for this game

Nationals rally in eighth, halt lengthy slide

Aug 22, 2008 - 3:57 AM By Vince DiGregorio PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Joel Hanrahan helped end the misery for the Washington Nationals.

Hanrahan pitched two scoreless innings of relief after Jesus Flores and Austin Kearns delivered consecutive run-scoring singles in the eighth, helping the Nationals snap a 12-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday.

The win also halted Washington's seven-game skid against Philadelphia, which had won three straight overall.

"I thought it was tremendous to snap our losing streak, and it went right down to the wire," Nationals manager Manny Acta said.

After watching their 2-1 lead disappear in the seventh, the Nationals rallied in the eighth against Ryan Madson (3-2) to halt the longest skid in franchise history since August 1976, when they also dropped 12 in a row as the Montreal Expos.

"It was big to get that win for us today," Hanrahan said. "Twelve losses in a row is tough. We had to do anything we could today to get that W, and we were fortunate to do it."

Ryan Zimmerman and Lastings Milledge began the eighth with broken-bat singles and advanced on Ronnie Belliard's sacrifice. Flores tied the game at 3-3 with an infield single to second base that plated Zimmerman, and Kearns followed with a base hit to center field, driving in Milledge with the go-ahead run.

"We had a rough eighth inning," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "It seemed like everything that they (hit) fell for them. It wasn't like Madson got hit so hard. It was just the fact that (Washington) got some breaks and took advantage of them tonight."

The rally made a winner of Saul Rivera (4-5), who yielded a pair of runs in the seventh, and Hanrahan followed for the Nationals' first two-inning save since 2005. But he did not make it easy.

"I still made it interesting," Hanrahan said. "Obviously, it wasn't how I would have pictured anything. Saul has been consistent for us all year. He made one mistake today, but we were able to fight back and get the lead. I was ready for the challenge and got a little luck."

Hanrahan escaped a two-on, none-out jam in the eighth, when he struck out Ryan Howard and got Pat Burrell to hit into an inning-ending double play. Shane Victorino led off the ninth with a single and promptly stole second.

"I knew Victorino was going to try to steal any chance he could," Hanrahan said. "When you got a guy like him on base, it makes it a little interesting."

The righthanded reliever struck out Eric Bruntlett before Victorino took third on a groundout by Carlos Ruiz. But Hanrahan induced pinch hitter Chris Coste to ground out to shortstop, clinching his fourth save of the season.

"Joel Hanrahan did a very good job," Acta said. "He hasn't had a chance to get a save in two weeks, so it wasn't too much to ask for a two-inning save. We're looking for him to be our closer for the rest of the year."

With the loss and a walk-off victory over Atlanta by New York, the Phillies (68-59) fell 2 1/2 games behind the first-place Mets (71-57) in the National League East Division.

Neither team could generate any offense over the first five innings, managing just one hit apiece. Philadelphia starter Jamie Moyer retired 15 of the first 18 batters he faced, while counterpart Tim Redding set down 16 of the first 17 Phillies.

"Both starters were tremendous," Acta said. "Redding gave us a great effort against a tough team."

Washington snapped the scoreless tie in the sixth inning as Anderson Hernandez and Cristian Guzman began the frame with singles. After Zimmerman struck out, Milledge hit what appeared to be an inning-ending, double-play grounder to third.

However, second baseman Chase Utley made an off-balance relay throw that eluded first baseman Ryan Howard for an error allowed Hernandez to score and give the Nationals a 1-0 lead.

Utley atoned for his miscue in the bottom half, delivering a single that plated Jayson Werth, who completed an 11-pitch at-bat with a two-out double to right-center field.

The Nationals regained the advantage in the seventh, when Kearns scored on Hernandez's two-out infield single. But the Phillies got to Rivera in the bottom of the frame to move ahead, 3-2.

Victorino reached on an infield hit and advanced to third on third baseman Zimmerman's throwing error before scoring on pinch hitter Greg Dobbs' groundout. The light-hitting Ruiz followed with a shot to left-center for his third homer of the season.

"Everybody was staying upbeat," Kearns said. "It was kind of back and forth there."

Redding lasted six innings, allowing one run, three hits and a walk with five strikeouts.

"First and foremost, I was trying to be aggressive," Redding said.

Moyer yielded two runs and five hits in 6 2/3 frames, walking three and striking out four. The 45-year-old lefthander has not surrendered more than three runs since June 1, a span of 14 starts.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    WASHINGTON 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 0 4 10 1
    PHILADELPHIA 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 3 8 2 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: WAS - TIM REDDING, SAUL RIVERA (7TH), JOEL HANRAHAN (8TH) AND JESUS
    FLORES, WIL NIEVES (8TH)
    PHI - JAMIE MOYER, CHAD DURBIN (7TH), RYAN MADSON
    (8TH), J.C. ROMERO (

    Aug 21 10:03 PM
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    PhilsPhan33 Added 5 roots

    Nationals 4, Phillies 3  Bot 9, 0 OutsAug 21 9:53 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY AUSTIN KEARNS SCORED LASTINGS MILLEDGE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A KEARNS ON FIRST, J FLORES ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 4
    PHILADELPHIA 3 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: W HARRIS (.252, 1-FOR-2, BB)

    Nationals 4, Phillies 3  Top 8, 0 OutsAug 21 9:15 PM
  • 83
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    RUWTbot Took away 37 roots (Close Finish)

    Nationals 4, Phillies 3  Top 8, 0 OutsAug 21 9:15 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JESUS FLORES SCORED RYAN ZIMMERMAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J FLORES ON FIRST, L MILLEDGE ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 3
    PHILADELPHIA 3 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: A KEARNS (.214, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Nationals 3, Phillies 3  Top 8, 0 OutsAug 21 9:14 PM
  • 120
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    RUWTbot Added 75 roots (Close Finish)

    Nationals 3, Phillies 3  Top 8, 0 OutsAug 21 9:14 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CARLOS RUIZ (3) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 7TH OFF SAUL RIVERA.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 2, PHILADELPHIA 3
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: C DURBIN (.143, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Nationals 2, Phillies 3  Bot 7, 0 OutsAug 21 9:01 PM
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    RUWTbot Took away 75 roots (Close Finish)

    Nationals 2, Phillies 3  Bot 7, 0 OutsAug 21 9:01 PM


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    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY GREG DOBBS SCORED SHANE VICTORINO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 2
    PHILADELPHIA 2 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: C RUIZ (.218, 0-FOR-2)

    Nationals 2, Phillies 2  Bot 7, 0 OutsAug 21 9:00 PM
  • 120
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    RUWTbot Added 37 roots (Close Finish)

    Nationals 2, Phillies 2  Bot 7, 0 OutsAug 21 9:00 PM
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    Nationals 2, Phillies 1  Bot 7, 0 OutsAug 21 8:53 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ANDERSON HERNANDEZ SCORED AUSTIN KEARNS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A HERNANDEZ ON FIRST, W HARRIS ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 2
    PHILADELPHIA 1 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: C GUZMAN (.295, 1-FOR-3)

    Nationals 2, Phillies 1  Top 7, 0 OutsAug 21 8:49 PM
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    Nationals 1, Phillies 1  Top 7, 0 OutsAug 21 8:37 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CHASE UTLEY SCORED JAYSON WERTH.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C UTLEY ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 1
    PHILADELPHIA 1 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: R HOWARD (.230, 0-FOR-2)

    Nationals 1, Phillies 1  Bot 6, 0 OutsAug 21 8:33 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY CHASE UTLEY ALLOWED ANDERSON HERNANDEZ TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, L MILLEDGE ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 1
    PHILADELPHIA 0 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R BELLIARD (.269, 0-FOR-2)

    Nationals 1, Phillies 0  Top 6, 0 OutsAug 21 8:22 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 38 roots

    Nationals 0, Phillies 0  Bot 5, 0 OutsAug 21 8:09 PM