(SportsNetwork.com) – The Washington Nationals hope to keep the bats going
when they start a seven-game homestand Thursday with the first of four
straight games versus the NL East-rival Philadelphia Phillies.
The Nationals will also host St. Louis for three games in DC and went 2-4 on a
recent road trip through Philadelphia and Boston.
Washington lost two of three meetings with the Phillies, then did the same
against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. The Nationals, though, salvaged the set
with Wednesday’s 10-5 pounding of the Red Sox and Wilson Ramos highlighted a
six-run third inning with a three-run double.
Tyler Moore was one of four Nationals to post two hits, going 2-for-5 with a
two-run homer, while Ian Desmond added a solo shot to offset a pedestrian
start from Gio Gonzalez.
Gonzalez earned his first win despite allowing five runs — four earned — on
six hits over as many innings. He fanned six batters and walked two.
“The offense was amazing,” Gonzalez said. “The guys helped a lot and took a
lot of pressure off out there.”
The Nationals, who are 3-6 on the season, have scored four or more runs in
each of the last four games.
Doug Fister gets the nod for the Nats Thursday and he did not record a
decision in Saturday’s 3-2 loss at Philadelphia, charged with no runs and six
hits in 6 1/3 innings.
In five career starts against the Phillies, Fister has a 2-2 mark with a 2.12
earned run average. The right-hander went 1-2 in three starts against
Philadelphia last season and was 8-2 with a 1.72 ERA in 11 home starts in
The Phillies have lost four in a row and were swept in three games by the New
York Mets to begin a seven-game road trip. Jerome Williams was roughed up to
the tune of five runs – four earned – and 10 hits in five innings.
Cody Asche and Odubel Herrera had three hits apiece and Cameron Rupp finished
2-for-4 for the Phillies, who fell to 3-6 on the season.
“We couldn’t come up with a drive to put up a crooked number,” Phillies
manager Ryne Sandberg said. “We had the opportunities but could not do it.”
Philadelphia has lost each of the last four series on the road and nine of the
past 12. The Phillies are only 2-9-1 in their last 12 series on the road.
Cole Hamels is slated to toe the rubber for the Phillies Thursday and will
make his third start. He allowed four runs in an 8-0 loss to Boston on April
6, then pitched well for a no-decision in Saturday’s 3-2 win over Washington.
Hamels limited the Nationals to a run and two hits in seven innings with five
strikeouts and two walks. The left-hander and 2008 World Series MVP is 15-8
with a 2.59 earned run average in 33 career starts against Washington. He was
6-6 with a 1.82 ERA in 16 road starts in 2014.
The Phillies went 10-9 versus the Nationals last season.