Sunday, June 28, 2015

Francoeur's bat not enough as Nationals take game one of twinbill

Jeff Francoeur did his best to power the offense, but Stephen Strasburg's dominance of the Phillies continued on Sunday in the first game of a doubleheader at Citizens Bank Park.



by PATRICK GORDON | Managing Editor
June 28 2015, 4:15 PM EST.
@PGordonPBR
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com 


PHILADELPHIA - Stephen Strasburg continued his dominance of the Phillies on Sunday en route to a Nationals 3-2 win in the first game of a doubleheader at Citizens Bank Park.

Strasburg entered the weekend with a 5-2 record and a 2.48 ERA over 13 career starts against the Phillies. He added another seven stellar innings to his ledger on Sunday, surrendering just two runs on four hits. He struck out nine and walked just one.

"Strasburg pitched as well today as I've seen him pitch in a couple years," said Phillies manager Pete Mackanin. "He used his breaking stuff and threw it for strikes and he good velocity. He pitched better today than we've seen him in the past, especially this year."

Strasburg's two blemishes came off the bat of Jeff Francoeur - first via a solo shot to right in the second and then an RBI-single in the sixth.

Trailing 1-0, Denard Span lined a screamer down into the right field corner and advanced to third base on a bobble by Francoeur to open the the fifth. Danny Espinosa followed with a sacrifice-fly to left allowing Span to score and even the contest at 1-1.

In the sixth, Clint Robinson opened with a walk and Dan Uggla followed with a single to left. Two batters later Michael Taylor laced a double down the left field line to give the Nationals a 2-1 lead. Ian Desmond later scored in the inning on a passed ball to push the Nationals lead to 3-1.

The Phillies answered in the bottom of the frame with Maikel Franco reaching on a single, advancing to second on a Ryan Howard walk and eventually scoring on Francoeur's RBI-single to center.

Kevin Correia lasted 5 1/3 innings for the Phillies, surrendering three runs (one earned) on seven hits. He walked three while striking out four on 95 pitches.

"We wanted to get as many innings as we could out of him with the double header," Mackanin said. "He made a bad pitch to [Michael] Taylor to give up that third run, but anytime your team gives up only three runs you got a chance to win."

As for the second game of the twinbill, Severino Gonzalez is scheduled to pitch for the Phillies. He'll be opposed by right-hander Tanner Roark.

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