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Johnson, Nationals use five-run ninth to beat Phillies

Apr 1, 2008 - 12:22 AM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- The Washington Nationals looked nothing like the team that scored the fewest runs in baseball last season.

Nick Johnson provided the go-ahead hit and the Washington Nationals spoiled the Philadelphia Phillies' home opener by scoring five runs in the ninth inning en route to an 11-6 victory on Monday.

Lastings Milledge blasted a two-run homer in the sixth, and scored on Johnson's go-ahead double off Tom Gordon as Washington won its second straight.

The Nationals christened their new ballpark Sunday night with a 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves, winning on a walk-off homer by Ryan Zimmerman.

Milledge is one of the new additions brought in to improve an offense that scored just 673 runs in 2007. But the 22-year-old Milledge, who was acquired from the New York Mets in the offseason, thinks this year will be different.

"It was great," Milledge said of the ninth-inning outburst. "On paper, everybody is putting us as the worst offense so it is good to score a lot of runs in one inning to show people that we can hit.

"We have a bunch of guys who can hit the ball, first through eight, anybody can take the game over at anytime. We have a great group of guys and we have a great offense and we have shown flashes of it so far."

Milledge is not alone in that thinking.

"I think we are more capable of turning the lineup over like we did today a couple of times," said Austin Kearns, who drove in a pair of runs. "We can have the big inning which is something we struggled a lot with last year. I think our chances are better this year."

Reigning National League MVP Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley each homered for the Phillies, who rallied from a four-run deficit before Gordon imploded in the ninth.

"It is good to be 2-0," Johnson said. "The Phillies are a great team and we just have to continue doing the little things and play the game the right way."

"It wasn't my day," Gordon said. "I feel completely healthy. There is nothing I have to worry about in that aspect. Only one pitch I am missing right now (fastball). You definitely don't want to start the season off that way. I definitely don't."

Philadelphia, which lost six of its first seven last season, has not had a winning April since 2003.

With the Phillies trailing, 6-2, in the sixth, Utley blasted a solo shot to slice the lead to 6-3. Carlos Ruiz added an RBI double and Rollins knotted the game at 6-6 with a two-run shot off reliever Ray King in a three-run seventh.

However, the Nationals responded by pounding Gordon (0-1) for five runs in the ninth. Milledge began the huge frame as he reached on an field single. Johnson then drilled a fastball to right-center field, advancing to third when Milledge scored standing up ahead of Rollins' throw home.

"Gordon is real tough, a good pitcher," said Johnson, who missed last season while recovering from a broken leg. "The ball gets on you real quick, You just try and get a pitch and don't miss it because he has a couple of other good pitches."

After Kearns drew a walk, Johnson scored on a throwing error by Ruiz, who tried to snuff out a safety squeeze and fired the ball into left field.

Paul Lo Duca then plated Kearns with a double, and Ronnie Belliard made it 10-6 with a double to left-center field before Dmitri Young's pinch-hit double capped the outburst.

"We had the game under the control, and they are a good team and came back on our bullpen, and we just felt like it was our game," Washington manager Manny Acta said. "We have to get back and put together a bunch of good at-bats against Tom and ended up scoring a bunch of runs at the end."

"Today was not a good day for him (Gordon) of course," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "He did not have his best stuff."

Saul Rivera (1-0), who pitched a scoreless ninth, was the beneficiary of the offensive explosion.

Philadelphia led, 2-0, after four but Washington responded with a four-run fifth frame. The big hit came from Kearns, who drilled a two-run double to right field off Philadelphia starter Brett Myers.

Myers allowed four runs - three earned - and five hits in five innings. He struck out two and walked two. Meanwhile, Washington starter Matt Chico allowed three runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings with four strikeouts and one walk.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    WASHINGTON 0 0 0 0 4 2 0 0 5 11 12 0
    PHILADELPHIA 1 0 0 1 0 1 3 0 0 6 8 2 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: WAS - MATT CHICO, JOEL HANRAHAN (6TH), RAY KING (7TH), SAUL RIVERA
    (8TH), JESUS COLOME (9TH) AND PAUL LO DUCA
    PHI - BRETT MYERS, RYAN MADSON (6TH), CHAD DURBIN
    (7T

    Mar 31 6:03 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY DMITRI YOUNG SCORED RONNIE BELLIARD.
    SITUATION: 5 RUNS IN, D YOUNG ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 11
    PHILADELPHIA 6 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: C GUZMAN (.333, 2-FOR-5)

    Nationals 11, Phillies 6  Top 9, 0 OutsMar 31 5:55 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY RONNIE BELLIARD SCORED PAUL LO DUCA.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, R BELLIARD ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 10
    PHILADELPHIA 6 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: W HARRIS (.000, 0-FOR-3, BB)

    Nationals 10, Phillies 6  Top 9, 0 OutsMar 31 5:48 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY PAUL LO DUCA SCORED AUSTIN KEARNS.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, P LO DUCA ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 9
    PHILADELPHIA 6 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R BELLIARD (.000, 0-FOR-4)

    Nationals 9, Phillies 6  Top 9, 0 OutsMar 31 5:46 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY CARLOS RUIZ ALLOWED NICK JOHNSON TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A KEARNS ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 8
    PHILADELPHIA 6 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: P LO DUCA (.000, 0-FOR-3, HBP)

    Nationals 8, Phillies 6  Top 9, 0 OutsMar 31 5:45 PM
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    RUWTbot Took away 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Nationals 8, Phillies 6  Top 9, 0 OutsMar 31 5:45 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY NICK JOHNSON SCORED LASTINGS MILLEDGE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N JOHNSON ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 7
    PHILADELPHIA 6 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: A KEARNS (.500, 2-FOR-3, BB, 2 RBI)

    Nationals 7, Phillies 6  Top 9, 0 OutsMar 31 5:42 PM
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    Nationals 6, Phillies 6  Top 9, 0 OutsMar 31 5:34 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY JIMMY ROLLINS (1) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 1
    OUT IN THE 7TH OFF RAY KING SCORED CARLOS RUIZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 6, PHILADELPHIA 6
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: S VICTORINO (.000, 0-FOR-2, SAC)

    Nationals 6, Phillies 6  Bot 7, 0 OutsMar 31 5:17 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CARLOS RUIZ SCORED JAYSON WERTH.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C RUIZ ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 6
    PHILADELPHIA 4 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: C DURBIN (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Nationals 6, Phillies 4  Bot 7, 0 OutsMar 31 5:11 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CHASE UTLEY (1) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    6TH OFF MATT CHICO.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 6, PHILADELPHIA 3
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: R HOWARD (.500, 1-FOR-2)

    Nationals 6, Phillies 3  Bot 6, 0 OutsMar 31 4:51 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY LASTINGS MILLEDGE (1) TO LEFT WITH 2
    OUT IN THE 6TH OFF RYAN MADSON SCORED CRISTIAN GUZMAN.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 6, PHILADELPHIA 2
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R ZIMMERMAN (.167, 0-FOR-2, SF, RBI)

    Nationals 6, Phillies 2  Top 6, 0 OutsMar 31 4:45 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY JIMMY ROLLINS ALLOWED NICK JOHNSON TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, P LO DUCA ON FIRST, A KEARNS ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 4
    PHILADELPHIA 2 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R BELLIARD (.000, 0-FOR-2)

    Nationals 4, Phillies 2  Top 5, 0 OutsMar 31 4:27 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY AUSTIN KEARNS SCORED CRISTIAN GUZMAN AND LASTINGS
    MILLEDGE.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, A KEARNS ON SECOND, N JOHNSON ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 3
    PHILADELPHIA 2 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: P LO DUCA (.000, 0-FOR-1, HBP)

    Nationals 3, Phillies 2  Top 5, 0 OutsMar 31 4:25 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY RYAN ZIMMERMAN SCORED MATT CHICO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, L MILLEDGE ON FIRST, C GUZMAN ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 1
    PHILADELPHIA 2 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: N JOHNSON (.400, 1-FOR-2)

    Nationals 1, Phillies 2  Top 5, 0 OutsMar 31 4:22 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY PAT BURRELL SCORED CHASE UTLEY.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, P BURRELL ON FIRST, R HOWARD ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 0
    PHILADELPHIA 2 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: P FELIZ (.000, 0-FOR-1)

    Nationals 0, Phillies 2  Bot 4, 0 OutsMar 31 4:08 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY CHASE UTLEY SCORED JIMMY ROLLINS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 0
    PHILADELPHIA 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: R HOWARD (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Nationals 0, Phillies 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsMar 31 3:19 PM
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    Nationals vs. PhilliesMar 31 2:05 AM