Nats Can’t Scratch Cliff Lee, Lose 4-2

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: A starter goes eight innings against the Nats, who score under three runs and lose. Oh, you have? Well, I can’t say I’m surprised.

Ross Detwiler was tagged for four runs in six innings, while Cliff Lee dominated the Nats except for a pair of solo homers, and the Nats (34-36) dropped their second straight to the Phillies, 4-2.

June 18, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Washington Nationals pitcher Ross Detwiler (48) delivers to the plate during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

As Nats games often are, this one was a pitcher’s duel for quite a while. Through five innings, Detwiler and Lee were both mowing down their opposition, having allowed a combined seven hits. The only runs came on a Jayson Werth solo homer in the fourth and a Ryan Howard sacrifice fly in the bottom half of that same inning. The Phillies nearly added to their lead in the fifth on a single by Lee, but Denard Span made a great throw to gun down Delmon Young at the plate.

Unfortunately, the Phillies broke it open in the sixth. After a Ben Revere bunt single, Michael Young roped an RBI double to left to give the Phillies a 2-1 lead, and that was only the beginning. Jimmy Rollins singled and Howard was hit by a pitch to load up the bases with no outs. Detwiler nearly wriggled out of it by striking out Domonic Brown and Delmon Young, but Kevin Frandsen made him pay with a two-run single to right that dropped in just in front of Steve Lombardozzi. Detwiler finished with a not so pretty final line: 6 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 K.

June 17, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Washington Nationals center fielder Jeff Kobernus (26) can not make the catch at the wall on a triple during the third inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Meanwhile, Cliff Lee continued to dominate. He let up another homer, the first one of Jeff Kobernus‘ career, in the eighth, but finished with a strong line: 8 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 9 K. Craig Stammen and Drew Storen each allowed a hit in a scoreless inning of relief, and Jonathan Papelbon exacted revenge on the Nats by earning his fourteenth save of the year.

Adam LaRoche was the only Nat with multiple hits, breaking out of his 0-17 slide with a pair of singles. In addition to the home-run hitters, Anthony Rendon and Ryan Zimmerman both had singles. The Nats will look to avoid the sweep tomorrow.

Next Game: Wednesday in Philadelphia, 7:05 PM. Gonzalez (3-3, 3.40) v. Kendrick (6-4, 3.76)

Topics: Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals

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