Stop the presses: the Washington Nationals have taken a three-game series from the mighty Philadelphia Phillies. Laynce Nix's third-inning home run proved to be the difference for Washington, as they won 2-1 on Wednesday in the kind of game they would probably love to play going forward.
John Lannan pitched five and a third innings of one-run ball, and the Nationals' bullpen did the rest. Tyler Clippard was perfect in two innings of work, and Drew Storen picked up the save after surrendering a one-out infield single to Jimmy Rollins. Roy Oswalt pitched well for Philadelphia, but got the loss on account of an RBI single by Jayson Werth and the aforementioned home run by Nix.
The home run was the ninth of the season for Nix in part-time duty. To make matters even better, Nix made a spectacular diving stop in the top of the sixth inning to preserve the lead. The Phillies had the bases loaded with two outs, and Dominic Brown sent a line drive into the left-center gap, but Nix made a diving stop to keep the Nationals in front.
The Washington Nationals are off to a good start in their quest to win a three-game series over the Philadelphia Phillies. Jayson Werth got the Nationals on the board with an RBI single in the first inning, and Laynce Nix gave the Nationals the lead with a solo home run off Roy Oswalt in the bottom of the third inning. The Nationals now have a 2-1 lead after four and a half innings.
The Nationals have had their chances to extend the league, but have already left six runners on base. The Phillies, meanwhile, had a good chance in the top of the fifth inning, with runners on first and second with one out, but after a groundout led to a force play at third, Chase Utley's long fly ball was reeled in by Werth.
Nix's home run was the ninth of the season for him, an impressive number given that he is only a part-time player.
The Nationals earned a surprising 10-2 win on Tuesday night, teeing off on the normally-impeccable Cliff Lee. Danny Espinosa had two home runs to lead the way for Washington in the victory. Washington has actually hit the Phillies well throughout the series, bashing three solo home runs off Roy Halladay in the series opener on Monday, a 5-4 loss.
Lannan and Oswalt, as well as the rest of the players, will have to deal with incredibly hot temperatures that are over 100 degrees at gametime. It's not clear who these conditions favor, but they are there. Here is the Nationals' lineup: