Halladay struggles, Phillies lose 5-2 to Nats

PBR - Coming into his start Tuesday night, the Phillies' Roy Halladay had a flawless resume against the Washington Nationals, dating back over a decade to the days when the franchise was in Montreal.

Well, sort of like the way this season has been going for Doc, this start was rare. Halladay gave up five runs over six innings at home against the Nationals as the Phils dropped another one, 5-2, to make it four straight losses.

The offense is now in a 3-for-26 slump with runners in scoring position in the last three games.

Down 0-2 in the count to Washington starter Jordan Zimmermann, Hector Luna hit a ground-rule double over the center field wall that scored Hunter Pence to put the Phils (21-23) on the board early in the second inning.

However, that lead was short-lived as the Nationals (26-17) took it right back when Bryce Harper ripped a two-run triple off Halladay before scoring later in the inning on a sacrifice fly from Adam LaRoche - his 32nd RBI (tied for National League East-lead). Then, Ian Desmond waited on a curve and drove it over the fence for a solo shot to make it 4-1.

Harper went 2-for-5 in the game to raise his average to .316 in 19 at-bats versus the Phillies this season. Although a catcher in high school, Harper has some exceptional wheels on the basepaths, evident in the three-bagger and also in stealing home during the previous series with the Phils.

Zimmermann allowed one run on seven hits through six innings in the win. Nats closer Tyler Clippard recorded the save after a perfect ninth to put the Nationals back into first-place in the division.

Things got interesting when catcher Carlos Ruiz was ejected in the third inning for arguing a called-ball from Halladay with umpire Gary Cederstrom, his second ejection of his career.

After Brian Schneider filled in for Chooch, backup catcher Erik Kratz did hit his first career home run pinch-hitting in the eighth to add one run, but not enough to spark a comeback.

Jake Diekman came on in relief for Halladay in the seventh, hurling 1 2/3 innings and handing it off to the big righty Jose Contreras. Antonio Bastardo also made an appearance out of the 'pen.

The final game of the series will feature lefthander Cole Hamels (6-1, 2.48 ERA), who created an uproar after admitting to intentionally hitting Harper with a pitch in his last start against Washington. He will be opposed by Edwin Jackson (1-1, 3.31 ERA) as first pitch will be 7:05.

No comments: