second through fifth innings.

The Phillies did get a run in the eighth on pinch-hitter Kratz's first career homer, a drive to center off reliever Tom Gorzelanny. Kratz was called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley before the game after Jimmy Rollins was placed on the three-day Paternity List following the birth of his daughter on Sunday night.

Notes

  • Washington's Ryan Zimmerman was removed from the lineup with shoulder soreness just before the game after initially being slated to bat third and play third base. He was replaced by Chad Tracy.
  • Phillies RHP Vance Worley will not need Tommy John surgery on his elbow after consulting with Dr. James Andrews. Worley has right elbow inflammation and indicated he has a bone chip and may need surgery after the season.
  • The crowd of 45,569 was the Phillies' 227th straight sellout and 243rd counting postseason play.
  • Philadelphia LHP Cole Hamels (6-1, 2.48) is scheduled to face Washington RHP Edwin Jackson (1-1, 3.31) in the series finale Wednesday night. Hamels sparked a firestorm of controversy in his last start against Washington on May 6 when he intentionally hit Harper, an incident that earned Hamels a five-game suspension.
 
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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The Nats' Jordan Zimmermann earns his first win in five career starts against the Phillies, allowing one run in six innings. (Getty Images)
The Nats' Jordan Zimmermann earns his first win in five career starts against the Phillies, allowing one run in six innings. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Washington

B. Harper
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
Washington

J. Zimmermann
IP 6.0
H 7
ER 1
BB 2
K 2
 

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Washington Nationals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Stephen Lombardozzi, LF5120001 .321
    Tyler Clippard, P0000000 .000
Bryce Harper, RF5122021 .264
Chad Tracy, 3B4000022 .255
Adam LaRoche, 1B3001011 .298
Ian Desmond, SS3111110 .280
Danny Espinosa, 2B4020001 .219
Rick Ankiel, CF4111032 .231
Jesus Flores, C4000022 .227
Jordan Zimmermann, P3120000 .188
    Tom Gorzelanny, P0000000 .667
   a- Roger Bernadina, PH-LF1000010 .224
Totals365105112  
a-struck out for Gorzelanny in the 9th
Batting
3B - Bryce Harper (3, Halladay)
HR - Ian Desmond (8, Halladay), Rick Ankiel (3, Halladay)
SF - Adam LaRoche (2)
RBI - Bryce Harper 2 (9), Adam LaRoche (32), Ian Desmond (21), Rick Ankiel (9)
2-OUT RBI - Ian Desmond (8)
SB - Ian Desmond (5, 2nd base off Halladay/Schneider), Danny Espinosa (4, 2nd base off Contreras/Schneider)
Team LOB - 6
Washington Nationals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jordan Zimmermann (W,3-4) 6711220 2.47
Tom Gorzelanny 2211001 4.29
Tyler Clippard (S,1) 1000010 3.15
IBB - Fontenot by Jordan Zimmermann
Pitches-Strikes - Jordan Zimmermann 107-71, Tom Gorzelanny 22-16, Tyler Clippard 14-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jordan Zimmermann 7-9, Tom Gorzelanny 5-1, Tyler Clippard 2-0
Batters Faced - Jordan Zimmermann 27, Tom Gorzelanny 8, Tyler Clippard 3
Philadelphia Phillies
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Juan Pierre, LF5000002 .304
Placido Polanco, 3B5010000 .283
Shane Victorino, CF4010000 .260
Hunter Pence, RF3110112 .265
Carlos Ruiz, C1000000 .344
    Brian Schneider, C2010002 .289
   a- Erik Kratz, PH-C1111000 .250
Hector Luna, 1B4011012 .375
Freddy Galvis, SS4010001 .236
Mike Fontenot, 2B3010101 .400
Roy Halladay, P2010002 .231
   b- Ty Wigginton, PH1000000 .248
    Jacob Diekman, P0000000 .000
    Jose Contreras, P0000000 .000
    Antonio Bastardo, P0000000 .000
   c- Pete Orr, PH1000010 .282
Totals3629223  
a-homered for Schneider in the 8th
b-flied out for Halladay in the 6th
c-struck out for Bastardo in the 9th
Batting
2B - Shane Victorino (8, Zimmermann), Hector Luna (1, Zimmermann)
HR - Erik Kratz (1, Gorzelanny)
RBI - Erik Kratz (1), Hector Luna (6)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
E - Roy Halladay (1, Throwing)
Philadelphia Phillies
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Roy Halladay (L,4-4) 6955162 3.58
Jacob Diekman 1.2100040 7.71
Jose Contreras 1000010 6.55
Antonio Bastardo 0.1000010 1.42
Pitches-Strikes - Roy Halladay 92-66, Jacob Diekman 20-17, Jose Contreras 10-7, Antonio Bastardo 4-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Roy Halladay 5-7, Jacob Diekman 1-0, Jose Contreras 1-1
Batters Faced - Roy Halladay 28, Jacob Diekman 6, Jose Contreras 3, Antonio Bastardo 1
Game Information
Attendance - 45569
Game Time - 2:38
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Gary Cederstrom, First Base - Lance Barksdale, Second Base - Field Culbreth, Third Base - Adrian Johnson