The Phillies have faced the Seattle Mariners, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets, Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals in their last six series. In the not so distant past, the thought of the Phillies winning five of them would have been a ridiculous thought.
But after Saturday, the Phillies have indeed won five of the last six series. A.J. Burnett allowed one run in seven innings while hits from Ryan Howard and Domonic Brown backed the gem in a 3-1 win over the Nationals on Saturday afternoon at Nationals Park.
The Phillies struck first in the top of the third. Burnett singled with one out and Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley hit two-out singles to load the bases for Howard. Howard hit a 1-0 pitch from Tanner Roark into right field for a two-run single.
The Nationals cut the lead to one in the fifth. With runners on the corners and one out, Anthony Rendon hit a sacrifice fly to plate Asdrubal Cabrera.
Moments later, the Phillies got the run back on a solo home run by Brown, his ninth of the season.
Burnett allowed one run on six hits in seven innings. He walked two and struck out four.
Ken Giles worked another scoreless inning in the eighth while striking out two. Jonathan Papelbon allowed one hit and struck out one before getting Wilson Ramos to ground into a game-ending 6-4-3 double play. It was Papelbon’s 35th save of the season.
The Phillies improved to 66-75 with the win and go for a sweep of the Nationals on Sunday afternoon. Cole Hamels gets the start against Gio Gonzalez.
L: Tanner Roark (12-10)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (35)