In a 162-game season, luck – though hard to come by – can surface in strange places. And, for the Washington Nationals, good luck appears to have arrived by way of the division-rival Philadelphia Phillies.
With the Nats 4-2 win Thursday night, Washington secured the sweep, rounding out the series two games above .500 with a 30-28 record.
Doug Fister (W, 4-1) was not quite stellar from the start, but he rebounded in time to guide the Nats through seven innings, allowing just two runs on four hits and five strike outs. His counterpart, Kyle Kendrick, gave up four runs on six walks in the same time frame to bring his season to record to a dismal 1-6.
The Phillies had a fair shot at given Kendrick wiggle room out of the gate. Ben Revere led off the game with a double off Fister, before advancing to third on Jimmy Rollins’ sacrifice bunt. In the next at-bat, Chase Utley singled in Revere to give Philadelphia a 1-0 lead.
Unfortunately for Kendrick, the run stopped there as Ryan Howard and John Mayberry each grounded into a force out to end the inning.
And, the Nats wasted little time erasing the Phillies’ progress.
In the bottom half of the inning, Anthony Rendon singled and Adam LaRoche drew a two-out walk. That allowed a revived Ryan Zimmerman to bring home Rendon on a single to left that tied the game.
From there, both pitchers dealt three scoreless innings. Fister stretched his good fortune through the fifth; however, Kendrick did not.
Denard Span led things off with a double before coming home on Jayson Werth’s one-out single. To spare Zimmerman the trouble of stepping to the plate with runners on base, LaRoche homered to make it 4-1 Washington.
The Phillies earned one back before Fister’s day was done, as the right-hander gave up a solo shot to Mayberry in the seventh. From there, Tyler Clippard tossed a 1-2-3 eighth, allowing Rafael Soriano to repeat the feat in the ninth to secure his 12th save of the season.
The Nats drew up a bit of a picket fence in the box score – not a single player on the squad tallied more than a hit, but the team spread the wealth rather evenly nonetheless. Aside from the pitchers, only Scott Hairston recorded an 0-for-X on the night – and he had just one at-bat.