Nats rely on Fister in Philadelphia

( – Doug Fister’s first season as a member of the Nationals
produced a career-high number of victories.

On Saturday night, the right-hander makes his 2015 debut when Washington
continues its three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens
Bank Park.

The 31-year-old, who was re-signed to a one-year, $11.4 million contract in
the offseason, went 16-6 with a 2.41 ERA in 25 starts in 2014. That included
one shutout, which came in his final regular season start against Miami.

Fister is 2-2 with a 2.60 ERA in four career starts (3 with the Nationals)
versus Philadelphia.

Cole Hamels, the opening-day starter for the Phillies, surrendered four home
runs in an 8-0 loss to the Red Sox on Monday. The lefty was touched for five
hits and three walks. He did have six strikeouts over five innings.

Hamels is 15-8 with a 2.63 ERA in 32 career starts against the Nationals, but
he was 0-2 in four starts last season.

Cesar Hernandez’s two-run single highlighted a four-run seventh inning that
led the Phillies to a 4-1 win Friday night.

Freddy Galvis was 3-for-3 with an RBI and Chase Utley also drove in a run for
the Phillies, who lost two of three against Boston to open the season.

Jerome Williams pitched six innings for Philadelphia and allowed one run on
five hits with a walk and six strikeouts. Luis Garcia (1-0) got the win for
tossing a flawless seventh inning.

“He just settled in, he stayed down in the zone. He made good pitches,”
Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. “When he missed, he missed to the right
spot, usually down and just off the plate.”

Michael Taylor’s leadoff home run to start the game was the only offense for
the Nationals, who have lost three of four to start the season.

“Guys in our lineup have been there before, they’ve had success, they’ve done
it,” Nationals manager Matt Williams said. “We’re not worried about that.
There are no excuses for scoring enough runs, but we believe in our guys and
we believe in their ability.”

Gio Gonzalez (0-1) was handed the loss after giving up three runs on five hits
while walking four and striking out four in 6 1/3 innings.

The Phillies went 10-9 versus the Nationals last season, winning six of nine
at home.