(Sports Network) – Usually sellers around the non-waiver trade deadline, the Nationals didn’t seem to impressed on Friday with the Phillies’ big midseason pickup.
One day after spoiling the Philadelphia debut of Roy Oswalt, Washington will go for a third straight win this evening in the second contest of a three-game series at Nationals Park.
Hoping to make up a small deficit for first place in the National League East, the Phillies acquired Oswalt from the Astros on Thursday and gave their new right-hander the start in last night’s opener.
Oswalt, though, struggled in his debut, allowing five runs — four earned — on seven hits over six innings of an 8-1 Washington victory.
“I came out early a little amped up, holding the ball a little tight,” Oswalt said. “I didn’t really start feeling better until the last two innings.”
The Nationals snapped the Phillies’ season-high eight-game win streak and dropped the club 3 1/2 games behind the Braves for first place in the division.
Craig Stammen earned the victory after allowing just one run — a solo homer by Jayson Werth in the seventh inning — and five hits over 6 1/3 frames. Josh Willingham and Roger Bernadina both had a two-run double, while Adam Kennedy collected four hits and scored twice as the Nats won for the third time in four games.
“It was a really good performance by Craig and everybody else who took the ball,” said Washington manager Jim Riggleman.
While Washington is looking to win three in a row for the first time since June 8-10, the club could make more noise off the field today than on. The Nats traded their closer Matt Capps on Thursday and then dealt infielder Cristian Guzman to the Rangers before last night’s game.
Guzman was hitting .282 this year with a pair of homers and 25 RBI and his exit paved the way for Kennedy to start last night. Washington could also end up dealing Adam Dunn and his 24 homers before today’s deadline.
Regardless, Washington has a game to play tonight and it will be sending out a former first-round selection to the hill.
Ross Detwiler, the sixth overall pick of the 2007 draft, will make his second start of the season after returning from hip surgery. The 24-year-old didn’t have a memorable season debut as he gave up five runs — all unearned — on three hits and three walks over 3 2/3 innings of a setback to the Brewers on Sunday.
“We did not have a good day defensively,” Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said after the game. “We certainly didn’t get it done today, but Detwiler has to pitch around [errors]. I thought he did a good job and minimized the damage.”
Detwiler, 24, went 1-6 with a 5.00 earned run average in 15 games last season and has lost both of his previous career starts versus the Phillies, pitching to a 6.00 ERA in that span.
The Phillies will hope Joe Blanton continues to turn things around this evening. He is 4-6 with a 5.85 ERA this year and is coming off a victory over the Rockies on Monday in which he threw six innings of two-run, six-hit ball. It marked the first time in 16 starts this year that he allowed fewer than three runs in an outing.
Blanton, who has also pitched at least six innings in seven of his last eight starts, is 1-4 with a 6.62 ERA in eight road outings this year. The 29-year- old righty is also 2-3 with a 6.51 ERA lifetime versus the Nationals.
The Phillies have won four of seven over Washington this year, taking two of three at Nationals Park from April 5-8. Philadelphia is 22-6 over its last 28 meetings versus Washington and won seven of nine in D.C. last year.