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Werth powers Nationals in win over his ex-team

The Sports Xchange
Notes, Quotes · Roster Report · Werth powers Nationals in win over his ex-team

There was lots of talk of payback for Jayson Werth in his first game against his former team, but the Nationals right fielder's performance on Tuesday night doesn't really meet that definition.

First, the Phillies helped Werth go from a disappointing first-round pick to an All-Star and one of the highest-paid players in the game. And second, he's not trying to get payback so much as he's trying to help create in Washington what he did in Philadelphia. That's a lot bigger than one game, and it will take much longer.

Werth went 2-for-3 with a homer and a double in his first game against the Phillies on Tuesday, helping the Nationals to a 7-4 win over the defending NL East champions. The home run silenced a heavily pro-Phillies crowd of 13,413, many of whom had been booing Werth every time he came to the plate or caught a flyball.

He said the home run was probably a bit more special than a normal homer because it came against his former team -- "I was just trying to perform well for (Phillies manager) Charlie (Manuel)," he quipped -- but he also said his main goal is to help the Nationals win championships. For that to happen, his new team probably will have to go through Philadelphia.

"That's the only way we're going to do it, (by beating the Phillies,)" Werth said. "You're going to have to win a division, you're going to have to win a wild card, and that takes work."

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