Sunday afternoon’s game got off to a rocky start when the Washington Nationals committed two defensive errors in the top of the first inning against the Phillies but Washington went on to beat Philadelphia 3-2.
Left-handed starter Gio Gonzalez went six innings while giving up two runs (one earned) on five hits and striking out three batters on 105 pitches (67 strikes). The Phillies did score a run in the top of the first as a result of both outfielder Denard Span and third baseman Anthony Rendon committing a pair of consecutive throwing errors on a Grady Sizemore single hit to center field but Gonzalez bounced back and settled in allowing his pitches to work for him rather than against him after that; Phillies 1, Nats 0.
It didn’t stay 1-0 in favor of the Phillies for too long though. First baseman Adam LaRoche swung a big bat against Philadelphia’s left-handed starter Cole Hamles on Sunday, giving the Nationals a way to catch up against the Phillies’ early lead. LaRoche hit a leadoff, first-pitch solo homerun to the home bullpen in right field during the second inning; Phillies 1, Nats 1.
After retiring seven straight Phillies, Gonzalez gave up a leadoff double to catcher Carlos Ruiz in the fourth inning. A single hit by outfielder Marlon Byrd moved Ruiz to 3rd base before Ruiz scored Philadelphia’s second run on a sacrifice fly hit by first baseman Darin Ruf; Phillies 2, Nats 1.
Washington answered back in the fourth inning with a second leadoff solo homerun from LaRoche hit off Hamels to up tie the game again. From there, it was up to the respective lineups to see which team could aggravate the other’s starter more; Phillies 2, Nats 2.
A run scored by short stop Ian Desmond in the sixth inning put Washington ahead for the first time that day. Desmond led off the inning with a double before advancing to third base on a balk and scoring on a sacrifice fly hit by outfielder Scott Hairston off Hamels; Phillies 2, Nats 3.
Gonzalez gave up a single to Ruf in the seventh inning before right-handed reliever Aaron Barrett entered the game. Barrett completed a spotless seventh before right-handed reliever Tyler Clippard did the same with the eighth inning. That left the ninth to right-handed reliever Drew Storen who recorded his second save of the season with the afternoon’s 3-2 victory against Philadelphia.