Saturday, May 5, 2012

Phils routed 7-1 by Werth and first-place Washington

PBR - Over his first five starts, it seemed as if Phillies starter Vance Worley would dismiss any questions of a possible sophomore slump this season.

After four solid innings, it even looked like Worley would breeze through Saturday afternoon against Washington as well, but a familiar face would change his outing abruptly.

The quirky right-hander ran into some jams early in the game, but was able to escape each one without allowing any damage until two outs in the fifth inning. That's when former Phillie Jayson Werth slammed a three-run home run to led Washington over the Phillies, 7-1, in divisional play at Nationals Park.

Worley labored in the last two innings of his day, throwing six innings overall and allowing five runs on 11 hits with four punch-outs in his second loss of the year. 

Another former Phillies prospect, southpaw Gio Gonzalez, started for the Nats, pitching seven innings of one-run ball on four hits with seven strikeouts as he continues to be a smart off-season acquisition for Washington (18-9), now 5 1/2 games ahead of the Phillies (13-15) for first in the division.

Gonzalez, who was part of a trade by the Phillies to the Chicago White Sox six years ago for starter Freddy Garcia, is now 3-1 with a 1.72 ERA and 0.90 WHIP in his first six starts in a Nats uniform.

The fourth inning started the scoring with a line drive double off the left field wall  by Shane Victorino, who advanced home after two straight sacrifice flies from Hunter Pence and Carlos Ruiz to make it 1-0.

While Ruiz was hitless in his two plate appearances with runners in scoring position, the catcher did drive in RBI No. 19 that puts Chooch on pace for over 100 RBI this season if he remains successful at the plate.

But, after Werth (2-for-4) homered to provide a huge momentum swing, Washington was able to score two more runs off Worley - one on a solo shot by Ian Desmond. When Joe Savery came on in relief the next inning, he gave up a long ball to Chad Tracy that break it open for the Nationals. Tracy finished 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored while backup third basemen Steve Lombardozzi and Rick Ankiel were also 3-for-4 on the day in a 15-hit winning effort for Washington.

Also appearing in relief for the Phillies was Jose Contreras, who allowed two hits but also struck out two.

Cole Hamels (3-1, 2.78 ERA) takes the mound tomorrow for the last of a three-game set in Washington before a nationally-televised crowd against Nats starter Jordan Zimmerman (1-2, 1.89 ERA). First pitch scheduled for 8:05.

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