Phils bounce back from losing streak in 4-1 win over first-place Washington

PBR - There was no bench-clearing brawls or any Nationals' retaliation to Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels nonchalant admittance of beaning Washington phenom Bryce Harper in their last encounter. Nothing at all like that.

Hamels was just out on the hill Wednesday night to do his job, breezing through eight shutout innings and giving up only four hits with eight strikeouts as the Phils avoided the series sweep with a 4-1 win over the Nats at Citizens Bank Park.

Hamels is now tied for the MLB-lead in wins with six and dropped his ERA to 2.17, good for fourth among starters in the National League East.

The offense was able to snap out of the stretch of poor at-bats with runners in scoring position, going 2-for-6 with manger Charlie Manuel's tweaks to the lineup - most notable Carlos Ruiz batting cleanup.

Ruiz went 3-for-4 with a double in the win, raising his average to .357 (first among NL catchers) in his first career game batting fourth for the Phillies (22-23).

Mike Fontenot notched his first RBI as a Phillie in the second inning when he drove in Ruiz with a single. The next inning it was Shane Victorino that hit a two-out double that plated Hunter Pence to make it 2-0.

The Nats (26-18) tried to cut the lead in half during the sixth when Pence gunned down Danny Espinosa at the plate from right field to assist a terrific play blocking the plate by Chooch.

Victorino finished 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI and a run scored.

Also, the seamless transition from second base to shortstop for rookie Freddy Galvis has been another great sight to see defensively for Phils fans, as he made two more great plays Wednesday night.

In the seventh, with Fontenot breaking from third base heading home, leadoff batter Juan Pierre dropped a one-out bunt for the successful suicide squeeze to give the team another insurance run. Then, Victorino hit his sixth home run of the season in the eighth off reliever Henry Rodriguez to break the game open.

Jonathon Papelbon was on in the last inning in a non-save situation, giving up a solo homer to Adam LaRoche but still striking out two.

On the other hand, Edwin Jackson started for the Nationals, going seven innings and allowing three runs on seven hits and walking a pair in the losing effort.

The team will travel to St. Louis overnight for a series with the Cardinals, with the first game Thursday night. Joe Blanton (4-3, 3.61 in eight starts) will go up against Jake Westbrook (4-3, 2.41 ERA) in the series opener set for 7:15.

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