The Phillies entered tonight already securing their third series victory in a row. Could the Phillies finish off a sweep against the first place Washington Nationals? While the team had to promote the Taney Dragons to help sell tickets, the team stepped up to give fans some quality baseball that they had desired all along.
In the first inning, Kyle Kendrick was… Kyle Kendrick. Denard Span lead off the game with a single. Anthony Rendon followed with an RBI double to give the Nationals a 1-0 lead. But, that was not it for the Nationals in the first inning. After a Jayson Werth walk, Adam La Roche grounded into a double play. However, Rendon moved up to third base. He would score when Ian Desmond followed with a single.
But, the Phillies would not give up. They would equal the Nationals' two runs with two of their own right away. After Ben Revere was retired, Jimmy Rollins hit a solo home run. Chase Utley followed with a single, and after Ryan Howard's single turned into an error by center fielder Denard Span, Utley scored to even it up.
The Nationals would get the next two. After Denard Span doubled in the top of the third inning, Jayson Werth would single him in. In the fifth inning it would be Denard Span all over again. Span hit a solo home run to put the Nationals up 4-2. But that would be it for the Nationals scoring.
Marlon Byrd led off the the sixth inning with a single. Domonic Brown followed with an RBI double to the right-center gap and Byrd would score to bring the Phillies within one. Wil Nieves would ground into a fielder's choice that would get Brown out at third. But pinch-hitter Grady Sizemore would take Kendrick's spot in the bottom of the sixth and belted a two-run home run that put the Phillies up 5-3.
The Phillies would add three more. In the seventh inning after Ryan Howard singled, Marlon Byrd hit a home run to drive in two more to put the Phillies up 7-3. The Phillies started the bottom of the eighth with a pinch-hit single by Darin Ruf, who contributed his first pinch-hit of the year. Ben Revere followed with his own single, and Jimmy Rollins bunted them to second and third. Chase Utley was intentionally walked for Ryan Howard. Howard responded with a single to put the Phillies up 8-4.
That would be the final score.
- Jimmy Rollins went 2-2 including a home run, and also contributed two walks and a sacrifice
- Grady Sizemore was 1-1, a pinch-hit home run
- Marlon Byrd was 3-5 with two RBI and two runs scored of his own
It's too little too late for the Phillies to have any impact forward, but in the last three days the Phillies allowed the Atlanta Braves to pick up one game in the standings. With a 6.5 game lead, the Nationals probably have the division locked up, but every game matters as the teams head down the stretch and will face each other.
One nice thing to see: Ken Giles closing out a ninth inning. It was not a save situation, but with a four-run lead, it was close. Giles responded to the situation and got the last three outs. The future Phillies closer did a good job; with two singles in the ninth inning, Giles was able to keep the Nationals from scoring and shut the door.
The Phillies have a day off Thursday before heading up to New York to face the Mets in Flushing. The Phillies will send to the mound David Buchanan, Jerome Williams, and A.J. Burnett. The Mets will counter with Jacob de Grom, Bartolo Colon, and Dillon Gee, respectively. The trade deadline is Sunday, and with both Colon and Burnett having cleared waivers, maybe either could end up switching teams during this three-game series.