The Phillies caught a break by not having to face Stephen Strasburg on Friday night. Instead, they got Ross Ohlendorf, who lead the Nationals to a 6-1 victory.
Yet Kyle Kendrick wasn't scratched, and the Nationals scored six runs in 4 1/3 innings off him. The right-hander allowed one run in each of the first three frames, pitched a scoreless fourth and unraveled in the fifth.
Kendrick allowed an RBI infield single to Ian Desmond in the first, a solo homer to Wilson Ramos in the second and another solo shot to Ryan Zimmerman in the third. The homer was Zimmerman's ninth in 11 games.
Desmond chased Kendrick with another infield RBI single in the fifth. Later in the inning, Luis Garcia allowed yet another infield safety, this time to Ramos and it scored two runs.
Kendrick allowed six runs on eight hits and two walks while falling to 10-13.
The Nationals, who are still clinging to slim postseason hopes, moved to 4 1/2 games behind the Reds, who hold the second wild-card.
The Phillies managed just one run off Ohlendorf, when Carlos Ruiz drove in Cesar Hernandez in the first. But Ohlendorf retired nine straight after that run-scoring stroke and allowed five hits and two walks while striking out three overall.
Ruiz and Cody Asche picked up two hits apiece, and Hernandez, Chase Utley, Freddy Galvis and Kendrick got the other of eight hits for Phillies.
Zach Miner held the Nats to no runs in the sixth and seventh, Joe Savery likewise in the eighth.
It's noteworthy that Domonic Brown made his first appearance since Sept. 1 as a pinch-hitter in the eighth. He grounded out.
Saturday, Cole Hamels (7-13, 3.45) opposes Gio Gonzalez (10-6, 3.31).