The Washington Nationals have roughed up Philadelphia ace Roy Halladay through four innings at Citizens Bank Park. The Nats' offense exploded against the dominant right-hander for five runs in the third and fourth innings. The big rally took place in the third when the Nats put a four-spot on the board. It all started with Halladay's counterpart, Jordan Zimmermann, leading off the inning with a single to left. Stephen Lombardozzi then quickly followed that with a single to put the first two men aboard.
Rookie Bryce Harper strolled into the batter's box and knocked in both with a triple in the gap in deep right center for the early 2-0 lead. But the Nats did not let up there, as two of their hottest hitters, Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond added to the rally. LaRoche brought Harper home from third on a sacrifice fly. Desmond hit yet another solo shot to left field. It was his second homer in as many nights, and his fourth in the past week as he continues to rake out of the five-hole in the lineup. After Desmond's shot, the frustration boiled over for the Phillies and catcher Carlos Ruiz was tossed for arguing balls and strikes. Ruiz felt his starter was being squeezed, and Gary Cederstrom sent him to showers.
The Nats added one more the next inning to make it 5-1. Rick Ankiel took a Halladay cutter to straightaway centerfield for his third homer of the season. A win would clinch the Nats' second straight series against the Phils, and the offensive fireworks in the third and fourth have set up Jordan Zimmermann nicely.
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