Nationals Vs. Phillies: Nationals Start Hitting Too Late, Lose 7-4

Starter Jason Marquis only lasted five innings and the Nationals offense started hitting too little too late in their second loss in a row to Philadelphia.

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Nationals Vs. Phillies Final: Nationals Get Pummeled 7-4 By Phillies

The Washington Nationals dropped their second game in a row to the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday night by the score of 7-4. It was a night where nothing went right for the Nationals and most of it was their own doing or lack of doing.

Washington starter Jason Marquis held off the powerful Phillies offense for four-innings before running into trouble in the bottom of the fifth and gave up three runs. It was all the Phillies needed, but the Phillies tacked on four more runs in the sixth to add insult to injury. Marquis ended up going five innings giving up 10 hits, seven runs, six earned.

The Nationals scored a run in the top of the sixth when Adam LaRoche hit a RBI double to drive in second baseman Danny Espinosa. Espinosa then added three runs in the top of the ninth by hitting a three-run bomb. It was Espinosa's third home run of the season. Bench player Matt Stairs singled in the ninth, his 100th career pinch hit, tying Le Grande Orange, Rusty Staub, for 18th all-time.

While the score seemed close, it was another abysmal night for the Nationals offense as Phillies pitcher Vance Worley dominated them and made it look easy. GM Mike Rizzo and manager Jim Riggleman have a lot to work to do to get the Nats offense to have any sort of spark. If they are unable to inspire, the Nationals are headed for a deep spiral.

The Nationals now have a record of 14-16 and are fourth in the NL East.

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Nationals Vs. Phillies: Nationals Wait For Offense As Phillies Take 3-0 Lead.

The Washington Nationals offense looks completely unable to put anything together once again. Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Vance Worley is having a field day and has not run into much trouble as he is holding the Washington offense down and at his mercy. There is almost a feeling of the Phillies just waiting patiently for the dam to break as the teams move into the sixth inning with the score in the Phillies favor 3-0.

The Phillies offense was just as confused facing Nats pitcher Jason Marquis as Marquis allowed only three hits up until the bottom of the fifth when everything came undone. Raul Ibanez hit a solo home run off the right hander then Marquis loaded the bases and allowed Wilson Valdez to score off a Shane Victorino single. Worley who was at third then scored on a Placido Polanco sac fly.

Without any offense the Nationals have looked dead in the water.

In the top of the fourth inning manager Jim Riggleman was tossed from the game for arguing balls and strikes after Adam LaRoche struck out for the second time in the game. Riggleman's ejection left the team in the hands of bench coach John McLaren.

Outfielder Michael Morse was scratched from the game mere minutes before the first pitch. Morse complained of right knee soreness, but will be available to pinch hit if needed. Outfielder Laynce Nix was put into left field in his place.

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Nationals Vs. Phillies: Nationals Look For Some Jason Marquis Magic In Philadelphia

It has been a tale of two teams when the Washington Nationals face the Philadelphia Phillies. Since 2005 the Nationals have laid claim to a miserable 40-74 record against the Phillies, and are only 10-30 against their NL East rivals since 2009. On Wednesday night in Philadelphia, the Nationals are hoping to put a winning mark in their column to begin to turn the tides.

Right hander Jason Marquis (3-0, 2.82 ERA) has gotten the call to the mound to face off against Vance Worley (1-0, 0.00 ERA). Marquis is coming off one of the best starts of his career, where he pitched a complete-game shutout against the defending World Champion San Francisco Giants, striking out seven and only giving up five hits. Marquis has had a quality start in each of his five games this season. Worley was called up to the Phillies on April 29 after starter Joe Blanton went on the disabled list, and in his first appearance of 2011, he went six innings and tallied the win against the New York Mets.

While the Nationals certainly have the pitcher to get the job done, it will come down to what the offense can produce against Worley. Washington will need more pop out of Jayson Werth, Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond while leadoff hitter Danny Espinosa has to break out of his funk and get on base more consistently.

First pitch from Citizens Bank Park is at 7:05 p.m. EST.

Nationals Lineup

Danny Espinosa - 2B

Ian Desmond - SS

Jayson Werth - RF

Adam LaRoche - 1B

Wilson Ramos - C

Michael Morse - LF

Jerry Hairston Jr. - CF

Alex Cora - 3B

Jason Marquis - SP

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