By SAMUEL BOTWINICK  |  Staff Writer

In a crucial must-win game for the Phillies, they came through with a 3-1 victory over the Nationals on Thursday night at Citizens Bank Park. 

Scoring runs with two outs and runners in scoring position has not been an easy feat for the Phillies this year. Ben Revere, however, is one of their bright spots in this department.  In fact, he seems to hit better when there are two outs and runners in scoring position than in other, typically easier, hitting situation. Such was the case on Thursday night.  With two outs and Carlos Ruiz on second, Revere drilled a single to left center, scoring Ruiz, and giving them an early 1-0 advantage.

Prior to that hit, Revere had hit .444 with two outs and runners in scoring position.

The Nationals countered in the top of the sixth.  With one out, Bryce Harper tripled to right, and scored on Ryan Zimmerman's sacrifice fly to right to tie the game at 1. 

The Phillies manufactured a run in the bottom of the seventh playing small ball.  Darin Ruf led off with a double, and was pinch-run for by John McDonald.  Ruiz sacrificed him to third, and he was driven home by Kevin Frandsen on a double to right center, which deflected off Denard Span's glove to push them ahead 2-1.  Frandsen had pinch-hit for Kyle Kendrick.

The Phillies had a chance to score more runs in the inning but were denied a close call at first, which would have scored Frandsen from third.  

Insurance runs are always at a premium, especially in pitcher duels as was the case on Thursday night.  The Phillies were able to squeeze across another run in the bottom of the eighth.  After Chase Utley doubled to lead off the inning, he advanced to third on Domonic Brown's flyout to right, and scored on Michael Young's fielder's choice to second to give them an important 3-1 lead.

Kendrick pitched great, tossing seven innings, surrendering one earned run on five hits, while striking out two.

Jordan Zimmermann tossed a decent game, throwing 6 1/3 innings, while surrendering two earned runs on eight hits, and punching out six batters.

The Phillies look to keep their recent success as they take on the Chicago White Sox at 7:05 tomorrow night.  Jonathan Pettibone will pitch for the Phillies.

-  Samuel Botwinick is a staff writer for the Philadelphia Baseball Review.  Contact him at or @avdbkr20samuel on Twitter.


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