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Preview: Philadelphia Phillies Vs Washington Nationals Game Two

(Sports Network) – While most pitchers usually enjoy facing the Nationals, that hasn’t been the case for Phillies’ hurler Kyle Kendrick.

Kendrick will try to solve his career-long woes versus Washington and extend National League East leading-Philadelphia’s winning streak to six games this evening in the middle contest of a three-game series between the clubs at Citizens Bank Park.

The right-handed Kendrick takes the hill tonight looking to avoid a third straight loss, but that might not be easy given his career performance versus the Nationals.

Kendrick was tagged for five runs over 5 2/3 innings of an Aug. 21 start versus Washington, falling to 0-1 in three starts against them this year while allowing 16 runs over 11 1/3 innings. In nine career starts against the Nats, Kendrick is just 1-3 with a 7.06 ERA.

The 26-year-old has lost four of his last five decisions overall, but did pitch well in a setback to the Mets on Saturday. Kendrick was charged with two runs on five hits and a pair of walks over five innings of a 4-3 setback, falling to 9-9 with a 4.85 earned run average in 30 games this year, all but two of those starts.

Philadelphia stretched its winning streak on Friday with a 9-1 triumph, also improving to 13-3 in September to maintain its three-game edge over second- place Atlanta in the division.

Roy Oswalt allowed an RBI hit to Washington’s Ryan Zimmerman in the first inning, but kept the club off the scoreboard for the rest of his six-inning start.

“When one guy pitches well, the other guys catch on,” Oswalt said. “Momentum is big, so hopefully we can keep this up going forward into the playoffs.”

The Phillies countered with six-run frame in the bottom of the first, getting a pair of RBI from Raul Ibanez during the surge. Carlos Ruiz and Jayson Werth both later added home runs and finished with two RBI apiece for Philadelphia, which has won 17 of its last 21 overall.

Zimmerman matched a career high with four hits, but the Nationals still lost for the seventh time in nine games. Jason Marquis didn’t make it out of the first inning, yielding six runs on six hits and a walk while recording just one out.

“I thought I made some good pitches. They were mostly just ground balls that found the hole,” Marquis said. “Some nights are going to be like that.”

Jordan Zimmermann is scheduled to make his fifth start of the season as he continues his comeback from Tommy John surgery for the Nationals.

The right-hander did not factor into the decision of his first three outings before taking the loss on Sunday versus the Marlins. He was charged with five runs — four earned — on five hits and three walks over just three innings of work.

“I’m still trying to work some kinks out,” said Zimmermann, who has posted a 5.29 ERA over his four starts. “It’s unacceptable to go out there and not have good control.”

The 24-year-old has faced the Phillies just once before, a May 17 start last year in which he got a no-decision despite yielding five runs over five frames.

The Phillies have won four of their last five over the Nationals and lead the season series, 8-5. They are 25-9 at home against Washington since the start of the 2007 season.