Nationals Vs. Phillies: Ugly Third Inning Contributes To Washington's 11-3 Drubbing By Philadelphia

Michael Morse's return to the lineup could not help the Nationals Saturday night, as they surrendered five runs in the third inning on their way to a 11-3 loss to the Phillies.

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Nationals Vs. Phillies: Ugly Third Inning Contributes To Washington's 11-3 Drubbing By Philadelphia

John Lannan would be happy if he never had to face the Philadelphia Phillies again in his career. The Washington lefty fell to 1-11 with a 5.84 ERA in his 15 career starts against the Phillies, surrendering seven runs (though only one earned) in just three innings Saturday night in a 11-3 loss.

Lannan gave up four hits, struck out only one and issued five walks. After the five run third inning, he did not return to pitch the fourth, though it was not determined if that was due to ineffectiveness or perhaps an injury suffered.

Ryan Howard was the offensive star for Philadelphia, going two for four at the plate, with a home run and four runs driven in. Shane Victorino chipped in two hits for the Phillies, and Raul Ibanez had two runs batted in.

Offensively for the Nationals, Michael Morse returned from an elbow contusion suffered Thursday, and was two for four at the plate with a double and a run batted in. Ian Desmond added two hits and one run batted in for a Washington attack that was held at bay for much of the game by Philadelphia starter Roy Oswalt.

The Nationals send Chien-Ming Wang (1-2, 3.60) to the hill in Sunday's series finale. Wang will square off against Phillies star Roy Halladay, 15-4 on the year with a 2.51 ERA..

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Michael Morse Returns To Lineup Against Philadelphia, Will Play First Base And Bat Cleanup

Just two days after suffering an elbow contusion in a game against the Chicago Cubs, Washington Nationals first baseman Michael Morse will return to the starting lineup Saturday night in Philadelphia and bat cleanup against the NL East-leading Phillies. Via Adam Kilgore's twitter feed:

Michael Morse is back in the lineup, playing 1st hitting cleanup.

Morse missed the series opener against the Phillies, a game won 4-2 by Washington thanks to the arm and bat of Livan Hernandez. It appears the Nationals have caught a break, and avoided an injury that would devastate their lineup. 

Morse has been the team's offensive star this season. He is batting .404 in his last 12 games, with three home runs and 10 runs batted in. For the season, the behemoth batsmen is tied for fourth in the National League in batting average, at .319, seventh in slugging percentage (.554) and has added 20 home runs and 68 runs batted in.

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Nationals Vs. Phillies: John Lannan And Washington Look To Win Second Straight Against Philadelphia

The Washington Nationals look to win their second straight game against the NL East-leading Philadelphia Phillies, behind the arm of John Lannan and the bat of Michael Morse.

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