Playing a makeshift lineup and spot-starting Tom Gorzelanny, the Washington Nationals evened up their series with the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday night with a 4-2 win. The victory gives the Nats a momentary half-game lead over the Reds for the best record in the National League. Cincinnati was beating the Cardinals when the Nationals game concluded.
Gorzelanny got the call late, as the Nats opted to rest 21-game winner Gio Gonzalez in advance of the playoffs. The long reliever pitched a steady 3⅔ innings, striking out five and allowing just one earned run. A solo homer by Darin Ruf, his first of two on the night, was the only blemish for Gorzelanny.
It was Adam LaRoche who had the big night at the plate, scoring two of the Nats' four runs. LaRoche led off the bottom of the fourth with a double to deep left, and came in to score on a two-out Roger Bernadina single that ended B.J Rosenberg's shutout bid.
Two innings later, LaRoche led off with another extra-base hit, but this one cleared the fence for his 33rd homer and 100th RBI. The blast made him just the third National to drive in 100 runs since the franchise arrived in Washington in 2005 (Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman being the others).
In addition to LaRoche's big night, Steve Lombardozzi continued to come through for Davey Johnson in key situations. The utility man hit lead off and drove in the final two runs for Washington with a single in the sixth and a sacrifice fly in the eighth.
The Nationals' bullpen was also impressive over the final five-plus innings. Hard-throwing Christian Garcia was first out of the bullpen with two out in the fourth inning and recorded four straight outs. Tyler Clippard, however, did give up another solo homer to the slugger Ruf before Drew Storen worked a perfect ninth for his fourth save of the season.
The Nationals will now wrap up the series, and the regular season, Wednesday afternoon. Edwin Jackson is currently scheduled to make his 31st start.