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Nationals 10-3 over Phillies: Nats finish first half of 2014 at 51-42

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The Washington Nationals jumped out to a 3-0 lead before an out was recorded when Jayson Werth took Philadelphia Phillies' starter Kyle Kendrick deep in the first and the Nats cruised to a 10-3 win in the series and first-half finale in Citizens Bank Park.

Brian Garfinkel

Myth of Row-ark Sunday Top 5:

5. Quick Recap: Philadelphia Phillies' starter Kyle Kendrick's first inning struggles this year have put his teammates behind early often in 2014. In 18 starts before today, he had a 10.50 ERA and a .373/.424/.639 line against, giving up four doubles and six home runs in the first innings of those starts. Jayson Werth made it seven home runs allowed. Denard Span and Anthony Rendon started the opening frame with back-to-back singles and Werth followed with a three-run blast that made it 3-0 Washington. HR no.12 of 2014 for Werth.

Anthony Rendon singled to start the Nationals' sixth, took second on a wild pitch, then third and home on consecutive sac flies, with Ryan Zimmerman's bringing the Nats' second baseman in from third, 4-0.

Ian Desmond doubled to center in the next at bat against Phillies' reliever Mario Holland to drive in two more then scored himself on a single to left by Jose Lobaton. 7-0 Nationals.

The Phillies got on the board in the bottom of the sixth. Grady Sizemore singled to right to start the frame and moved around the bases on a single by Jimmy Rollins and back-to-back groundouts by Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. 7-1 Nationals.

Ryan Zimmerman took an 0-1 fastball from Justin De Fratus out to center field in Citizens Bank for a solo home run and an 8-1 lead over the Phillies in the eighth.

Denard Span singled, took second on a wild pitch and scored on Anthony Rendon's 24th double of the year in the top of the ninth to make it 9-1. A single to left by Jayson Werth in the next at bat brought Rendon in to make it 10-1.

The Phillies added two runs in the ninth off Aaron Barrett, but that was as close as they got...

That's how it ended. 10-3 Nationals. 52-42 at the Break.

4. Well-Rested Roark: Tanner Roark was scheduled to face the Baltimore Orioles this past Tuesday night, but the game was rained out and his turn in the rotation was skipped, so heading into this afternoon's series finale in Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park, the 27-year-old right-hander was going on nine days' rest.

"Everything was flat today. Sinker wasn't sinking. Breaking ball was up in the zone." -Williams on Roark after 1st start of 2014 vs PHI

Roark's last outing before today's took place on July 4th in the nation's capital when he suffered his second-straight loss to the Chicago Cubs. The Wilmington, Illinois-born starter gave up 19 hits and eight runs, all earned, in 13 IP in those two outings, with Cubs' hitters putting up a combined .345/368/.436 line against him.

The back-to-back losses followed a four-start winning streak for Roark, who allowed four runs total over 24 ⅓ IP (1.48 ERA) during that stretch, in which he held opposing hitters to a .221/.260/.263 line.

Nats' skipper Matt Williams said an extra day's rest before the second of his two starts against the Cubs led to Roark being up in the zone throughout his seven innings of work on the mound.

"Extra day's rest and a little bit up and not quite as crisp," Williams told reporters. "They got a lot of base hits on him. He kept it to four, but just up and kind of middle today. Breaking ball wasn't quite as good, changeup wasn't quite as good."

"I just got beat. They had base hits and a home run, put good wood, found holes." -Roark after July 4th loss to the Cubs in D.C.

"I just got beat," Roark said succinctly. "They had base hits and a home run, put good wood, found holes."

Back on the mound this afternoon, Roark was facing a Philadelphia Phillies team he'd seen once already this season, back on May 3rd in Citizens Bank Park. In that start, the second-year major leaguer gave up seven hits and seven runs while throwing 83 pitches in just four innings, taking his first loss of the 2014 campaign.

"Everything was flat today," Williams said after that outing. "Sinker wasn't sinking. Breaking ball was up in the zone."

That outing was just second of Roark's career against the Phillies.

Going into today's start he had 10.50 ERA and a .280/.308/.600 line against in six innings opposite the Nats' NL East rivals from Philadelphia and a (3-2) record with a 4.44 ERA, 3.50 FIP, eight walks (1.48 BB/9) and 40 Ks (7.40 K/9) in 48 ⅔ IP away from the nation's capital this season, in which opposing hitters have put up a .250/.292/.400 line against him.

Today in Citizens Bank Park, Roark's first start in nine days began after a three-run first by his teammates...

1st: Grady Sizemore popped to short right for out no.1 after an eight-pitch battle. Jimmy Rollins sent a fly ball out to Denard Span in center. Chase Utley's groundout to second ended a 15-pitch bottom of the first.

2nd: Ryan Howard sent a high fly to center for out no.1. Roark hit Marlon Byrd on the elbow to give the Phillies their first baserunner. Cody Asche popped out to short right. Cameron Rupp K'd swinging to end a 10-pitch second. 25 total for Roark after two.

3rd: Ben Revere singled to center to start the Phillies' third and Kyle Kendrick bunted him over/gave up an out. Grady Sizemore lined out to a sliding Bryce Harper in left. Jimmy Rollins' fly to center ended Roark's third scoreless frame after 14 pitches. 39 total after three.

4th: Chase Utley grounded out to first to start the Phillies' fourth. Ryan Howard did the same. Marlon Byrd battled for nine pitches, but K'd swinging to end an 18-pitch frame. 57 total for Roark.

5th: Cody Asche lined a double to right in the first at bat of the bottom of the fifth, taking a 1-0 fastball from Roark for a ride. Cameron Rupp K'd swinging at a 2-2 slider in the dirt, so Jose Lobaton had to throw him out. Ben Revere K'd swinging over a 2-2 change outside. Kyle Kendrick chased a two-strike fastball off the plate. 17-pitch frame, 74 total.

6th: Grady Sizemore lined a single to right to start the Phillies' sixth and Jimmy Rollins sent a grounder through the right side in the next at bat. Chase Utley moved both runners up with a swinging bunt. Ryan Howard's groundout to first brought Sizemore in from third, 7-1. Marlon Byrd K'd swinging to end a 17-pitch frame, 91 total.

7th: Cody Asche popped to third on the first pitch he saw. Cameron Rupp grounded out to third, Ryan Zimmerman threw a grounder to first... Ben Revere lined out to center to end a 13-pitch frame by Roark, who was up to 104 pitches.

Tanner Roark's Line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 Ks, 104 P, 65 S, 7/3 GO/FO.

3. Kendrick vs Washington: Kyle Kendrick took a loss in his lone 2014 outing against the Washington Nationals before this afternoon's series finale in Citizens Bank Park. Back on June 5th in the nation's capital, the 29-year-old right-handed veteran in his eighth major league season gave up six hits, five walks and four earned runs in seven innings on the mound in a 4-2 loss.

That start left Kendrick (5-9) with a 4.86 ERA in 25 games, 23 starts and 127 ⅔ IP against the Nationals in his career, over which he's walked 42 (2.96 BB/9), struck out 64 (4.51 K/9) and held Nats' hitters to a combined .279/.344/.439 line.

Heading into today's game, Kendrick was coming off a rough outing on the road in Miller Park in Milwaukee in which he gave up 11 hits and seven earned runs in 5 ⅔ IP.

At home in Citizens Bank Park this season, the Phillies' '03 7th Round pick was (2-4) at home with a 3.66 ERA, 4.48 FIP, 17 walks (2.96 BB/9) and 39 Ks (6.79 K/9) in eight starts and 51 ⅔ IP, over which opposing hitters have put up a .267/.336/.431 line.

The first inning has been tough for the Philly starter this season, however, (10.50 ERA, .373/.424/.639 line against in the 1st) and It didn't start well for Kendrick today either. Denard Span and Anthony Rendon hit back-to-back singles in the first two at bats, taking grounders through the right and left side, respectively, and Jayson Werth followed with a three-run home run to left field that made it 3-0 before an out was recorded. No.12 for Werth came on an 0-1 slider. Three quick outs later, Kendrick was through a 20-pitch first.

Kendrick settled in with a quick, 10-pitch, 1-2-3 second. An 18-pitch third gave Kendrick nine straight outs and 48 pitches total after three. A quick, 14-pitch fourth gave Kendrick 12 straight outs and left him at 62 pitches total.

Ian Desmond and Jose Lobaton were outs no.13 and 14 straight for Kendrick, but Tanner Roark broke the streak of retired batters with a single to right on an 0-2 slider. Denard Span's pop to short left made it 15 of 16 set down.

Anthony Rendon singled to start the sixth and took second on a wild pitch from Kendrick with Jayson Werth at the plate. A HBP on Werth put two runners on. Adam LaRoche sent a fly to deep right to move Rendon to third and Ryan Zimmerman lined out to right to bring the runner in, 4-0. That was it for Kendrick...

Kyle Kendrick's Line: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 5 Ks, 1 HR, 88 P, 61 S, 6/2 GO/FO.

2. Turning Point: Do the first three at bats of the game count? The Nationals knew they could get to Kyle Kendrick early since he's struggled in the first inning this season and they took advantage of the slow-starting starter, with back-to-back singles by Denard Span and Anthony Rendon and a three-run blast by Jayson Werth, who continued his somewhat ridiculous Juiy run with his 12th HR of 2014. Maybe the turning point was when the calendar turned from June to July:

1. The Wrap-Up: Phillies' lefty Mario Hollands took over for Kyle Kendrick with one on and two out in the sixth and gave up a single to center by Bryce Harper. Ian Desmond stepped in next and doubled to center to drive in two runs and make it 6-0. Jose Lobaton singled to left to bring Desmond home and make it 7-0 Nationals after five and a half in CBP.

Mario Hollands came back out for the seventh and gave up a two-out walk to Jayson Werth but nothing else.

Phillies' righty Justin De Fratus took the mound in the top of the eighth and gave up a solo home run to center by Ryan Zimmerman. HR no. 4 for Zimmerman, 8-1 Nationals after seven and a half.

Ross Detwiler took over for the Nationals in the bottom of the eighth and retired the Phillies in order.

De Fratus gave up a one-out single to left by Denard Span, who took second on a wild pitch and scored on a double to center by Anthony Rendon. 9-1. Rendon scored on an RBI single by Jayson Werth that made it 10-1.

Aaron Barrett came on to end it, put two Phillies on, and gave up a run on an RBI line drive to left by Cody Asche. A groundout by Cameron Rupp brought another one in, but that's how it ended. 10-3 Nationals.

Nationals now 51-42