Ah, the last home series of the 2012 season, and another series that must turnout in the Phillies' favor, otherwise their playoff chances may be an idea of the past. Cole Hamels and Ross Detwiler took the mound tonight, both looking to help their teams work towards a red October.
The Nats would take a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Kurt Suzuki singled to center to score Danny Espinosa.
Darin Ruf, tonight's starting left fielder, hit his first major league home run tonight which was also his first major league hit. It was a no doubt about it homer laced to left field. Tied game after two.
Ryan Howard broke the tie in the third, sending home John Mayberry with an RBI single to right center. With Howard and Chase Utley on, Carlos Ruiz took Detwiler deep to left field for a three-run home run. 5-1 Phils.
The Nationals were making Cole Hamels work in the fifth inning. With two men on, Bryce Harper singled up the middle to bring home Suzuki. Later, Harper scored on a single from Ryan Zimmerman. 5-3 ballgame.
Domonic Brown brought the Nats down to a three-run deficit again with a solo homer to right field in the bottom of the sixth.
Cole Hamels' night was done after just five innings. He allowed three earned runs on seven hits, walking one and striking out six. He tossed 99 pitches, 65 for strikes.
Josh Lindblom pitched a scoreless sixth, striking out one. In the top of the seventh, Justin De Fratus recorded two outs (one strikeout) before Antonio Bastardo came in and recorded the final out. Phillippe Aumont put up zero's across his line in the eighth, continuing the stellar night for the 'pen.
The bullpen clearly did a splendid job tonight, not allowing a single baserunner. They left it to Jonathan Papelbon to close it out. Papelbon did so, picking up two strikeouts and his 37th save. Cole Hamels earned his 16th win of the season, a career high.
Game two tomorrow night at 7:05. John Lannan will get the nod for the Nats, and Kyle Kendrick will start for the Phillies.