Washington, DC (Sports Network) – Consecutive road losses have become something of an anomaly for the Philadelphia Phillies.
The team with the major’s best record shook off a ninth-inning collapse in Friday’s series opener to shut down the Washington Nationals, 5-0.
Jimmy Rollins and Wilson Valdez both knocked in two runs for the Phillies, who established a franchise record by going 31 games without back-to-back losses as the visiting club. Philadelphia hasn’t dropped two straight on the road since a four-game slide from May 31-June 4.
“That’s how you have to do it,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of his team’s bounce-back ability. “When you lose a game, you have to come out the next night. You just have to worry about that night’s game.”
Roy Oswalt (6-7) took the mound for the second straight Saturday against Washington after an extended rain delay at the outset of Friday’s game forced his start to be pushed back. The right-hander gave up eight hits, walked one and recorded nine strikeouts over eight innings. The strikeout total and innings pitched were both season highs.
John Lannan (8-9) surrendered five runs — three earned — on seven hits and four walks in five-plus frames for Washington. He fell to 1-12 lifetime versus Philadelphia.
The Nationals scored six runs in the bottom of the ninth inning Friday to beat the Phillies 8-4 on Ryan Zimmerman’s walkoff grand slam. They looked to pick up from where they left off in their first at-bat Saturday, as Michael Morse followed a two-out single by Zimmerman with a double to right field. Oswalt fanned Laynce Nix to end the inning.
After wasting a bases-loaded opportunity in the second, Philadelphia took advantage of a error to open the scoring two innings later.
John Mayberry Jr. singled to keep the fourth alive, but was picked off by Lannan. However, Washington shortstop Ian Desmond dropped the throw from first baseman Morse. Lannan then walked Carlos Ruiz before Valdez ripped a triple the other way into the right-field corner.
Washington put its first two batters on base in the bottom of the inning. Zimmerman blooped a single to center field and Morse drew a walk. After Nix popped out in foul territory, Zimmerman was thrown out at home by Mayberry on Jayson Werth’s single to left field. Oswalt then struck out Danny Espinosa swinging to end the inning.
The Phillies added three more runs in the sixth. Hunter Pence led off by belting his 15th home run of the season to left field before Lannan allowed singles to the next two batters he faced and was replaced by Collin Balester.
“In the sixth inning, when he sometimes gets a little tired, he humps up and then the ball comes up,” Nationals manager Davey Johnson said of his starter. “It wasn’t real good pitch selection to Pence.”
After Valdez grounded into a fielder’s choice, Morse fielded an Oswalt bunt and Ruiz beat his throw to third, loading the bases. Ruiz and Valdez then scored on Rollins’ single up the middle.
The Phillies have won 12 of their last 14 road games…Philadelphia improved its NL-best record in weekend games to 40-20…The Phillies recorded their 16th shutout of the season…Zimmerman has reached base safely in 26 straight games.