Washington is tied for third in the wild-card race, 7 1/2 games behind St. Louis and Cincinnati for the last two spots. It's not going to be easy for Washington. With 24 games left, they play only 10 of them at home where they are 40-31. However, after leaving Philadlephia on Thursday night, the Nats play the Marlins and Mets for seven games and then return home for 10 straight against the Phillies, Braves and Marlins.
The loss sends the Phillies to 63-76 and 10-9 under interim manager Ryne Sandberg.
At the plate
Cody Asche was the hitting star for the Phillies, going 3 for 4 with a homer and three RBIs. Take Asche out of the mix and the Phillies' starters had just three hits while Pete Orr and Chase Utley picked up pinch singles.
With all the base runners and four extra-base hits, the Nats allowed the Phillies to hang around. However, whenever the Phillies scored to cut into the deficit, Washington countered.
Denard Span had three hits for the Nats, while Jayson Werth and Ian Desmond had two hits each. Catcher Wilson Ramos went 1 for 4 with a three-run homer in the second inning. Ramos added another RBI.
On the mound
Ethan Martin again struggled and was unable to work deep into the game, though he showed glimpses of raw ability that could make the Phillies want to look into moving him to the bullpen. In 4 2/3 innings, the rookie right-hander allowed five runs on four hits and five walks. He only struck out two hitters, though he has 34 Ks in 30 innings in the big leagues.
Mauricio Robles gave up a pair of unearned runs in his big-league debut, picking up a strikeout. Meanwhile, call up Luis Garcia worked two innings and gave up a run on a long homer from Corey Brown. Joe Savery gave up the final run, recording two outs in the ninth.
The Phillies' pitchers allowed nine walks and 11 hits. They also hit a batter and allowed a hitter to reach on a strikeout/wild pitch.
For the Nats, lefty Gio Gonzalez was charged with five runs, though only one was earned. The defense made three errors behind him and Nats' pitchers combined for four wild pitches.
Franco and Gonzalez win Owens Award
Before the game the Phillies announced that Maikel Franco and Severino Gonzalez were named the team's minor league players of the year with the annual Paul Owens Award. Both players finished the season with Double-A Reading.
Franco batted .320 with 31 homers and 103 RBIs between Single-A Clearwater and Reading in 2013. He had a .356 on-base percentage and a .569 slugging percentage. Gonzalez posted a 2.00 ERA and had 119 strikeouts in 103 2/3 innings in 24 games between Single-A Lakewood and Clearwater and one at Double-A Reading.
Franco turned 21 last week and Gonzalez turns 21 at the end of the month.
Roy Halladay (3-4, 7.94) gets back on the mound after two lukewarm outings following his return from shoulder surgery. Halladay will face Jordan Zimmermann (15-8, 3.33). Zimmermann is 2-5 with a 4.37 ERA in eight career starts against the Phillies and 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA in two starts this season.
Halladay hasn't faced the Nats this season, but is 12-2 with a 2.55 ERA against them in 18 career starts.