The Washington Nationals improved to 4-1 against the rival Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday night with a 5-2 win at Citizens Bank Park. A big third-inning rally was the difference for the Nats, as the lineup roughed up ace Roy Halladay and put four runs on the board. A Rick Ankiel homer added a fifth run one inning later and that's all Jordan Zimmermann would need to clinch the series.
The Washington starter went six strong innings, rebounding nicely from his shaky outing against the Pirates. Pittsburgh did their damage via the long ball last week, but Zimmermann scattered seven hits and allowed just one earned run. Erik Kratz had a pinch-hit home run off Tom Gorzelanny to add a late Phillies run in the 8th but that would be all for Charlie Manuel's lineup.
The Nationals third inning was a welcome sight, as they strung together four hits for four runs off of Halladay. Remarkably, Zimmermann led it all off with a single to left. Stephen Lombardozzi followed with another single and Bryce Harper knocked them in with a deep triple to the gap in right center. The Nationals two hottest hitters closed out the scoring, as Adam LaRoche hit a sac fly to knock in Harper. Ian Desmond capped it off by hitting his second homer of the series, another bomb to left field. The rally gave Zimmermann the cushion he would need to lock down his third win of the season.
The Nats will go for the sweep on Wednesday night. They'll face Cole Hamels, the Philly starter who prevented the Nats' sweep earlier this month but caused a stir when he admitted to throwing at Bryce Harper. Edwin Jackson will be on the mound for Washington.
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