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Nationals' defense supports Doug Fister: "That's what we're known for. That's what our guys do."

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Washington Nationals' right fielder Jayson Werth threw Philadelphia Phillies' outfielder Cody Asche out at the plate last night in one of several instances in which the Nats' defense supported their starter. They weren't flawless, however...

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

With the game tied at 1-1 after four, Philadelphia Phillies' third baseman Cody Asche singled to left to lead off the top of the fifth inning, and pitcher Roberto Hernandez bunted the 24-year-old infielder over in front of leadoff man and center fielder Ben Revere. Revere took an 85 mph 1-1 fastball inside to right for a ground ball single that Jayson Werth fielded coming in on the outfield grass in Washington, D.C.'s Nationals Park.

"'I knew it was going to take a good throw. It felt good coming out of my hand and when I let it fly I felt like I had him.'" -Jayson Werth on throw home on play at the plate via MASN's Byron Kerr

Werth came up throwing and uncorked a one-hop strike that skipped over the infield grass in front of the mound and bounced into the waiting mitt of Nats' catcher Wilson Ramos.

Ramos received it cleanly and swept his left arm in front of the baserunner's path to the plate, catching Asche before he could reach down to touch home.

Umpire Hal Gibson III watched intently from the first base side of the plate. After making the tag, Ramos showed him the ball.

Gibson punched the air and called Asche out emphatically.

Jimmy Rollins K'd looking in the next at bat to strand Revere at second.


After the Nationals failed to score in the bottom of the fifth, Nats' starter Doug Fister retired the first two batters he faced in the Phillies' sixth, before a solo home run on an 0-1 fastball to Marlon Byrd in the top of the inning ended up sailing over the out-of-town scoreboard in right to give Philadelphia a 2-1 lead that held up in their second straight win in the nation's capital.

"I haven't seen the replay yet. He was there, but the ball went off his glove. I haven't taken a look at the tape of it yet, but I thought he was there fine..." -Matt Williams on Bryce Harper's missed catch in the 2nd

Fister regretted the pitch, which he said missed the intended location.

"I left it over the plate a little bit too much," the 30-year-old right-hander told reporters. "I was kind of surprised he took it the other way, but it's definitely one of those pitches I need to make sure was in."

The first run Fister allowed in what ended up being his first loss in D.C. this season, came in the top of the second.

Phillies' left fielder Grady Sizemore sent a ball to deep left field where Bryce Harper caught up to it on the warning track but somehow failed to catch it.

"I think he was on it," manager Matt Williams said of Harper's pursuit after the game.

"I haven't seen the replay yet. He was there, but the ball went off his glove. I haven't taken a look at the tape of it yet, but I thought he was there fine, he was able to get a glove on it."

"We play great baseball as far as defense. Those guys are selling out, making great plays and sacrificing again for whatever they have to do." -Doug Fister on support from the Nationals' defense

Sizemore arrived safely at second with a double and scored one at bat later after a four-pitch walk to Carlos Ruiz, when Cody Asche lined a 2-0 pitch from Fister to right for an RBI single and a 1-0 lead.

The Phillies gave that run right back though, with Asche, charging in from short on the shift, and starter Roberto Hernandez, coming off the mound, allowing an infield pop from Adam LaRoche to fall to the ground in the first at bat of the Nationals' second.

Asche picked it up once it dropped and rushed a throw by first but misfired and sent it into foul territory behind first where it bounced off the wall and died in the grass. LaRoche took third on the two-base error and scored when Ian Desmond drove him in with a single up the middle off Hernandez that made it a 1-1 game after two.

New Nats' second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera slid out into short right to take a single away from Jimmy Rollins in the third. Jayson Werth pulled a fly to right by Chase Utley down in front of the scoreboard in right. Ramos made the play in the fifth for the final out of the Phillies' third.

After the Byrd home run in the sixth, Werth made a third strong play on a ninth-inning fly to right by Sizemore to take away what looked like an extra base hit off Nationals' reliever Rafael Soriano.

Though the Nats didn't produce with their bats outside of Desmond's RBI single, they did all they could defensively to limit the damage and help Fister's effort. The Nats' starter put together another strong start, giving up just six hits two walks and the two earned runs while inducing 10 ground ball outs from the 28 batters he faced.

He appreciated the defensive support in what ended up a loss.

"That's what we're known for," Fister said.

"That's what our guys do. We play great baseball as far as defense. Those guys are selling out, making great plays and sacrificing again for whatever they have to do. That's what our team does and that's why we have a team, that's why we are a team. Guys play for each other. That's what we have here and that's why we're -- unfortunately tonight not being successful -- but that's what makes us good, is playing together."

The Nationals dropped to 58-49 after losing their second straight to the Philles.