Bullpen blows one for Fister, Nats lose to Phillies
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The Washington Nationals sure don't look like the NL East favorite.
They've got 157 games left to prove so many people can't be wrong.
Odubel Herrera doubled home the winning run in the 10th inning with his first major league hit, lifting the Philadelphia Phillies to a 3-2 comeback win over the Nationals on Saturday night.
"We'll be OK," manager Matt Williams said. "We'll put this behind us."
Carlos Ruiz led off the inning with a single off Tanner Roark (0-1). He advanced on a deep flyout and scored when Herrera doubled down the right-field line.
Wilson Ramos hit a solo homer for the Nationals, who wasted a strong outing by Doug Fister.
"Our pitching has been good, but we struggled with runners in scoring position," Williams said.
Fister allowed six hits in 6 1-3 scoreless innings. Fister led the Nationals with 16 wins in 2014, but begins the year as the No. 5 starter in a star-filled rotation.
Dustin McGowan (1-0) pitched a scoreless 10th to get the win with a big assist from his defense.
Phillies left fielder Ben Revere made a perfect one-hop throw to the plate to throw out speedy Michael Taylor trying to score from second on Yunel Escobar's single. Revere was moved to left late in spring training because his inability to make strong throws from center hurt the Phillies.
Cole Hamels gave up just two hits in seven innings, but one was Ramos' homer. Hamels rebounded from a poor performance on opening day, when he gave up four homers in an 8-0 loss to the Red Sox. His only mistake was a high fastball that Ramos drove out to right in the fourth. Ramos was 3 for 18 off Hamels before connecting for an opposite-field shot.
Down 2-0, the Phillies rallied against Blake Treinen in the eighth. Chase Utley, 1 for 17 to that point, hit a one-out single. Ryan Howard followed with an opposite-field, RBI double off the left-field wall. Cesar Hernandez ran for Howard and scored the tying run on a single by Ruiz.
"I didn't make pitches when I needed to," Treinen said. "I didn't execute against Howard. I'll do a better job next time."
Pinch-hitter Clint Robinson's RBI single off Jeanmar Gomez gave the Nationals a 2-0 lead in the eighth. Danny Espinosa, back to switch-hitting after hitting right-handed in spring training, led off with a double and scored on the hit.
The Phillies had a runner on second with no outs three different innings and failed to score.
A strong throw to the plate by Espinosa, the second baseman, prevented a run in the first, when Utley was out trying to score from first on Howard's double to right.
The Nationals have lost three straight series to the Phillies and seven of their last eight games against them.
Nationals: LF Jayson Werth hit a home run in a rehab game for Class A Potomac on Saturday. Werth was 1 for 4 with two walks in a doubleheader. He played left field in the first game and designated hitter in the second. Werth is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. He'll take off Sunday and could be in Washington's lineup on Monday against Boston.
Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer (0-1) tries again for his first win with the Nationals in the series finale Sunday. The 2013 AL Cy Young Award winner who signed a $210 million in the offseason allowed three unearned runs in a loss on opening day. Scherzer is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in two career starts vs. the Phillies.
Phillies: RHP Sean O'Sullivan will be recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to start on Sunday. O'Sullivan was 0-1 with a 6.39 ERA in three games last season.
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